Zen Breath 3-2-1

Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter or you subscribed to the Koi Zen Cellars newsletter. Every Friday, I share 3 wine terms, 2 quotes from me, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

"It's fine to WINE, just don't WHINE"
~ Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

May 27, 2022

Happy Friday! Time to wrap up this week and get ready for the next! Take a deep breath and kick off the weekend on a positive note. Let's consider where we have been, improve it, and move forward next week. Packing the most content into the least words and trying to change the world, one glass at a time.

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3 - Wine Terms - Going Topless?

I ran across an article today that just struck a nerve - I don't know why, but it did and I want to share parts of it with you and at the end, get your feedback.

Dave McIntyre published the article "Wine bottle foil is wasteful, annoying — and going away" in the Washington Post. And here is a snippet of what he had to say:

"You’ve probably wrestled with capsules. Those blades on the end of your cork puller are notoriously dull, unable to cut through even the cheapest plastic covering. You really need to exert yourself to remove the top of a tin or aluminum foil capsule, and then worry about cutting your finger or getting shards of foil into the wine. And I’ll bet you’ve given up in frustration and just wrestled the entire thing off the bottle — a no-no for formal sommelier service but very practical at home."

The beautiful thing about the US is that everyone can have and opinion and everyone does. Some people make wine and others just whine. But let's look at the history and purpose of the humble capsules.
  1. Purpose: wine capsules have been used for a long time and there are many speculations on why people started putting capsules on bottles. One theory is that the capsule protected the cork from rodents and mold - the problem is that rodents can eat through concrete and steel plates, I don't thing a capsule will slow them down and the tiny holes in the top still let moisture in.

    I believe that the original reason capsules were used was to detect counterfeiting. Shady bars would often refill bottle with cheap alcohol and pass them off as originals. To help prevent this, wineries started to put dates and information on corks which were harder to fake and the capsule was the original tamper-proof enclosure.

    P.S. Ever wonder why waiters present the unopened bottle to you at restaurant? It originated to let the consumer verify it was the correct wine, had not been tampered, the cork matched the label and the wine was not faulted.
  2. Cost: Dave McIntyre claims that capsules can cost $4 which is passed on to the consumer. Well, I use nice capsules and they actually cost the consumer $0.05 each and if I bought in large bulk, the price would drop to about $0.02 each. Cheap plastic capsules are fractions of a penny.
  3. Branding: I believe that one of the advantages of the capsule is to complete the brand. The capsule finishes the package just as a bow adds a nice touch to a present. Sure you can give a gift unwrapped, but it just isn't quite the same.

    Also when bottles are stored in a wine rack, the capsule can often give you an indication of which wine bottle it is. Many wineries have a custom embossed capsule which aids in identification which I find to be a perk, but others may disagree.

So what do you think about capsules?
Pick your answer below

2 - Quotes from Me:

  1. "You are either a whiner or a doer" ~ Zen Winemaker
  2. "I don't like naked bottles" ~ Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:

Artificial Intelligence

About 10 years after college I went back to get my master's in Computer Science. I wanted to go into AI but my adviser (head of the AI department) told me that AI wasn't that important and I should focus on networks. Well, networks are plug and play these days and AI is hot and also very scary.

Over the years, computation power has skyrocketed and the price has fallen. My cell phone has a gazillion times (well maybe not that much) as the computer used to land on the moon. Scientists and engineers have combined hardware, software, wetware, algorithms, statistics, psychology,  physiology, and biology together and are creating some awe-inspiring machines.

Some scientists claim that we will reach singularity (when computers surpass humans) within 10 years - I think it might be shorter. They further define general Artificial Intelligence as when computers can reason as well or better than humans.

But maybe we are after the wrong goal. Perhaps we shouldn't build machines that mimic us - look at the world state of affairs with wars, shootings, riots, starvation, bias, hate crimes, robbery, abuse...

Maybe we should build machines not to be like us, but to be better than us and help us since we seem to need a lot of help recently.


How do you feel about AI and the human afair?

Zen Giggles:

Thanks everyone for your concern!
First off, I'm okay. I was a bit shaken up though.
For those of you that aren't aware, I was robbed at the circle K station this morning.

After my hands stopped trembling, I called the police who arrived quickly. They calmed me down because my blood pressure was so high - my money is still gone though!

They asked if I knew who did it and I responded:

"Yes, pump #4"

~~ Notice ~~

The strange world we live in


A favor:

We strive to foster a community who are excited to learn about wine and create a better world for all. We are a small business and appreciate your support. Please encourage others to subscribe to this newsletter and build the community of like minded people. And don't forget to give me some feedback on what you want to learn about - I love hearing from you.

NOTICE: The "Follow Your Passion" self paced online course will only remain on sale for $49 until June 15, 2022. Then this inspiring course will increase to $149. You can still register at the low sale price HERE until 6/15/22.


Darius Miller - The Zen Winemaker

P.S. Let me know what you think of the 3-2-1 newsletter - or better yet, share with your friends - it would be much appreciated.

Author of a #1 best seller:
'The Zen Winemaker - Follow Your Dreams & Overcome Your Fears'

P.S. Signed copies are also available at the winery, just stop by. May be the best $20 you will ever spend.

Creator of:

'The Zen Wine Tasting Journal - Life is too short to drink bad wine, or to wear ugly underwear.'

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