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The world of winemaking is often shrouded in an air of mystique and romance, with its picturesque vineyards, meticulous craftsmanship, and the art of transforming fermented grape juice into wine. Magnum bottles of Opus contribute too. But there's a peculiar notion that has taken root in popular culture--it actually just dawned on me last night while watching Sideways (keyword stuffing!)--the idea that most winemakers bear an uncanny resemblance to the late journalist Peter Jennings.
In the largely male world of winemaking--shouts to all the female winemakers rising up and taking over like Chrissy Whitman of Prisoner Wine, winemakers tend to look like Peter Jennings, the most famous Canadian after Justin Bieber. Sorry to all the J-School grads, I'm a Belieber. Justin!!!!
Yes, this is a curious observation, the supposed likeness between winemakers and Peter Jennings. But is there any truth to this perception, or is it simply a (very one -off) case of selective bias and coincidence?
Selective Perception and Cognitive Bias: The phenomenon of seeing similarities where there might not be any is a classic example of cognitive bias. Our brains are wired to make connections and find patterns, even when they might be tenuous at best. It's possible that the myth of winemakers resembling Peter Jennings has gained traction due to the power of our cognitive biases, leading us to perceive similarities that may not hold up under closer scrutiny.
Representation in Media: Media plays a significant role in shaping our perceptions and stereotypes. If there has been a concerted effort by filmmakers, writers, and artists to depict winemakers in a certain way, it could contribute to the formation and reinforcement of this myth. Perhaps the image of a sophisticated, silver-haired winemaker has been inadvertently influenced by cultural portrayals and media representations, which could also overlap with the image of Peter Jennings. To aptly quote Indian mystic, Jiddu Krishnamurti, "the observer is the observed." Everything you see is alrady in your head.
Occupational Aesthetics and Lifestyle: Winemaking is often associated with a certain lifestyle and aesthetic. Layered tops, fluffy vests and blue jeans. The picturesque landscapes, the rustic charm of vineyards, and the elegance of wine tasting events might create a visual association that people then link to Peter Jennings due to his own dignified appearance. Although Peter was impeccably dressed every night in tailored suits--always eschewing the loud for the neutral in his tie selection. No red power ties for him. Further exploring the anchorman look, this could be an instance of the "halo effect," where positive traits associated with one person influence our perception of unrelated individuals.
Random Chance and Anecdotal Observations: Sometimes, myths and stereotypes arise from random chance and anecdotal observations. If a few winemakers happened to share some physical resemblance to Peter Jennings, it could just be me and now I am spreading the notion in hope that my loyal readership agrees and lavishes this post with likes, comments and shares. The algorithms consider 'saves' deep engagement so those help too. Hint.
While the premise of this musing about Peter Jennings and winemakers may have been tenuous, I take solace in knowing that Peter Jennings is in a better place free from the algos and hopefully with an endless supply of barolo.
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