Everyone has an innate capacity for intuition. And like any of our senses and processing capabilities (logic, language, spatial processing…), intuition gets stronger with practice, and weaker with neglect.
When I was a kid, there was a food programme on TV. Oz and Jilly would samples wines every week and declare all these amazing flavours: cherries, sweet freshly cut grass, citrus fruits, spices – even saying which spices they could taste.
How could they do that? How do you detect cherry smells in fermented grape juice? Or orange smells? Or cinnamon?
It just didn’t seem possible.
Roll forward a couple of decades, and you find my man and me tasting whiskies. He has quite a thing for single malts, and has introduced me to many over the years.
At first when I tried them, I mostly tasted the firey explosion of the alcohol. Then the obvious flavours and smells: the smokiness, the sweetness or zestiness. I began to taste the difference between the whiskies.
Then came subtler flavours. Sweetness split into honey, caramel, malt. Smokiness into light whiffs, cigars, or really dark textures. Zestiness into grapefruits, oranges, or lemons.
Going further, the flavours split again. You have the initial hit of flavour, a burst in the mouth like lemon sherbet or gunpowder. You have the mid-taste as the whisky rests on your tongue, releasing toffee, oranges, and nutmeg. Then you have the after taste which billows in your mouth like a puff of cigar smoke.
Developing your intuition is a lot like learning to taste in this in-depth way. You re-awaken your intuitive sense by giving it different things to explore. By paying attention. And by allowing different flavours into your experience – they might not be what you expect!
How are you going to wake up and explore your senses?