An Interview with Author Michael Gelb
In 2007 Natural Awakenings interviewed best-selling author and Santa Fean Michael Gelb for his book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. His newest book Wine Drinking For Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices will be available in March and is available for pre-orders now. In this book, Michael guides readers on how to stimulate their creativity through their relationship with wine. With Valentine’s Day approaching and it being the time for lovers this month, we discussed with Michael his upcoming release.
Natural Awakenings: Your previous books have been on the subject of creativity and innovation. What made you decide to write a book about wine?
Michael Gelb: I’ve been leading seminars on creativity and innovation for groups around the world for more than 30 years. My clients are always looking for fun team-building experiences. About 15 years ago I started guiding groups to appreciate fine wine in a mindful fashion and to translate their experience into writing and sharing poetry. Of course, most people don’t think of themselves as poetic but as I explain, “After the second glass of wine everyone is a poet.” This approach to bringing people together and inspiring creative thinking has proved to be wildly successful. As one participant wrote, “The combination of wine and poetry inspired our group, and literally drew joyful tears from many of our members. It was an evening we will never forget.” So, a few years ago it dawned on me that it I ought to write a book to guide others to experience the potential of wine as a catalyst for conviviality and creativity.
NA: Your two most recent successful book releases, Innovate Like Edison and How to Think Like da Vinci are usually found in the self-help section in bookstores, would you consider Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking to be a self-help book as well?
MG: Yes! This book shows readers how to cultivate a mindful relationship with wine in a way that inspires creativity, social bonding and a happier, healthier life. It also guides readers to be forever free from intimidation in all kinds of wine-related situations and it explains how to find great wine values: those are very practical self-help lessons!
NA: Your book has a chapter entitled “The Elixir of Genius”? Please tell us a bit more about that.
MG: Well, wine has served as a liquid muse for many of history’s greatest minds. The ancient Greek Symposium helped to shape our civilization. The word Symposium literally means “to drink together.” Our philosophical and cultural traditions took shape through an event that always included the sharing of wine, poetry, music and humor. Socrates and Plato, Michelangelo and Galileo, Franklin and Jefferson — all considered wine to be an elixir of inspiration. Wine has also inspired great art, architecture, music and poetry. This book guides readers to appreciate the role wine has played in inspiring genius throughout history. And, best of all, it shows how you can participate, in a cost-effective manner, in this enlightened wave of culture, now.
NA: What do you see as the “key” natural health benefit to drinking wine?
MG: Moderate enjoyment of wine with food has been recognized as an intrinsic part of a healthy life since antiquity. Contemporary scientific research makes it clear that moderate consumption of wine offers many health benefits. Enjoyed as part of a meal, wine promotes better digestion, circulation and, according to a recent study, it may even help prevent tooth decay! But the greatest potential health benefit is an improved sense of joie de vivre and well-being.
NA: What are your thoughts on the quality of organic wines and the future they hold?
MG: I’m particularly keen on Biodynamic wines, pioneered by the founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner (1861 -1925). Biodynamics is to grape growing what a Waldorf School is to children.
NA: With Valentine’sDay coming this month, do Vou have a special wine recommendation tor a romantic celebration?
MG: My most romantic wine recommendation is to give your sweetheart a subscription to a wine consumer advice publication like Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. This will help you find fine wines at good prices. Making wine a regular part of your life will make every day more romantic. And, on February 14 you may want to celebrate with one of the most romantic of all wines: Sparkling Pink!
NA: What fundamental message would you like readers to receive from this book?
MG: Benjamin Franklin summed it up for me when he wrote “Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Book release date is March 9. Pre-orders may be placed at MichaelGelb.com or at your local bookstore. Michael will have a signing premier of his new book at BODY Cafe in Santa Fe on March 9th, to also include a creative wine tasting dinner that evening. For more information see the March issue of Natural Awakenings.
Divine Valentine Wine Recommendations from Michael
- Gruet Rose ($12) New Mexico
- Schramsberg “Mirabelle” North Coast Rose ($19) California
For the bigger budget consider splurging on these great wines:
- Margaine Rose’ Champagne ($45) France
- Moet & Chandon Rose’ Champagne ($50) France
For dessert, try:
- Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui ($14) Italy (Slightly sweet and delicious with chocolate!)