Why do people want to become doctors? To help people. It's an entirely reasonable motive, but as this 2001 clip from ER shows, it's also a total cliché.
Much the same goes for being passionate about wine. In virtually every interview, application or biography I read with someone who works in wine (or wants to), they make a point about having a passion for it, as if that's some kind of noble calling.
Having a passion for something doesn't make you good at it, and claiming to be passionate about wine is effectively meaningless. You might have a genuine passion for wine, but so what? Just like prospective doctors wanting to help people, it doesn't tell us anything insightful.
How much more interesting and honest would it be to hear a doctor say they love the control of cutting someone open when they're sedated? Or that they want the glory of rescuing someone that falls ill on a plane? Or that they just get a thrill from seeing blood and guts?
Granted, that might not make them any more suitable for the job, but it tells us more about them than saying something as bland and clichéd as 'I want to help people' - or 'I'm really passionate about wine'.
The next question is: what can we say instead? That has to be a personal response, but everyone should be able to come up with something - and if you can't, then maybe you're not that passionate about wine after all.
Here are some more original ways of expressing passion:
- Wine is full of lies, and I want to know if that matters
- Wine reflects society, which can make it ugly and beautiful and everything in between
- Wine is the only thing that can make me laugh, cry, and throw up
- Wine should be a force for good
- Wine offers a blissful escape from the mundanity of daily life
All of which are interesting and telling - perhaps a little too revealing, in some cases - but that's got to be better than hackneyed platitudes about how passionate you are.