Last night, I went to a wine smelling/tasting class at the Astor Center titled, "Develop Your Nose: North America vs. South America", taught by Landmarc's wine director, David Lombardo.
I like wine tastings because they force me into a type of liquid-awareness I usually don't have. I am constantly drinking liquids. Really, I probably drink more than 8 liters a day, so I'm used to just swallowing liquid for the feeling of swallowing. I think it's important and fun and healthy to pay attention to what you eat, but with drinking, I often have to remind myself to do just that.
Plus the act of describing wine is another challenge. You can look at food and already get a good sense of the taste just by looking. Food is mostly action -- the crust, the sear, the dash. Wine has none of those easy, surface descriptors. As I understand it, wine's payoff (besides the buzz) is about getting lost in some murky rabbithole with nothing to cling onto as you sniff, swish and swallow.