Having read hundreds of articles and blogs about wine over the last 25 or so years I find myself left wanting as no single info piece has ever captured the true essence of wine.
Yup, I know. We tend to want to reduce what is an inevitably complex beverage to something simple, easy and basic to make it more user friendly and less intimidating. We read and listen to the essentially incomprehensible lectures from the Sommeliers to the sublime concept of “Just drink what you like, it will work with everything” Nonsense.
Let’s forsake the technical aspect of wine for a minute and really deal with wine for how it should be and absolutely could be.
Wine is a beverage truly unlike any other. It is unarguably a significant chunk of the world’s alcohol beverage industry. True, no doubt the wine industry produces billions of dollars of revenue in the world markets. It is a financial and trade force unparalleled in human history. Good stuff, but so what? None of the information previously discussed truly enhances anyone’s wine drinking experience.
So OK. I guess this is where it gets weird for some of you. Feel free to escape if this gets too esoteric.
Wine is magic. Wine is life in its simplest form. Wine is comfort, joy, the elixir of healing, a balm for the shattered and the ecstatic soul. Wine is about love and loss. Wine is a celebration of life and love and the basic substance of the body and soul. Wine is a lifestyle decision that when properly applied positively alters your perception of your place in the universe.
Look around you. I don’t know anyone who drinks wine to get drunk. There are cheaper quicker ways to get there. The simple virtue of the product forces you to slowdown. Yes dear friends, the simple function of slowing down changes EVERYTHING.
Imagine the best glass of wine you ever experienced. You anticipated the delivery; you conjured up an image in your mind of what it was going to be like. The wine came and you unconsciously played with it in the glass. You looked to see the legs as it hung on the side of the glass. Next comes the anticipatory deep breath as you prepared to experience the nose or the fragrance of the wine. As you put your nose in the glass you catch a fragrance that reminds you of something you just can’t quite place. The familiarity thought is driving you mildly insane.
You hand the glass to your partner (whoever that might be) and (he or she) gives you a hint that drives you back to your childhood and it smells exactly like —– well, you know. This conjures up memories you haven’t thought about in years.
Now you prepare to taste this memory evoking wine imagining it will taste as it smells. More than likely it does not. It takes a student body left and fills your mouth with a series of very different senses as it crosses your tongue as it leaves a long lasting finish. It hangs and gosh it hangs and finally ends with yet more thought evoking sensations.
Now for the second sip. What? It’s changed just in a minute or two. Or was your palate simply not prepared for that first sip.
As you work thru the glass your senses awaken and for a moment, for the first time in days you are living in the present. For just a minute it doesn’t matter that your boss is a moron, your forget your spouse can identify as least 12 things you are deficient in, and that you have two new pains that were not there yesterday.
Right now, it’s just about smell, and taste and the feelings this liquid allows you to sense and feel.
Wine is Peace.
Now the food comes. Future diatribes will discuss this phenomenon at length, but at the core of this relationship is the simple fact that a properly paired wine positively alters the food, the food changes the wine and the combination bends your reality, enhancing all of your senses forming a beautiful and very real euphoria in the moment. You think and feel but more importantly talk about the flavors in combination.
Yes wine is experience.
Now for the little things; your partner has had a particularly miserable day, what about the simple gesture of corking a bottle of their favorite wine. The simple thoughtfulness is enough to engender positive feelings but add the willingness to let the venting begin, to listen attentively allows you all once again to live in the moment.
Marking special events and accomplishments with favorite wines, marks these moments in your mind and experiences forever, the reminders to come in the form of scent and taste up to decades later. The nose of this wine reminds me of that time…… do you remember?
Lastly, yes and I think I really mean it, but finally after some 30 years of marriage and years in the wine world I have found that it is impossible for two people to share a bottle of wine and not talk. Whether it’s relationships, business deals or just two friends sharing wine, watching the dynamic is remarkable. After a few minutes the smart phones diappear, the world surrounding them diminishes and they communicate for just a while.
Wine is magic.
To summarize; wine is history, politics, amazing fascinating people, love, discourse, memories, joy, despair, hope, peace, cruising, travel, experience, sensations, style, grace. Amazing, 5 oz of liquid in a glass – just sayin’.
Finally, this is my definitive truth about wine.