Monday, August 29, 2016

BRAMBLES: What to Drink Next?

As the tasting glass was returned to the bar, he sheepishly looked up and offered that he really likes wine, but was unable to talk about it. "I am not a poet", he declared.  We should not be required to be lyrical in order to enjoy a glass of wine, yet, the marketing focus increasingly seems to be that wine consumers should to be able to confidently offer some quippy 'wine-speak' to demonstrate their prowess as knowledgeable wine lovers. Has wine loving reached the point in its luxury consumerism that we only pronounce enjoyment in our glass of syrah that 'offers 'mulled juniper berries and damp forest floor'?

Throughout its long history wine has been a social beverage, a libation to be shared and enjoyed responsibly.  As a luxury commodity however, premium wine has earned(paid for) its long and increasingly marketed history, evolved from booze for the privileged to a fine gentleman's refreshment, to a liquid symbol that segregates the proletariat.  On one hand it is evelage(rising or development) for such a pleasure as wine, something that was felt as strongly as poetry in a bottle  to be described in a lexicon of poignantly beautiful terms.  But at its core, wine is about the delicious, individual discovery to be found in a every glass.
Austria's Heuriger wine tavern

Brilliant color, perhaps found no where else in nature, combined with the symphony of aromas that lift from the glass only begin to introduce wines' charms.  That tactile dance in your mouth, the complexity of its delicious liquid personality, and lingering aftertaste warmed on the palate to enhance its unique memory combine to make our individual relationship with wine something quite special.  Genetic variations in individual taste perceptions mixed with our unique food histories result in no two of us having the very same taste perceptions, meaning that the wine party in your mouth and brain are yours alone!  All the more reason to share the pleasure of the experience, and raise a glass(or two).

Glossy industry magazines flush with premium brand advertising, those lifestyle features promoting a particular glamour label, combined with the omnipresent shelf talkers of retail displays commingle to find us swimming in a remontage(pump-over) of marketplace enhancement that seduces wine consumers without yield. Reach for a bottle off a retail shelf, and collect a wine-speak catch phrase in the bargain.  Even as the overwhelming volume of wine we consumers regularly drink is below the premium categories, our expedition into higher priced bottles finds us within a torrent of testimonials and inherited greater responsibilities to speak of wine knowledgeably. And, for novice premium wine consumers a little sense for wine will reward beyond the pocketbook and into the unique qualities to be found in every glass.

"The joy is in the journey"' certainly applies to wine with its individual and emotional connection to our sense of pleasure. So then it may be most important for wine lovin' consumers just to venture forth, to continue to explore different labels, regions beyond the norm.  In doing so they will begin to absorb wine knowledge in the most pleasurable way, one glass at a time, no matter how they can describe it. Now, what to drink next?


Tasting Values:
Piero Mancini 2014 Vermentino Di Gallura 2014; yellow-green hue, citrus and mineral aromas, with moderate acidity leads notes of yellow apple, stone fruit and a kiss of bitter almond; and dances with white fish or light dishes! (could not help myself)