What is wine?
It’s a big question.
Simply put, wine is carefully gone off grape juice. But, to wine nerds like me, wine is the height of sophistication and romance. Each bottle is a time capsule that contains art, science and the producer’s vision and skill. Of course there are varying degrees of this, but when you have the perfect wine for the perfect occasion it can be a truly magical experience.
Wine is finite. As it comes from a space and time, it is experienced in a moment that can never be repeated. It has the potential to express a billion nuances and can be observed and experienced in as many ways as there are bottles on the planet. We plunge into its character for a moment and part ways only with a memory of its gifts.
I like this quote from Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon: “Wine is one of the most civilised things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range of enjoyment that possibly any other purely sensory thing.”
Wine can be simple and unobtrusive like the background music at a party that you barely notice as it adds a general lovely ambience. Or, it could be like having the perfect seats for a performance of your favourite magnum opus in a magnificently tuned concert hall where each breath in every instrument is impeccably expressed only to be appreciated in that one instant, never to be observed in exactly the same way ever again.
I like to think of it as the encapsulation of a life, death and afterlife. Preservation and perseverance. As is often the case with music and other artistic mediums, the best wine comes from distress. Tortured vines fight to bear fruit as a survival mechanism. Wine is the captured essence of that struggle with a little artistic license. And man, it sure can be delicious.
Drink well and better.
Your friendly neighbourhood sommelier,
J Corey Evans