Wine: The imbibition so fine

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What is it about wine that drives us not simply just to drink, but upon its vagaries to both pontificate and think?  Men and women, from all around the globe, discuss its wonders and of if its mysterious nature do probe. Tempers flare, and hearts melt, yet at the center is the beverage; wine, vin, wein, wijn, vino or vine. No matter how said or spelt, the passions and opinions this libation brings to being are always felt.  Wine has held its much vaunted place in our pantheon of preferred pleasures for thousands of years. The heady joy it bestows on us helps to lubricate social situations, sometimes causing lips to loosen and moments to extend themselves in time and space. Socrates, like him or not, was fond of wine and its effects upon the mind as well as how it assisted the smooth flow of Symposia, which were occasions where men, for wine was a man's drink, consumed copious quantities and rambled at each other along political and philosophical lines, with sagacious grace given to the wines.image from shutterstock

Times change, yet wine's highly esteemed place in our social milieu remains much unchanged through the millennia.  Wine is still used as a lubricant to make matters smoother and tongues looser, sometimes too much so!  Though we, wine's contemporary proponents, have more knowledge regarding production, varietals, flavours, and smells, even if if we lack the vocabulary to express the latter two, wine is yet about the delights it brings and this is where drinkers diverge, sometime vehemently.  As with most of life's pleasures, being rather subjective, it is difficult at best to apply scientific measures.  Yet, we being the systematic beings we are, and this state having devolved to our current preoccupation with scores and numbers numbingly cold, it stands to reason we've succumb to this system of points awarded so our palates will purchase the wines we are told shall give the much sought after enjoyment with flavours bold.  Reading about wines with descriptions of Parkeresque loquaciousness, we are sold and then buy, seldom asking ourselves why.  Our tastes have been hijacked. Rather than learn of a region or grape by sampling several offerings, we submit to the professional palates and their points for our sips. Where is the beauty in discovering and deciding for self? After all, isn't it about taste, and that asked, who's taste is better. Of course we can agree if a wine is faulty, but when it's sound, why are the pundits opinions, or your own, on a wine's pleasure quotient more perfect than someone else's? Maybe they like a strapping Shiraz or colossal Cabernet whilst you prefer precise Pinot.  image from shutterstock

The point to this diatribe is to trust your palate. While the practiced palates of pros may taste vast numbers of wine, they are not always in line with your own.  While they may offer tidbits of wisdom on a wine's peculiar presence or lack of, these are simply opinions, albeit based upon experience, that are proffered for all to read, not necessarily to heed.  In finality, it is up to you dear fellow oenophiles to travel the wine roads you see fit.  Hopefully you'll exit the well worn motorways and venture off on the lesser paths and trails discovering vinous wonders that open your mind and assisting you to find the wine that is your own perfect 20 or 100 point dream and opinion of something divine.  So ending this long-winded effort by referring back to the opening question, maybe its wines ability to transport us to a different time and place that begs us to continue to seek happiness in its grace? Perhaps it is all that and much more. Either way, quaff on friends!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock