Friday, March 15, 2013

Autobiographical wines

Damn, I love wine. Wine plays off the exact same pleasure center that great music can. It tickles your brain and captures every nuance of the moment you're in, and locks it away for you to have forever. It also writes the story of you.

You know that scene in Jaws where the guys are sitting around the table comparing scars? Wine geeks do that same thing every day, except, instead of scars, they are talking about moments in their wine lives that changed them every bit as much as a shark attack. They happen without warning and are just as surprising. They stay with you for a lifetime and they shape who you are.
You can't manufacture this moment. Tasting a 30 year retrospective of La Tache may be amazing and quite academic, but rarely does something like that do it. It's the moment you don't expect, the random moment of clarity. It can be dinner with friends or tasting with a vendor. The sun can be shining on you, or it can be gray and snowy in January. No matter the scenario, these moments stay with you for a lifetime. You'll never forget the vintage, the producer or the wine. You'll relive it, and the memory will be at your fingertips whenever you need it. 15 years in, and I still get the moments on a regular basis. They don't buckle my knees quite like they used to, but maybe I appreciate them that much more this time.  Nonetheless, these are the wines that write our story. They are autobiographical wines. You can have any wine geek write a timeline of nothing more than wines and periods of their life. They probably know exactly where they were when they tasted them, they remember what was going on. Time stops when you experience this. As much as we say wine is for sharing, this moment, becomes only yours, forever.

That's why I love wine.