Why I love wine so much
Wine: merely fermented grape juice for some, hailed as the drink of civilized men by others. Consumed by kings and bestowed as God’s gift to humanity, wine has been made for almost 8000 years. But what makes this beverage so special? Here is my take on why I love it so much.
The fact that it is an intoxicating substance is not remotely close to being the prime motive. The answer itself is complex, just like wine. There is a multitude of different aromas present in wine: liquorice, tobacco, apples, you name it, it can probably be found in wine! The variations are near infinite and is further enhanced by the different varietals that exist. Even the same grape can be used to make different styles of wine, just like two chefs can make different dishes using the same ingredients. Terroir is yet another factor to consider; grapes grown in a very sunny area will taste different to those grown in a chilly maritime climate. The multitude of possibilities means that wine never gets boring. I always learn something new or hear of an estate or a wine that I have never heard of and I love it. The ability to learn and discover new things constantly scratch my itch of curiosity. Once you’ve tasted it all, which in itself is virtually impossible, you can do it all again and taste the new vintages.
Wine teaches in many way and has taught me to pay more attention to what I taste or smell and to my surroundings in general. Riana, the winemaker of 7 Springs, and Jon from Hashtag radio were talking about how people should walk the supermarket isle and smell different fruits so that you can then pick up those smells and tastes. By enhancing your repertoire of flavours and aromas, one can then pick up those nuances in a wine. In my own personal quest to be a better taster, I have been forced to really think what does a guava taste like or how does a fresh raspberry differs to a baked raspberry pie. The thing is, in today’s busy day and age, how many people really take their time to relish their meal? Time is precious and we are all guilty of trying to do too many things at once: checking your tweets while waiting in line, replying to messages while driving… When last did you hit the pause button and fully appreciate the beauty of the mountains or the juiciness of a perfectly ripe peach. For me, wine has helped me to enjoy the little things in life and don’t be surprised if you find me raving about the balance of sweetness and acidity of the apple I just had.
In its own way, wine is a living art form, much like a play. The winemaker is given the task to encapsulate the story of the grape and of the place into a bottle. The minerality of the soil, the storms and baked sunshine that the vines were exposed to all go into the liquid and its expression at that very moment is both ephemeral and eternal. It changes and evolve and sometimes the next sip differs from the last. Unlike a painting or a show, technology cannot capture the beauty of this brilliance. But when the wine is really extraordinary, the memory and the feeling induced will live on forever.
Finally wine is just a beverage; I have my moments where I want to sit quietly with my tasting glass and dissect every aspect of the liquid I have in front of me. At other times, I just want to enjoy a glass with friends and have some good laughs.