. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: June 2009

Friday, June 05, 2009

What Has Happened to the Journey?

A wise man once said that the greatest pleasure is not in the destination, but in the journey. In today's world, it seems we are way too focused on our destinations, so much so that we rush through our journeys, or we take the so-called shortcuts. Applied to wine, the journey is the time a vine needs to grow deep roots, or for a bottle to develop and reach its potential. When I try a new wine or a new vintage of something previously tried, I usually open it, pour a small amount in the glass, and try it right there to get an idea of the wine's initial condition. This helps me foresee how much time it needs to be ready to be drunk. A decanter will speed the process up, but sometimes it will speed it up too much, with the risk that the wine will die in your glass. Of course, you'll get the wine ready in a much shorter amount of time, but in doing so, you'll miss the journey, you'll miss years of the wine's life. To me, it's like giving birth to a kid that is already 21 years old and an adult, and I would hate to lose the experience of all of the years in between. I learned about the pleasure of the journey by riding motorcycles. I used to take long trips, and always chose the side roads over the highways, if only because they are much more beautiful to ride. I once went from Manhattan to Montreal, a ride that would have taken 8 hours on the highway. It took us 3 days, but it was one of the most wonderful trips I have ever taken. I was lucky enough to experience a wine after I saw, 5 years before, the vines right after they'd been planted. I saw them growing, until they were old enough to produce wine, and then tried the wine, and realize that it was better the day after it had been opened. The way I see it, waiting for a wine or the vines to be ready should be, romantically, part of the enjoyment. Seeing how it develops, like a baby taking its first steps, or saying its first words, is an irreplaceable experience.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti