Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Editorial Issue 87, Summer 2010   
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Issue 86, June 2010 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 88, September 2010

Around Wine


 We have written so many times wine is more than a beverage. Since the beginning of its history, wine represented more than a beverage. Ritual, social, religious and cultural meanings, wine has accompanied the history of man along his journey. To tell the truth, it was not the only beverage to play this role: we may think about tea or beer, for example. A beverage for the connoisseurs, even expensive and destined to few ones, wine continues still today to play an important role in the life of men. Certainly changing form and context, but its “social” role does not seem to be changed much. In recent times it has become subject of debates, sometimes reaching the limit of an argument - although verbal - among many lovers of the beverage of Bacchus. Around wine there is however a lot more, beginning from the passion and commitment of many producers, who support their territory, their grapes, their wines.


 

 Writing about wine has also given birth to some sort of schools of thought, strong and indisputable positions, untouchable dogmas to the limit of a “daring offense”. Experts - or so called ones - express their opinion about wine, its quality, praising or literally destroying this or that wine, sometimes also with no significant cause. Of course, anyone has the right - full and indisputable - of expressing his or her opinion, right or wrong: this is an essential and fundamental principle as well as absolutely right. This principle is also valid for the right of criticism, that is the constructive and motivated expression of a thought, even in case - and event better - when it is negative and offered with the intent of giving a different point of view. When the criticism is the firm position of the one expressing it, without giving other a chance for an exchange of ideas and the sincere discussion, while ideally stepping up into the pulpit pronouncing sentences, hiding behind the cowardice a high position can ensure (but miserably low) shielded from rejoinders, this is nothing more than proving one's stupidity and lack of intelligence.

 Criticism is also a matter of respect and dignity. Respect for ourselves, because by expressing what we do not really think, just for pleasing others, is first of all a hypocrite act towards ourselves and then towards others. Respect for the ones producing a wine and making this with passion, using resources and life in something they believe into. And this should be respected, even when - and first of all - when we do not agree on it. Of course, not all producers are involved in making wine at the same way: for some it is just a secondary activity in order to get profits to be added to other primary activities having nothing in common with wine. In other words, it is just business. Last, but not the least, respect for the ones who read or listen to a criticism or an opinion. It is just playing a part in a stage: without the audience, the actor has no reason to perform in a stage. For this reason it must be sincere, honest and credible in what he or she is trying to communicate, otherwise receives only disapproval and dissent. And every real actor knows how important and fundamental is the respect for the “ones in front of the stage”. Theater: a magnificent school of life.

 Then there is the tale told by the ones making wine. Of the passion of seeing vines renewing every year the miracle of the genesis of bunches, of the ripening process under the sun. Therefore harvesting, the extreme sacrifice of grapes in order to give wine to men. Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson said “wine is bottled poetry”, and wine certainly is the poem of earth, made of verses told by Nature, words with a profound meaning, expression of a territory and its grapes. Poetry, prose, tales and songs, painting and sculpture: artistic expressions of the talents of men and in which wine has always been represented, sign of its importance in the life and feelings of men. Wine is the encounter of men with nature, a mutual collaboration where each element and each talent find their expression in aromas and flavors, therefore in sense, in those extraordinary means connecting the reality of world with the deep inner of men.

 There also are less noble and presumptuous expressions of wine, even annoying ones. Not because of wine fault, but for what they make about wine or would like to make of it. Sometimes wine is subject of élitism, of something offering the opportunity to showing off vanity, to emphasize a social or cultural difference, also humiliating, between the ones who believe to know wine and the ones who candidly and honestly admit to know wine a little less. For many, showing off the knowledge of certain names, expensive labels, famous grapes, represent the idiot occasion of appearing with no other mean, to have others believe they belong to a high social and cultural class, where wine represents a status symbol. All this in order to give the idea of being competent and “committed”, so obsessed in hiding to others and to themselves the nothingness they are. Wine is also a cause of discrimination: when someone talks to such persons while expressing indifference or incompetence, this is the occasion for being denigrated, excluded from the elite of the ones who believe they know how to live life and have understood everything from it.

 Not all can understand the beauty of poetry, of a verse, a painting or a breath, or the emotion a wine can communicate to our senses. On the other hand, it is also true not all can understand the emotion that, for example, can give the view of a car or the sound of its engine. What we cannot understand is not incomprehensible, it is something going beyond our interests and our capacity of feeling emotions. And wine is no exception in this. Some appreciate it for what it can communicate to our inner inside, to our senses and to our emotions; for others it is only the expression of the worst, abominable and dangerous thing on this world, exclusively considered for the abuse some make of it and its consequences. This gives the opportunity to mention the old saying in medio stat virtus (the virtue is in the middle), a rule having no extreme or extremism, just a wise balance. Wine is not everything, as well as it is not everything poetry and theater, altruism or egoism, a new car or a fashionable dress. Life is made from many small and big things, all being useful in understanding its meaning and expression. And to make it varied and interesting. And wine, for the ones it represents poetry, emotions and something more, it certainly one of them.

 







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  Editorial Issue 87, Summer 2010   
Around WineAround Wine  Contents 
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