Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Editorial Issue 115, February 2013   
The Wine of Our TimesThe Wine of Our Times  Contents 
Issue 114, January 2013 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 116, March 2013

The Wine of Our Times


 Living our times it is something I certainly agree. It makes not much sense, at least to me, to be stuck in the past with the excuse that “the old times” were better than modern times. Maybe it is the simple admission of the incapability of growing up and the incapability of being able to accept that what it was cannot come back and will never come back. This does not mean - of course - that everything belonging to the past is to be denied or forgot: it would certainly be silly to not take advantage of our and others' experience, because, it is thank to that if we are here, for better or worse. Everyone, however, has the duty, as well as a moral duty towards oneself, to live his or her own time. This does not mean modern times are better than past times, but it is the only time of which we can be certain of, the one introducing us to the future, provided we have the chance to live that. There are good and bad things in modern times, as well as there have been good and bad things in past times. Time, after all, always goes by, for better or worse.


 

 This is true for every aspect of life and of everything belonging to our life, including wine. Modern times - the ones we are living now - certainly brought a huge benefits to wine, not only according to a enological and scientific point of view, but also according to a knowledge and cultural point of view. Thanks to the experience of the past, today we have a better knowledge about wine, not only from a chemical point of view, but also from a qualitative point of view, although the latter concept is, for many aspects, purely subjective. Modern times, I was saying, have immensely contributed to wine and its progress, moreover, to the spreading of news and the possibility to get information, to study, to understand. This aspect - undoubtedly - is an evident aspect of our times: the possibility to take advantage of many media and chances to get information, not only about wine, is one of the best conquests of present times. Modern communication media - in particular Internet - offer everyone the possibility, at least theoretically, to express one's own opinion and in a more or less free way.

 In communication media, like to say, of “classic style” - such as magazines, newspapers, radio and television - as well as in new media offered by technology, such as Internet and its many forms of application, it is a continuous flourishing of programs and initiatives about wine. In this terms, the phenomenon should be considered in positive terms. Talking about wine, to keep high the interest for the beverage of Bacchus, certainly contributes to the spreading of its culture, something renewing in every era, including our era. However, all that glitters is not gold. For the sake of truth, however there also are many cases of real gold. Let's clear this: whoever is using a communication media in order to promote and spread the culture of wine, in every form and way, has all of my appreciation and support. After all - something which is not understood by many - we are all working for the same goal and result, some more, some less and for what he or she can, for the promotion and the spreading of wine culture.

 Every initiative about communication and related to wine, is useful to the same cause, also in case we do not agree on what has been spoken or supported. Of course, I do not mean everything must be saved, including arrogance, incompetence and haughtiness. I am afraid - and according to what I see, it is something likely to happen - wine is about to become a “frivolous” object of the show business, a way to affirm a supposed, but however evidently non existing, competence or knowledge, in particular in those communication media making use of visuals as a primary way of spreading, such as television and pictures published on magazine and Internet. In fact, most of the times, they try to support with images, created with an incredible and efficient effect, the evident lack of competence and professionalism, leaving to words - which are and will always be important - a marginal role, while focusing on the explicit effect of an image. Too frequently are heard - as well as read - opinions having no real or technical foundation, words certainly detrimental to wine and to the ones listening to it, even with a good faith.

 For example, we could consider what happened to the world of cooking after it has been a popular subject in most of television shows. It is not important that the person put in the show - who, in most of the cases, is not a chef and it is evident the complete ignorance about cooking techniques and the most elementary knowledge about food - what really counts is what is being shown. From this point of view, it is very sad, in fact, that the skill and talent of a chef is mainly evaluated according to the appearance of the dish: a sad and pathetic show of food pornography, which result is better achieved with the help of a good photographer or director. Cooking is not the real subject of the show, they do not have a real interest about the educational aspect of this subject - like to say - they are focused to the show only, to the suggestion of the explicit. This could be justified by saying that a television show has its own times and one must follow them. Well, this means television is better suited to fast food instead of real cooking, something which is not made of images only, but in particular of technique, competence, professionalism and time. And it is also a matter of morality and ethics.

 I believe wine has been saved from wine pornography, only because the image of a glass of wine - besides being repetitive, despite its endless colors and aspects - is not as much as attractive as a dish aesthetically prepared with a more or less artistic way. Modern communication media however offer wine lovers many possibilities, maybe more than what it can be offered to cooking, while allowing - in the limit of what can be done - a more concrete information. In particular, the possibilities offered by Internet, a sort of mare magnum (literally, big sea) of information, in which can be virtually found everything. All that glitters is not gold: right. It is however undeniable that thanks to the Internet, has been created a place for sharing opinions and ideas, something giving everyone, like to say, the chance to get information and to take part to the information. Everyone can contribute, in his or her own way and for what he or she can, to the promotion of wine culture, a heritage belonging to all of us and to our civilization. We all - and not only those who write about wine, either for a job or pleasure - should remember this aspect, instead of competing against each other, having arguments about everything and wasting time, like to say, in splitting hairs.

Antonello Biancalana






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  Editorial Issue 115, February 2013   
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