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  Editorial Issue 127, March 2014   
The Wine I LikeThe Wine I Like  Contents 
Issue 126, February 2014 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 128, April 2014

The Wine I Like


 What is your favorite wine? What wine do you uncork when you do not have to do it because of your job and you like sharing it with friends? What is the best wine? This kind of questions are being frequently asked by the ones I know or the one I meet. I do not think the subject about my favorite wine is that interesting and, it can be, these are questions asked with a simple goal of starting a talk and to compare opinions. I admit it: to this kind of questions I always answer with a certain discomfort, not because I do not hare a favorite wine, indeed for the fact it is not just one. It is like cheating on all the other ones and favoring just one, while being aware of the fact also the favorite one is not my absolute favorite one. Sometimes these questions represent the attempt of getting a personal gratification in order to make sure about one's preferences and taste.


 

 It is also a way to start a discussion, while trying to understand my predilection or adversity towards a particular style, while defining a precise dichotomy between good and bad. This division, which certainly is completely subjective and personal, therefore debatable, also aims to the goal of judging one's intellectual and cultural position, by putting persons to one side or another. Moreover, in case I answer to these questions by simply saying I like good wines - an evidently trivial and however subjective concept - then the interlocutor reacts with a reassuring smile, imagining my concept of “good” certainly corresponds to his of her “good”. This answer, however, is certainly true for everyone of us, despite it is elusive and vague. After all, no one would answer to this kind of questions by saying his or her favorite wines are the “bad ones”.

 Good and bad are concepts to which everyone gives a personal meaning and value, most of the times defined in function of the intellectual and cultural contexts to which one feels to belong to. They are indisputable concepts in case they are considered as a personal expression only, of course respectable even though, most of the times, they are not truly agreeable. The annoying aspect, hypocrite and childish, it is when one believes his or her concept of good or bad must represent a “universal” and indisputable principle. Positions which are expressed, most of the times, with a disgusting arrogance, the typical behavior of the ones who cannot support and argue their position as well as not being aware of the fact there can also be other points of view. The sense of belonging to “something” - it is well known - is a cause of opposition among men as well as representing a reassuring social identity: history sadly repeating; we will never learn from the mistakes made by the ones who preceded us.

 For many - and this is something happening in other contexts as well - one's concept of good or bad wine also determines the classification of others in the “good” or “bad” side, experts or ignorants. Categories that, in any case and with no exception, are arbitrary and relative, therefore disputable in any form and principle. There has always been something in which wine has proved to be effective and successful, and this is sharing and sociality. Noble beverage having a high ritual meaning, wine has always been the perfect symbol of celebration and friendship. It can also be because of this reason I find it difficult to understand when wine it is used as a mean of division and speculation. I can understand, although with many exceptions, when this position is used by certain producers who, sometimes, believe this is the right way to promote their wines.

 Wine is also emotion and culture: not only the ones represented by its land and the men who made it, but also the emotion of the moment in which it is consumed. The context, company, the particular moment in which it is decided to uncork a bottle of wine and to share it, determine our positive feelings towards that wine. After all each one of us thinking about a wine remembers a particular moment - pleasing or unpleasing - and in which that wine has characterized that occasion. Memory certainly contributes to consider a wine good or bad in function of what has been associated to it and the moments in which the beverage of Bacchus was, for better or worse, part of the moment. Likewise, a wine meeting our ideal viticultural and wine making model - technical, cultural, intellectual or sentimental - is likely to be positively accepted. The sense of gratification and the confirmation to what we feel or think, it is undeniable, play an important role on how we consider a wine.

 What is, after all, the wine I like? I could answer, trivially, the wine I like is the one capable of contributing, in a particular moment, to make a certain occasion pleasing. In case I have to answer by excluding the sentimental involvement of the moment, the answer could be, maybe, more exhaustive and direct. I do appreciate, with no doubt at all, wines having no faults related to any nature or cause, capable of expressing elegance, balance and cleanness. I understand this is an answer which can be considered quite technical, but it is also true I do not like the arrogance of who, by justifying evidents faults, tries to support them as a good quality. Finally, I like the wine for what it is, expression of the ones who make it and with no pretension of using it in order to affirm something having nothing in common with wine while frequently having the sense of a silly arrogance. To me, this is a fault, too. Not of wine's - which has no fault in this - but of the silliness of the ones who believe it.

Antonello Biancalana






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  Editorial Issue 127, March 2014   
The Wine I LikeThe Wine I Like  Contents 
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