What is it about wine that invokes spontaneous poetry?
The most unlikely adjectives come effortlessly to mind. Unbidden, uninvited and of their own volition. Without the slightest hint of conscious effort. And long before the wine gets anywhere near the palate. All it takes is the slightest whiff of aromas as you gently tilt a glass, in hushed anticipation, and let your nose pick up the scents of the lazily drifting, barely visible spirals. The words simply start to pour out.
Was this ruby red creation of my favorite vintner a little reticent? Perhaps an enigma – revealing just enough to create interest but maintaining a sense of mystery. This one is pure coquette. Teasing, playful and impish. And here is a smart one. Definitely cerebral. NewAge in a hippie sort of way.
You get the drift. Certainly, as we read these lines, we could be talking about a lot of things. But wine? Sounds like a self-indulgent pretentious exaggeration. Which I found out, purely from personal experience, it is not!!
The need and desire to describe, dissect and analyze to no apparent purpose may defeat logic. But it sure enhances the pleasure. Not unlike the multiplier effect of the pleasure we derive from artistic pursuits. Like painting & music. The visuals & sounds by themselves are pleasurable. But when you understand the structure of a Mozart concerto or the intricacy of a Raga, you enjoy it so much more.
So I continue to expand my vocabulary in search of adjectives & descriptors that are just right. I’ve experienced brilliant, persistent, paradoxical, contrary, graceful, agrarian, pure, ethereal, laconic, provocative, cheeky, combative, aloof, worldly & stuffy wine. I am certain there is more to come.
When I caught myself describing a Chardonnay as “Shy”, alluding to its soft & mysterious texture, and a sprightly dry Riesling as “Sassy”, I knew it was time to write about the verse in wine.