That is the opening sentence in Eric Azimov’s NY Times article “Four Ways to Think about Wine.” (Behind a paywall.)
I couldn’t agree more. As a beverage, wine is unique in that it gives you much to think about, and that thinking affects how you approach wine.
For those who want to learn more about wine, Eric provides “four ideas that will make wine a deeper and richer experience:”
- Think of wine as coming from the earth. The best wine is not processed to meet a preconceived flavor profile and minimizes the use of harmful chemicals in the vineyard.
- Think of wine as food. If you shop at farmer’s markets and take care about the kinds of food you put in your body, you should take the same approach with wine.
- Think of wine as an adventure. Wine is unpredictable and is influenced by location and local conditions. Embrace that unpredictability.
- Think of wine as analog rather than digital. Good wine often has blemishes. “The beauty of a wine is not measured by whether it approaches perfection. It’s conveyed by its soulfulness, by its individuality and distinctiveness.”
If I were teaching an introductory course on wine, I would begin with these principles even before I get to “grape juice+yeast-oxygen=alcohol +carbon dioxide.
I think I would add a couple.
- Wine is a living thing. It’s always changing in reaction to its environment. But you could argue this is captured under “think of wine as coming from the earth.”
- Variation is the source of any deep appreciation one has for wine. But you could argue this is captured under wine as an adventure.
I’m jealous. It took me 100,000 words to say what he says in a few hundred. I suppose that’s the difference between a (good) journalist and a philosopher.