Getting a bit sentimental/ philosophical about our love for wine
- Mike Willison
I've been thinking a lot lately about how very funny it is that I work in the wine industry. I mean, as a child I'm certain that, because I passionately adored Smarties, one day I would work as a Smarties technical taster and ensure stringent QC across all of the dusty pastel colors/ flavors. Incipient ambition, I felt, was going to prove to be my greatest asset. This dream was hastily dusted off, like the candy's own residue on one’s fingers, as a passing fancy by my parents. Rightly so, likely, as I then became infatuated with Twizzlers, Dr. Pepper, Dungeons & Dragons, and (finally) girls (although the D&D made the girls thing a bit unlikely). Like the bleats of a baby bird for more regurgitated grubs, my dreams would carom off of my parents' stoicism into the forgotten ether.
As I grew older my passions became a bit more fixed, with less tangential foolishness and puppy-like stick-to-itiveness, I began to realize that all of these early passion-ettes were driving me towards an inevitable explosion of real, honest to god, unbridled enthusiasm; In this case, for wine.
Just yesterday someone asked me what my favorite wine is. I realized that really don’t have an answer. I can tell you what the first wine that made me really happy (1989 Ridge Geyserville). I can tell you also that I used to pilfer wine from the gun at the bar of the country club I worked at when I was a teen ("Chablis"). I can further tell you that there are wines that I thoroughly dislike but will always try again, just to be sure (Barossa Shiraz). Maybe the most important thing that I can say is that every glass of wine I encounter is an adventure that can only be realized at that very moment. It may be kind of a lousy adventure, like going to buy stamps or returning home to see if you left the oven on, but it also just might be the most exciting, fascinating and spectacular fun you have ever had and everywhere in-between. In this case, I truly am living the dream. Love wine because of its potential for awesome, everyday, and you will be a better, more successful, more attractive person with an 18 charisma and +1 to beguile.
- Carrie Kalscheuer
This post, in all of it's poetic excess, has sat unanswered on my desktop for months. I don't often extoll the virtues of wine to such degree (at least not until I've consumed at least a bottle of the stuff in question, and by that time my writing skills are subpar - I could never have lasted as a beat poet). But today I find myself in a similarly, albeit more concisely, reflective mood.
Why I love wine (today): wine is one of the oldest things in the history of man, yet is ever-evolving. It can be likened to politics, religion, even love in this regard– and that's a powerful thing. We will never completely 'master' wine. It will always have a shroud of mystery, even to those of us who leave work with purple hands on a daily basis. It expresses itself differently every year, in every region and with each different winemaker. It changes, grows, develops every day in-bottle. It will one day die. It's different for each taster – a uniquely personal experience. Talking about wine is a personal expression of sorts, in fact; a way to convey what each of us thinks and feels about a shared pleasure. Maybe this is why wine is considered more sophisticated by comparison to other agricultural outputs – it transcends the everyday and speaks to the greater depths of what it means to be human.