I want our wine conversation to acknowledge the role that simply “liking” has to do with, well, that which we like.
Certainly merely liking or not liking takes us nowhere particularly interesting. These determinations do not lead to understanding, and that is why I avoid wine tastings and sampling exercises in general. “I like.” “I don’t like.” They are like arbitrary binary commitments, self-imposed restraining devices designed for consumer obedience. I live in Detroit in part to escape that system.
Furthermore, I would not enjoy wine without our somewhat ideological emphasis on “natural wine,” as difficult to define as that term is. Aside from providing meaningful insight into various scholarly domains such as history and evolutionary biology, understanding natural wine lets me skip over enormous quantities of meaningless filler and minor frauds so that I can reliably and routinely enjoy a bottle without sampling it first. Because I don’t want to sample. I want to drink and talk.
But an over reliance on theory runs the risk of obscuring a vital truth: we are, each, a little empire of taste. We are sovereigns of our own intuition, whether connected to our palates or any other sense. It even occurs to me that this may itself be an expression of a preference, for democracy and participation, but I’m going with it.
The most rewarding professional moments for me are when understanding and taste seem to be shared. This can happen in trivial exchanges, such as finding a better-than-average value for someone who prefers something industrial. And it can happen on a more grand scale, developing over time, connected to other distant sentient beings, and in symmetry with a close friendship. Like ours!
And indeed, the greater my fortune of wine drinking friends, the more aggravating I find those interactions with sellers who seem obstinate in their refusal to “get it.” This is all the more true when a server or rep summons forth some “organically grown” tripe, as if I’m *supposed* to like that crap.
he mentioned that he was not keen on the direction d’Oupia/Heretiques has taken since Andre Iche’ died. He feels the wine now is a concession to the rampant fashion for over-extraction and more-than-optimal ripeness. I can see what he means even if I can still enjoy the wines. We live in different towns, with different wine choices, and I think that can explain the difference in our judgment as well as anything.
On the phone you mentioned Giocato Pinot Grigio. It is something you would