How do you consume wine?

Wine is quintessentially anthropomorphic – it is imbued with humanlike characteristics, motivations, intentions, or emotions.

Epley et al. 2007

Wine is experimental, social, cultural and can be educational. Wine is, after all, a definitively human phenomenon, made by people for people to experience and joy. The main question of this post is how do you consume wine but also how and why do you behave in certain way choosing and tasting a wine. Is there any chance that your choices are being influenced by issues outside of you and not related to the taste itself?

What I strongly believe is the educational side of wine. Once you start consuming wine, it’s like you’re on an endless journey. Everyone asks basic questions about the wine they are drinking. Questions like from where the wine comes from, or the grape variety, or the year. Even if they don’t know what exactly the real meaning and implications of the answers.

Do you believe that knowing the history of wine in general, knowing how it is made, having even a basic notion of different styles will help you better appreciate it? And knowing that virtually every aspect of taste and aroma in wine can be chemically manipulated and adjusted? Will this affect your final experience when choosing, tasting and understanding a wine?

Personally, all of these aspects significantly affect my overall tasting experience. When I began my journey of wine knowledge I had no idea how vast this world is and how uncertain and doubtful the liquid inside the bottle can be. In general, knowing more about how a particular wine was made, whether it is made by hand or industrially, makes me change my perception of quality. Today I prefer a wine made by hand, respecting the characteristics of the grape in the vineyard. I believe 95% of the quality of a wine depends on how healthy the fruit is in the vineyard.

I don’t like to feel influenced by marketing, beautiful labels or fictional stories about the tradition of a particular product. I like to understand how what I consume was made and why those characteristics of color, texture, aroma and taste are present in the wine I am consuming. Maybe knowing all this you might stop finding faults in artisanal wine and, like me, you may find the perfection of chemically treated wine strange.

Published by Andre Silva

Master of Wine Culture, Communication and Management at University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, Italy. WSET2 award in Wine and Spirits

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