I write about wine in a weekly Wednesday column for the Portland Press Herald in Portland, Maine, U.S.A. It’s a fun gig, but I always chafe against the space limitations and this blog is part of the solution. Here, you’ll find more wine descriptions, additional comments from my growing list of exclusive interviews with esteemed wine importers and other visionaries in the industry, and other contemplations on wine.
It’s called “the soul of wine” for a reason. I’m not, alas, a scientist of wine. I don’t have a once-in-a-generation palate and my call to wine is not via intense, precise analysis. My palate is excellent, don’t get me wrong! But I’m drawn more to the experience itself of drinking wine: how a taste makes me feel, the references it calls forth, the actual lived mutual exchange of the taster, the act of tasting, and the taste of the wine itself. That’s soul. All wines have it — indeed, everything has soul; for me wine just happens to be a particularly rich field of inquiry into it — and all people have it, but most of the time this facet of life is ignored. Still, it’s the reason we do the whole thing (live, drink) in the first place!
A guy I admire, Terry Theise, is after the same thing, and wrote this in one of his incomparable catalogs: “You can’t identify that slippery little thing soul in wines by how they look, smell or taste. It’s how they make you feel. It’s how deeply they peal and echo. It is how quickly they leave themselves behind and lead you elsewhere away from ‘wine’.”
Right on! Poke around here and keep in touch!