Where the Wine Trail Leads…
On a grey, drizzly morning I stare out the window, saddened at having just read the rather harsh remarks of a prominent wine critic about Sangiovese in Montalcino, Brunello and its Consorzio.
Is that what it comes to? A search for monochrome perfection? The unbearable boredom of greatness?
Still staring outside:
I’ve known the richness of life’s blessings expressed only in a collection of days good and not so good; understood the depth of personal relationships through disappointment and happiness.
Did I boo my favorite tenor from the stage because I think his last year’s performance was better sung?
In a cosmos where everything runs in its own cycle of good and not so good, that we, as wine lovers, would criticize as wine follows the ups and downs of nature’s plan – even when produced year after year in the same place by the same people – seems absurd, contrary to wine appreciation and certainly to what should live in the heart of a wine lover.
Perhaps, when considering wine, we might take a lesson from a popular song artist who sings of loving the “perfect imperfections”*. If, as many have said, Sangiovese is a great communicator of terroir, then it stands to reason that Sangiovese will too be a great communicator of terroir even when conditions are not quite right, a talker of terroir’s perfections and, sometimes, imperfections.
I am not at all suggesting we tolerate badly made wine. Only that we recognize that, just as love demands forgiveness, wine requires tolerance for an acceptable range of quality variation.
You know. The good outweighs the bad.
I’ve often wondered where the wine trail leads. I still don’t know. But … if it leads to a place where days pass with predictably excellent sameness, full of well-behaved lovers and tenors who sing each song as well as the last, well, count me out.
*John Legend, All of Me
Photo borrowed from www.maremma-tuscany.com