Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Wine at a Winery

You expect to get free wine samples at a winery, but I was given a bottle of wine for free by the owner.  After an interlude of hilarity.  I received the bottle after going round the back of the shop with the owner where he said he wants to show me something. So on our return, when he gave me a free bottle of wine,  there were a lot of winks and nods.

It all started when I confessed that I do not like Shiraz. Justin McNamee the owner of Samuel's Gorge winery, where we were closing a day of wine tasting,  continuing to enjoy the wine he poured for his visitors,  took me around the back of the shop and showed me the old vintage equipment as a way of explaining how pure the process is.  My answer being that “that purity” might be why I do not like it. Quizzically he stopped talking and waited. 

Well the reason I do not like Shiraz has nothing to do with the quality. It is to do with the taste and texture of wine. Certain wine resonates with me as an unique experience. Whether it is because of what I was brought up with, perhaps it transports me to another more happy times. Perhaps it agrees with my constitution, makes me feel better, happier, stronger more virile. Perhaps it is what I expect a good wine to taste like. Whatever the reason, some wine does it for me. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot does it for me. Other wines, especially the pure types of Shiraz, Pinots and especially the Zinfandels, do not.

That is what Justin and I talked about in the back of his wine pressing workshop. And the same attraction applies to people. After sampling some 16 wines and a couple of bottles of wine, a delicious lunch, talking was easy and open. We discussed wines and then people until the obvious distinction become less apparent.   I  feel a resonance with clever, adventurous, confident, slightly eccentric people. I feel comfortable in their company. Not all people have these qualities, but within this group, I gravitate towards the more unique. Selecting the pure wine. This is where Justin and I shook hands and he presented me with a bottle of tempranillo wine.

There are mini reflections of the whole. The secrets of life might be too broad for our brains to comprehend, but there are mini reflections, glares that we can perceive. And it is a stretch to even suggest that wine reflects life, but it is within our comprehension to understand that our appreciation of wine (or beer, or art, or music) is based on fundamental pleasures. Pleasures that are specific and tuned to who we are as human beings. Combining all of these pleasures together; from tactile to taste to auditory to visual and you can easily see how there is a dance of the sense. A symphony.  Each appreciation reflects your essence as a person. And because of this essence, these tastes only get refined but not changed.  I have a similar resonance with people. Old close friends that show up in my life still resonate deeply within me.

Johannes Kepler was convinced that the geometrical blueprint that provided the Creator with the model for decorating the whole world was based on musical harmonies.  He attempted to explain this not with mathematics or physics, but with music. And he was not alone. The harmony of the universe had been studied by Pythagoras, Ptolemy and many others before Kepler. The central set of "harmonies" was the musica universalis or "music of the spheres."

Finding, or coming across wine, music, people that are in tune with your harmony is not often. Shiraz might be a pure tone, but it is not part of my harmony. Welcome Tempranillo.

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