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On the Appreciation of Wine


Wine, like coffee, is a beverage that somehow inspires romantic tinge. Not "romantic" in the relational sense, but in that intimate, humane way that brings about affection in the queerest of inanimate objects. Down throughout the ages, wine has inspired all sorts of feelings, touching both culture and lifestyle. At least among those who know how to appreciate it, wine, my dear, is no ordinary drink; Least of all should it be approached ordinarily.

The origin of wine, unlike the origin of coffee, is still in dispute. All that is known is that wine was first alluded to in old Grecian texts and artifacts. It was first thoroughly recorded in ancient Egypt, long after the Greeks. And to the Greeks, wine was a sacrament, represented no less by an actual god, Dionysius. However, no proof has been found of wine being made anywhere else, and vice versa. In time (say around the first millennium), even the Chinese took a liking to wine; though they created their's out of rice and not grapes. But this only goes to show that wine, despite its source, is near-universal, even in the face of culture and geography.

Coffee spread by word-of-mouth.

Yes. Wine conjures images of rich snobs and bored housewives. This is all true, if only because rich snobs and bored housewives also drink the drink along with everybody else. Wine is for anyone with the passion to learn how to drink it. And why learn? Well, here's the thing: for every kind of wine there awaits a soul.

The first step to discovering your ideal bottle is in purchasing it. Be warned: wine is a Veblen good. Thorstein Veblen coined the term to describe how the desirability of a product will go up when its price goes up. In other words, it is expensive because people want it, and people want it because it is expensive. Expensive wines are priced in the similar way of any other brand-name good, for its recognition and reputation. One can argue for miles about the varied qualities of winemakers themselves. Truth is that it all boils down to a matter of personal preference. Bad wines and good wines are still outstanding; and an educated taste is still worth acquiring. What matters is that you simply hit the sweet spot in a connoisseur's refined taste, to know the proverbial difference, all the while having elbow room to retreat into yourself, into your own ultimate definition of "good" wine; be it expensive or cheap.

Oh yes, before I forget. Looking, smelling, tasting, and swirling wine comprise the rest of the wine connoisseur's method of judging. Look through your glass. The wine should be cloudy with sediment, or transparent with little to none. Then smell the wine however you like, from afar or with a deep sniff inside the glass itself. And finally, sip it, lightly, and hold it over your tongue. Breathe in a whiff of air into your mouth, awkwardly, as air allows the wine to get bolder in taste. Swallow. No, it's not over yet. Try to detect any aftertaste, whether on the tongue or the throat. And in the end, was every step pleasurable, according to your own standards?

And as such, wine is not a drink that is simply drunk, consumed, but held on the brink of the soul, and appreciated.




About the Author: Erik Gomez
Wine




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