The last six months have been quite full for me. I’ve been so busy discovering and keeping up with life in New York that I haven’t been able to share any of my experiences, at least to an audience outside of my close friend group.
This, as someone who’s inclined to learning from others’ experiences, seems a bit of a waste, at least in terms of how information and ideas propagate through this planet. I am going to try to resurrect this blog as a forum for such sharing, with a definite focus around liquids which come in glasses.
I can tell you this:
1. I’ve been tasting. A lot. Much of it more for the sake of education than for getting drunk, but plenty of that too.
2. I am incredibly thankful to be working in this industry. My fellow sommeliers and wine enthusiasts consistently impress me with their generosity of spirit and general human acumen.
3. My life continually surprises me and I am simply in awe of the fact that I live it.
4. Much of who I am and who I’m going to become continues to develop (duh). I don’t know what the future holds. But I think I’m okay with that. Mostly.
Recently, over several bottles of memorable of grower (or Récoltant-Manipulant) Champagne, I found myself considering what wine represents. Obviously, it’s a beverage. More than that, it represents a year in man’s or woman’s life. Much in the way we all (hopefully) struggle to live our lives in meaningful ways, the responsible winemaker hopes to create the best possible product every year. Life is full of immutable difficulties and I think we would do well to take a cue from winemakers: do your best with what your environment provides you. You can’t change what happens to you, just how you deal with it.
There is so much human grace, struggle, fortitude, and spirit in every bottle of wine. I’d like to think that a well-made wine speaks to that, or at least acknowledges that someone was very careful with what happened to the contents; that the love of the winemaker and the grower for their craft and their land shows through with every sip.
Saying this is inevitably a sort of sappy, overly sentimental pap. I will support this opinion about wine even if it is silly mythologizing. Wine is a commodity, yes, but maybe it’s not just a commodity. Maybe it’s also a year in the the life of a human being. Next time you raise your glass, consider the fact that you’re not just imbibing some fermented grape juice, but perhaps you’re getting a window into someone else’s passions, struggles, joys and disappointments.