Coucou, il y a quelqu’un ?
Hi, is anyone here?
Lately, it’s been so lovely and sunny in London, I just can’t stand the thought of staying in during the weekend. Last week I got to visit Brighton and today Sandgate, which is really charming. If you enjoy spending time in the countryside I totally recommend a trip to Kent (“The Garden of England”).
As one does, when I am traveling by car or train I enjoy immersing in thoughts and today’s was mainly about the question “Why do people remind me of wine?” Do you trouble yourselves with this kind of mysteries or am I just being weird?
If you wish to find an answer to the question “What is wine?” and you feel uncomfortable when asked to describe it, try to use characteristics of your best friend, your parents or your colleagues. Some examples would be “playful”, “robust”, “complex” and, why not, “pretty”.
Looks matter and this is why the first opinion we tend to express about people is mostly based on their appearance; the same goes for wine. The color of a wine can give you valuable information about its quality and age. A bright lemon color or a deep ruby will catch your attention; one can understand the difference between a youthful or aged wine and one with significant faults such as oxidation or reduction.
But as with people, some of the faults you initially identify, they might be easily repaired or overlooked and finally enjoyed. Let’s say you are in doubt about the wine in your glass being reduced; a smell of rotten eggs or boiled cabbage when heavily reduced or a roasted aroma, when in low levels. Have you tried popping a copper coin in the glass (known as the “copper penny trick “)? Yes, I just said that! Swirl the coin in your glass and the unpleasant aromas will faint and the fruit will become fresher and cleaner. The analogy with people lies with the fact that sometimes you are not able or willing to see past a person’s grumpiness or fatigue. But have you tried smiling at them, or allowed them to go through the elevator first? You will be surprised with the good outcome, because they might smile back at you! Some wine drinkers find low levels of reduction interesting in a wine and feel that it brings some complexity and character. You know what they say; “We like people for their qualities, but love them for their defects.”
Wines, when bereaved from oxygen, may develop some funky aromas; nothing that a simple decanting can’t fix. There are times in our lives that we, as individuals, also “need some space”. Here lies the analogy again, humans and wine both need their own space from time to time in order to develop and explore their true potential.
Sometimes you might need to decant a vintage port or a red wine because you need to get rid of the sediment that can make your wine look unappealing in the glass. Essentially, you are going to remove a part of this wine, in order to make it more presentable and elegant. If you were hosting a dinner party you wouldn’t want to stand in front of your guests struggling to pour wine into their glasses and making sure that the sediment stays in the bottle. Ideally you could surprise them with bringing a bright white cloth on the table, put a white candle on a candle-holder and light it. You can place your bottle on the right and the decanter on your left; hold the neck bottle above the candle as you’re pouring the wine into the decanter so you can see exactly when the sediment comes out. Your guests will be amazed by the procedure and you will prove to be an excellent host. The main idea is that you have put on a small show in order to enhance the idea of how exquisite the wine is. People need some help as well when presenting themselves. We all have our weak points but if we focus on our strengths, ideas and creativity, we instantly become more attractive and amiable.
Wine is not an art as some are claiming. It is not revolutionary and cannot change the world. What it is doing however, is allowing us to draw our moments of happiness with more colors. When celebrating, the loud “POP” of champagne makes the room vibrate, the wine on the dinner table brings us closer and for the devoted wine lovers it enables them to explore a huge diversity of colors, aromas and textures. You can discover the whole globe by trying international wines and identify which styles are more compatible to your taste.
Maybe it is easy to describe what wine is after all; a grand celebration of the extravagant variety of life!
What do you think? Do your friends or family remind you of any wines or vice versa?