Charms of the Never-purchased Wine
The secret of a great wine taster is not as most people imagine, his reputed olfactory memory; it’s his curiosity.
Because it’s curiosity that keeps taste alive
It urges you to compare, explore, and venture. It awakens your own taste, but also your partner’s taste, as well as that of your friends.
Curiosity removes the wine taster from the beaten paths and makes it possible to try astonishing combinations. For example an evening with red wine and dark chocolate. What unites this unusual combination in your palate? The tannins that are the backbone of red wines, and also of dark chocolate. Another example: the growing tendency to value standard-based ethnic cooking more, as well as the birth of a new cheese culture.
The search for wine, or for the most appropriate drink to accompany these unusual tastes, allows for well-matched marriages, memorable encounters and also – as is to be expected – decreed divorces.
When I study drinking habits at specialized stores, bodegones, and supermarkets and roam the bottle-filled aisles, I always run into the lonesome person, the pleasant couple, or the small group stumped by the most common dilemma of gourmets: they all want to experiment, but without making a mistake in their purchase.
Without curiosity, the Gourmet doesn’t exist
Wine tasters with a touch of curiosity are the spice of life in the unfolding of social rites, in the consolidation of the modern culture of drinks, consumed with enjoyment and moderation; but that’s not all, nowadays they also look for pleasure, while keeping an eye on their appearance.
The curious wine taster exaggerates with what he considers to be modernity. He looks to the future persistently trying to anticipate it, to see if he gets there first. With the impulse of social networks and his ‘inseparable friend’ (the mobile phone), he sometimes forgets the past is filled with the future.
His desire to experiment, and in some cases, his burning need to ‘know it all’, nowadays sheds light on Wine and Scotch Whiskey, Irish Bourbon, Rum and Beer, Vodka and Gin.
This modern demand forces the bodegas and distilleries to ponder their products, brands, and styles. None of them will survive in the modern world if they can’t keep up with emerging societies, because curiosity is the main force pushing progress.
Thus, taste moves don’t stand still, and that’s why when the aficionado, the wine taster and the connoisseur face “the never-purchased wine”, they’re up against a new reality in modern drinking habits.
Drinking in the trenches
In traditional trenches, adults, mature people, and veterans are smiling, albeit, apprehensively.
New, unknown, untested labels show up in the market every month. Those who travel and have seen a lot, suddenly realize they have really not tasted everything yet.
Seasoned consumers are very much aware that Gourmet is a very important rating, an acknowledgment granted by others in social rites, in business, and in seduction games.
Those who advocate tradition in excess, live with the sensation of being at a frontier where, if they fall asleep, they’ll be swept away by the tide.
Observers of trends state that socially there is nothing more repulsive than those drinkers who constantly show off with their favorite labels.
In that bonfire of vanities, the second place in that ranking goes to those who insist on saying they have drunk “everything”. Suitably, this type of person pontificates at every get-together, without being asked to.
The weaker sex labels them with a phrase as weighty as a tombstone: “The man who always drinks the same thing, never wants to experiment with the new and unknown is, although he denies it, an extremely boring person.
Curiosity has always moved mountains, opened up new styles, trends and markets. That’s what modern society is all about. Nonetheless, the classical is always present as reference and support. Because excellence, because it is excellent, will always be in fashion.
Prof. Alberto Soria