Okay, first post; deep breath, let’s go. With the risk of sounding like I’ve just escaped from the Sound of Music (blame my Austrian heritage) I shall start at the beginning, since it is of course ‘a very good place to start’.
Well, the beginning of Vino and Veritas is this: what you are currently reading – I know, you’re clearly very with times, congratulations to you. This little blog of mine has one simple mission: to de-pomp possibly one of the most pompous industries in the world, that of course being wine. I see you now raising a skeptical eyebrow, but I’ve never been able to resist a challenge, so let’s do this:
For the average human being – not that I’m calling any of you average (I wouldn’t dare) – wine comes in three simple categories: red, white and pink. And fair enough, the powers of observation are a wonderful thing. But, funnily enough, when the vintners are slaving away on the vineyards, working to concoct what they inevitably hope to be their best vintage yet, their aim goes beyond just making it a pretty colour. I know, shocker. We learnt to distinguish colours when we were two year olds, so perhaps it’s time we take a note out of Wine’s book and learn to mature with age (I know that’s more of a problem for you Boys, but I’m sure you’ll manage)…let’s broaden the horizon and let Smell and Taste join the party.
I could be verging on tool-territory now but hear me out: wine, just as any product that has been given time, thought and love, is not dissimilar to a form of art. It therefore deserves to be appreciated accordingly. Quite why in the past said appreciation took on a whole new level of wince-worthy pretentiousness I have no idea. But isn’t it time we set the record straight and give this grapey goodness more of a chance?
Stereotypes are a dangerous thing. Yet, ironically, we live in a world that is full of them. You might think that ‘dangerous’ is an ever so slightly ridiculous exaggeration, but I beg to differ. The Wine World is the perfect example of the perils of pigeonholing – both people and objects. I don’t think it would be unfair to say that for many, though they inevitably enjoy drinking wine, they find the notion of critiquing it totally absurd. And with comments like ‘ah yes, I’m detecting hints of wet stone’ or even ramblings about ‘racy levels of acidity’ they really can’t be blamed. However, writing off an industry, or even an appreciation of an industry, just because someone’s got a little over-zealous with the Thesaurus isn’t really fair, is it?
So here goes: an attempt to break with the status quo. And by status quo I mean ridiculous jargon, even more ridiculous adjectives and a weird affinity with the PH scale. To put it bluntly, I love wine. Admittedly 90% of the student population would probably say the same thing. Equally that same 90% believe it to be synonymous with little more than three words: ‘let’s get boozy’. True, it’s a refreshing change from adjectives so pompous they wouldn’t look out of place with a monocle and a deerstalker. However, ‘refreshing’ is generally in line with a cool, lightly sparkling water - not an ice bath, and the student approach is definitely in the latter category. So maybe we can find a happy medium? Vino and Veritas will be a place to show a little vino appreciation, but from a different point of view: a student’s view, a clueless view, an honest view.
‘Rebellion’ sounds a little exhausting, so let’s call this a ‘Revolution’. Vino and Veritas will be ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ about wine itself, the industry and all that comes with it. Embarking on my wine-filled journey in Bordeaux I’ll be going in a little blind and a lot daunted. I’ll be learning as I go, straight in at the deep end. There’s a huge amount to be learnt and I can’t wait to get going, so I hope you’ll be part of my adventure. This is going to be a boozy ride, so buckle up and pass the corkscrew.
Until next time,