3 minute read
File under: Marketplace
We hold onto our preconceptions for comfort. For nailing that blind. For feeling good about what we are doing. For feeling right.
We dissect all of the whimsy and surprise out of the fruit from a magical piece of land by peppering the producer who shepherded it from fruit to juice and into bottle with questions like – stems? How long in barrel exactly? What’s was the PH? What was the temperature? How often do you rack the wines?
I have asked these questions, feeding my own ego with “I knew it” and “maybe the wines would be better if…” – but the inconvenient truth is that as experienced as one might be, you can probably never fully decifer the mosaic that is in an artisan bottle of wine. The pieces are just too many and too shape-shifting to really and truly know it all. So we lean towards preconceived notions, partially writing the script of a wine before the wine is poured.
Why are we doing that again?
I wonder if we as an industry have gone too far towards the tenured professor as the ideal. Where having all the answers is the goal. Would you truly follow an Academic Wine Prophet?
There is no doubt that science is present – geology, too. That wonderful interaction called fermentation is in itself a lifetime of study.
And yet, I still wonder what we are promoting – what it’s all for.
What we are saying to young sommeliers and beverage directors when the interview includes the first la-la vintages, what’s the ideal cost for btg, and what was your stage at Dujac like? And not, what does the art of table-side collaboration look like for you? How do you want to lead? What’s the wine you are into that isn’t everywhere? What is the narrative of a great wine program?
We will have to throw out our preconceptions to build the industry in a better way. Don’t focus so much on the brushstrokes of academic study and miss the whole painting.