As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The true face of enjoyment

It’s always refreshing to enjoy a drink in that old fashioned sense of the act. Someone might say, “Let's go and grab a drink!” or “Shall we swing by for cocktails?” In every instance, whether for a cold beer, a glass of wine or a great french pressed pot of joe, the convivial spirit of sipping, guzzling and slurping is one of my most treasured gustatory rituals.

What happens as soon as we start paying attention to what we drink is one thing, and once we build preference, then comes another. What has happened to me, and to many others in the beverage industry, is like any other manifestation of super saturated-ness. It’s beyond the it’s about the ice, the glass it’s served in, the garnish, the diameter of the straw and so on. It becomes so over-intellectualized that in the end, for those of us that can for a moment escape the self serving vortex of “the need for the best of the best,” we become oddly polarized. We become attracted to the minimalism of what is so often forgotten and, essentially, what is really the norm for most folks.

The other day, I received a text from a colleague, Eric Crane. He, too, shares a passion for “all things liquid” and, like myself, can be frequently found stewing over a crystal rim or a frosty Belgian brew. What I found most compelling about this text was the photo that accompanied the message. It was a photo of him holding a bottle of wine - a bottle that I would not normally consider to be the kind of bottle that one takes a photo of but, nevertheless, he did. And, in doing so, the message contained an automatic proclamation of its triumphant display of organaleptic attributes. My immediate thought came from me, "the beverage industry guy" and my second came from the guy that just wants a delicious drink and is inspired by those that, no matter what the beverage, can and do find the good before the bad and the enjoyment before the analysis.

So, today, I thank Mr. Crane for reminding me about the true face of enjoyment. Corn dogs and grape soda, iced tea on a balcony, hot mint tea on a really hot day, it all has its place right?

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