Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Truth is in the Bottle

The Truth is in the Bottle


We are, I'm told, living in a "post-truth society".

Quite what this means I'm not sure - has the Orwellian nightmare become real? Has social media taken over as people's primary source of information? How do we know what is true at all any more?

A classic example is the first press conference by new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer who used the opportunity to berate the reporters present for publishing photos that showed Mr Trump's inauguration ceremony as being somewhat less than full. It was, he said, the most watched ceremony ever, despite the fact that it clearly wasn't. Comical Ali lives on!

Luckily, with wine, the truth is easier to discern. You just have to taste it. Don't listen to so-called experts, don't be swayed by phony discounts, don't look at scores from critics, definitely don't look at online reviews. If you trust the person selling to you and they know what you like, you could listen to them, otherwise you have to try it for yourself and make up your own mind.

Some people actually like being told what to think, it saves them the bother of thinking for themselves, but most of us, I believe, find it empowering to form our own opinions, especially about something as unimportant as wine.

Taste is subjective and I honestly believe that our mood, our surroundings, the company, the food and many other factors have a huge part to play in how wine tastes on any given day. People often talk about having a lovely wine on holidays, taking it home and it doesn't taste as quite as lovely. They say the wine doesn't travel. Unfortunately, it is more a case that they themselves have travelled - from a sunny terrace in the south of France back to damp and drizzly Ireland. The poor wine hasn't a chance!

There are things you can do to give the wine the best chance to express itself - serve it at the right temperature, use decent glassware, serve it with food etc - but there are times when wines will taste better than others. And that is even before we get into a discussion about the merits or otherwise of the biodynamic calendar and its effects on how wine tastes.

So, I urge you to treat wine like people - try to leave your prejudices to one side, be open to new grape varieties and regions, knowing that, though different, they just might open you up to a whole new world. Be open-minded, taste, think and then taste again. Go for quality, not quantity. Think about what you drink.

And then avoid the ones you don't like.

The truth is in the bottle.









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