Philosophically Wandering Among Wines

7 Merry Wines

7 Merry Mourvèdre

 

If you’ve followed the HRV blog for a bit we’re sure you’ve noted that tasting philosophies are never far from our hearts and minds.  In this instance our line of thinking derives from a combination of internal discussion and suggestions from a few of our fans (thank you for being attentive! : ) in regard to a tasting we recently posted about on our illustrious facebook page.  The discourse arose as the result of communicating staff consensus on a few favorites within a pool of  (all wonderful and unique) varietal Mourvèdre, generously donated by our friends and neighbors in the industry.  In communicating the consensus we took pause to consider whether or not revealing such detail might cause distress or offense among those producers whose wines did not shine as brightly among the majority of HRV staff present for the tasting. 

For us this brings up some important questions as to the nature of tasting wine in its relation to sense memory, its subjectivity, and ultimately the joy derived from drinking it.  A great power of wine as a consumable good is that its complexity of flavor and tendency to take on the sensory dimensions of its environment give it a unique edge in creating taste and smell oriented memory.  As examples, a delicious wine consumed within a memorable moment, be it standing in a river at sunset, or enjoying a meal with close friends, or having a profound conversation over a glass, creates a marker in the brain, and when that wine, or even associated flavors and scents are experienced in the future, the memory may spark and bring the subject instantly back to that wondrous experience.

A great part of the joy is that each factor in a tasting experience has an effect on the memory derived from it, and those memories are necessarily subjective.  Each individual experiences a wine slightly, or possibly vastly, differently.  Thus, as we spend more and more time tasting, making, and experiencing wine, it becomes increasingly difficult to claim “This wine is bad, and that one good.”  Because the more experience garnered from tasting the more concepts such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ come into flux (the subject of normative terms with regard to wine has appeared on the HRV blog before, check it here).  Obviously it is important to be aware of your own taste, to begin pinpointing those aspects of wine that most appeal to you individually.  Further, to use critical accounts and other professional opinions you trust as guideposts in exploring the wine world.  That said, it is often the subjectivity of an experience and the memories derived from it that make a wine special, and these aspects are hard to quantify.

The point of all this meandering is that by communicating majority preference in regard to a wine, we are merely conveying what is essentially the result of chance.  The wine in question outshone its cousins in that instance, but by no means would we claim an objective case for better or worse.  Each wine is different and appeals differently to different people.  If anything I think we would concede the objective necessity of difference and variety among wines toward keeping the world in general, and the wine world in particular, interesting.

If you have thoughts or experiences in regard to wine, or thoughts on tasting it we would love to engage you in conversation so don’t hesitate to take advantage of the comment section.  Thanks for reading as always and happy Tuesday!



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