All too often, beginners forget about wine’s first act: from vine to bottle.
If there’s anything beginners should spend more time on it’s the life of wine before it arrives in your glass. In particular, you need to focus on the vineyard and the winery.
Let’s work in reverse to better understand the error of our ways.
Act III: Opening Wine
This is the moment.
The wine’s fate is sealed—well, unsealed. Its potentiality is limited to its surroundings. Beyond oxygen, the biggest influences are your mood, who you’re with and where you are.
The enjoyment factor is dependent on what is around the bottle.
Act II: Selecting Wine
The bottle is picked from a list, a bin, or your cellar.
It’s chosen for some reason. It could be a special occasion or it could be Thursday. This is the most boring part of wine, but it’s the part we obsess over.
We focus far to much on the wrong questions:
- Am I getting a good deal?
- Will my date be impressed?
- Is this the right time to drink it?
These choices are influenced by what’s on the bottle.
Better questions come from understanding wine’s origins.
Act I: Becoming Wine
Before the bottle, wine has a beautiful existence. As humans, we love stories with terrible beginnings. Like Cinderella, wine follows suit.
We love vines who have endured hardship— difficult conditions and persisting year after year. These older vines have seen so much, and they have richer expressions.
From there, the vines battle with mother nature to create fruit. More often than not, fruit we get. Thanks to the resilience of these plants and talented human intervention, wine is an expression of the dance with the conditions in the vineyard and of the vintage.
Grapes are picked at the appropriate time and undergo a transformation.
In the end, people turn the grapes into wine. Their choices influence what goes into the bottle.
This is the most interesting part of wine.
This is where your attention needs to be.
The Three Acts of Wine
If wine was written like a play, there would be three acts.
Act I: Creation – Becoming Wine
Act II: Sales and Cellaring – Selecting Wine
Act III: Enjoyment – Opening Wine
How To Pay More Attention To Wine’s First Act
Putting your focus on what goes into the bottle will help you enjoy wine more.
The best way you can do that is:
- Work a harvest
- Visit a winery
- Read wine books and wine stories
- Ask better wine questions
Shifting your attention to how wine is made will change the outcome of Act III.
It lessens the emphasis on what’s around the bottle and it makes you understand what’s on the bottle.
So, start at the source.
Pay closer attention to what goes into the bottle.
Sweet Wine, Sweet Life
On Tuesday, my Grandmother passed away on her 93rd birthday. I wrote about my wine memories associated with her on my other newsletter: Wine Insights.
Her life certainly inspired this newsletter too, and she reminded me of where we should be placing out attention.
P.S. – Thanks for being part of the first 50 Wine Blueprint newsletters. We’re just getting started.
I’m honored that you invite me into your inbox every week. And I love sharing the different facets of wine with you.
I’m looking forward to the next 50. Cheers!
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