A First Course in Wine: From Grape to Glass. Copyright 2013; Race Point Publishers, NY. 224 pages. Forward by Mario Batali.

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An Ode to the Wine Echo

the wine echo:  the memory with perpetual reverberating powers.

the wine echo: the memory with perpetual reverberating powers.

Sometimes the echo is fleeting, and sometimes it’s more resonating, but regardless, a wine’s presence is a reverberating echo that can penetrate the most impenetrable of people, and the most impermeable of palates.  I’m forever humbled by the journey that wine creates – from the people to the places – and the echoing sensations that it leaves in its fluid wake.   The connectivity of something so simple creates unwavering power, immeasurable feelings, and lasting value.  The wines we enjoy the most in life are not so epic in appearance and prestige, but rather are those that create infinite pleasures trapped in time.  They cement in our minds the happy memories of whom we drank with, and where in the physical world we found ourselves.  Although our ability to remember with clarity eventually slows with time, the echo of that setting will never truly fade away, and will always play at bed level as long as our hearts are true, and our appreciations sure.

It brings a warming sensation over me when a customer timidly and hopelessly recalls a wine he or she once enjoyed – the one that “had a tree on the label”.   Ah, yes, the famous wine with “the tree on the label”.  While I have no idea which wine it was, and as I absorb the vague flavor descriptions the customer is rattling off when recalling how it tasted, I indulge in the echo, and partake in the pleasures it once gave them that damp starry night in the hills overlooking some foreign land I’ll probably never visit yet I can vividly see in my mind.  Although the chances of the customer and I finding the exact wine they once had are nearly nill, it’s likely the echo will lead us to another selection, and hopefully another reiteration of the echo.  A new echo that will take on it’s own identity down the corridor of our wine experience and carry the enthused wino to his or her next destination.  With tens of billions of bottles produced each year, and with quality making its way down the price point, there’s never been a better time dive into the deep end.  The louder the splash, the greater the ripple.  The greater the ripple, the louder the echo.

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