Time for another Monthly Wine Writing challenge ! This month, the theme, chosen by last month’s winner, the lovely SAHMmelier is : Devotion
I have to say I struggled with this one and it ended up being a little more introspective than I thought. I hope you can still enjoy it. Here it is, my wine devotion story : Why is the wine gone?
I hate that word. I do not understand it, thus I have to hate it. Love I get, at least I think I do. I mean I read about it in books, that makes me an expert, right? I get it, I understand it. Love is giving and receiving, an exchange, something that makes two people more than the sum of their parts. Love is good, love is right, love works.
Devotion is unhealthy, at least in the relationship acceptance of the word. If you take it in the religious sense, then yes, I get it. Faith, sacrifice, devotion, giving yourself up for a higher purpose, it’s the essence of religion.
Hopelessly devoted to you. Sure… She ends up getting him in the movie, he’s the one that she wants (ooh,ooh,ooh, honey) and, at the end, they go together (Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong). I guess it was not as hopeless as she thought after all. Hopelessly devoted. Right…
Fake bitterness and mandatory snarkyness aside, devotion is a tough subject for me. I’m a reasonably selfish and self-centered person. I love my family, I love my friends, I love wine, but I am not devoted to them. My sole purpose in life is not to be a lover, a brother, a son, a friend; it is to be all those things at once while remaining an actual person, a functioning individual with a sense of identity.
And that is where the connection to wine comes in. I love wine, I study it, I devote (ah ah) a sizable amount of my free time to it, but it does not consume me. It is actually the other way around, I consume wine, literally. In a way, I like to think that wine is devoted to me. After all, once I drink it, it ceases to exists, except as a memory in my mind or, possibly, as a post on my blog. Wine I drank has literally given itself to me, soul and body.
This is particularly true for rare, older wines. Each time you drink one bottle of a rare vintage, the world ends up one bottle closer to the extinction of this particular wine. It reminds me of one of the most fantastic tastings I ever did. It was 3 years ago, at my college alumni wine club. All wines at this event were top-shelf Burgundies, and we finished the evening with a Corton-Charlemagne from 1981.
It was superb. I remember being actually moved by this wine. I remember pear on my tongue, filling my entire mouth. It was beautiful. And then it was over, and the bottle was gone, one step closer to going the way of the dinosaurs. I remember being sad once my glass was empty. Something beautiful was gone and yes, they can make some more, but it will not be quite the same.
Heraclitus said “You do not step twice into the same river.” And that is true about wine; you cannot have the same wine twice. Like a child when his pet dies I felt loss and above all lack of comprehension. Why? Why is the wine gone? That wine gave itself to me, all the flavors, all the smells, all the years spent in the bottle just gone in five or six wonderful sips.
I know it will sound silly, but I will go to my grave saying that this bottle of Corton-Charlemagne was devoted to me. And you can’t tell me otherwise.