More I write about wine I learn there is no true destination for it. That is, its story continues after the bottle’s emptied. But more than that, we keep learning about wine. The puddled entity proves to be a tireless pursuit and exploration. Last night, sipping the Stryker Tannat, I was taught not just about the varietal I was sipping and its vintage, its soil, but about my familiarity with wine itself— that I’m always going to be learning, searching. Even if I’m to taste again, or “revisit” as so many say, a wine I’ve already sipped I’m sipping it as it’s aging, growing, as it’s assumed new characteristics and voices. Anything entailing passion is a lifelong learning run. You record your findings as a writer of wine— or rather, trap your musings and reactions. And when I’m no longer here, someone somewhere will read my jots and be somehow affected by them, minutely or massively.
Even before I started to drink wine, or was legally able, I was part of its story and timeless jaunt. Driving up that cliffside to Ridge’s property above Cupertino, looking down at the canyon then up to where we were going. True, we reached a destination, but that memory is still shimmying in my cogitation today. And sharing it with you, or someone else, the memory and my story keeps rippling in the collective conversational pond. This morning driving to Dry Creek, here at Dutcher Crossing Winery where I’m writing this very sentence, I reached maybe a physical destination, but that is overshadowed loudly by my appreciation of the vineyards surround me, the wine I earlier tasted before opening at 11:00. Sipping what I did last night, the Tannat among other bottles, I just went over and over in my head what wine was to me, is to me, where I am in my wine writing life and where I’m going… I don’t need to be ‘going’ anywhere, I just need to be going. Keep moving, keep exploring. Wine is life, a winemaker I know says. And yes, life ends. But, the significant signature that life made is ceaseless.
You may see where I’m going with this, then again you might not. But, I don’t believe wine is about the quantification of really anything, especially distance or time, existence. Wine is immune to what confines us as humans. Hegel noted that “Whatever is reasonable is true, and whatever is true is reasonable.” Destination’s concept of not being in wine’s theoretical makeup is only a sliver of what I’m try to convey, though it is rather reasonable. What is true, is that wine is meant to punctuate and electrify in movement, in forward dashes… not stalls or stops. Yes, sometimes a wine may go through a bit of a funk, or stall in how it tastes, but that’s part of its evolution— the forward. Additionally, last night’s Tannat, aside from being the star in the Foley wines I brought home, taught me again to think with the wine, not about it. If wine does have a destination, it’s us— the sippers. But even still, we remember it. We, or writers like me, keep thinking about it. It’s more than an ‘it’, being part of us. Even if we were to never talk about it again, wine’s imprint is immune to closure.