In these troubling times – with the world in such turmoil – spending all of my time and energy on wine studies seems a superfluous pursuit. Wine is a luxury good, not a necessity. And shouldn’t we be focusing on essential needs in these dark days?
The more I think about it, the more I disagree with this sentiment. Ernest Hemingway once said that “wine is one of the most civilized things in the world”. Like art or music, the role of wine (especially fine wine) is to broaden the mind and heighten the senses. Consumed in moderation, wine encourages noble sentiments like compassion and understanding.
“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world”
In ancient Greece, all major political and philosophical exchanges were fuelled by wine. During the great symposiums, where the fundamental topics of the day were debated, the role of wine was to get conversations flowing. “In vino veritas” was the sentiment of the time. And in today’s world, where racism, hatred and populist regimes are threatening to overtake us, it appears we need this social lubricant more than ever. We need to be reminded that we are capable of creating and sharing beauty.
At a simpler, and perhaps more fundamental level, we need the sheer pleasure wine brings. When I think back on my life, every celebration, every moment of happiness, and even the times of great sadness were accompanied by wine. At Christmas dinner, a hearty cheers with vintage Port. On my wedding day, a Champagne toast. When my father passed away, a raised glass of grand cru white Burgundy.
So if the world goes to hell in a hand basket, you will find me in the cellar with as large a crowd as a can gather, polishing off the Pauillac.
Who is Jacky Blisson? Read all about my wine credentials here.