Sunday, July 17, 2011

Philosophically speaking... Terry Theise in his book "Reading Between the Wines"

Some things that I wish I had said myself. Or not... but they have been said by Terry Theise in his book "Reading Between the Wines".
  • "If you want to experience wine with your whole self - not only your mind and senses - the wine has to be authentic. And what confers authenticity is a rootedness  in family, soil, and culture as well as the connections among them"
  • "Old world wines ask you to dance with them; New World wines push you prone onto a chair and give you a lap dance, no touching"
  • "Palate isn't passive; it is kinetic"
  • "A 'good palate' is able to summon the cinema type of attention. An ordinary palate - more properly called and indifferent palate - is watching TV with the lights on"
  • "To know wine, learn its elements deeply and deliberately"
  • "Wine is less about what you can grasp than what you can receive. Toy grasp it more firmly if you grab it less tightly"
  • "Remember, your palate isn't a thing you possess; it is part of you. You don't taste with this thing; you taste with your whole self"
  • "The greatest wines are the ones you can't write notes about because you're weeping, overcome with their loveliness"
  • "Blind tasting is the equivalent of playing scales; valuable, necessary, but not to be confused with playing music or tasting wine"
  • "It's not enough for a wine to have a passport; it needs a birth certificate"
  • "Balance (in wine) is simply the palpable sense that no single component appears garish or inappropriate. It is a quality of flavor that draws you away from the parts and toward the whole"
  • "Power matters only when you're planning a menu and selecting the wines"
  • "Concentration matters only after this question is answered: What are we concentrating? Tannin, viscosity, alcohol? Are these things we want even more of? In itself, concentration is merely an adjective, not a virtue"
  • "I take a dubious view of people who never had to support a family growing grapes and making wine preaching to those who do about living up to their purity standards" - OH YESSSSSS!!!!!! I so wanted to have said this one! But I'm sure I'll have opportunities in the future to quote him...
  • "Mosel Riesling is what it uniquely is because of the dialect it speaks"
  • "You want predictable, stay clear of wine"
  • "There's a lot we can understand about wine, and among those things there's nothing more salient than understanding the limits to understanding. Wine is bigger than us, and this is perfect, it is why we spend our lives in love with it; and if this is mystifying, then please, bring it on" - We could easily say this one all the time...Couldn't we?
  • "Wine that expresses its identity reinforces the value of identity"
  • "Wines that are made for commercial purposes and exist merely as products have their place alongside all such commodities: soda, breakfast cereal, vacuum-cleaner bags. They can be enjoyable and useful, but they don't matter"
  • "The value of wine, beyond the sensual joy it gives us, lies in what it shows us - not only its own hills and rivers, but the road home"
  • "Delicious. Who uses that word to talk about wine anymore? A hamburger might be delicious, but a Gigondas? And what makes a wine delicious? Can we isolate its elements? Should we even try?"
  • "Show me someone who insists that all taste is equally valid and I'll show you someone who doesn't know he isn't discussing taste - he is discussing himself" - So true.
  • "The moment we assign an absolute value to a wine, we have misled. And the more we purport to be, the more we mislead"
  • "Ultimately it isn't greatness we must protect, it is uniqueness. Preserve the unique, and greatness takes care of itself" - Amen.
  • "Grand cru lands are the earth's erogenous zones, some confluence of nerve endings that tingle at the touch of sunlight"
  • "If a decent taster can't tell a Napa Cabernet from a St. Julien, then the world has something to grieve, not celebrate" - And it makes it much harder to pass the MW exam... :)
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Esteban said...

Hi, I almost done with Terry´s book at this moment. I have been deeply impressed. Knowledgeable, balanced and poetic. I dont agree with all he says, but it is probably on of the best books I have ever read about wine and life.


Luiz Alberto, #winelover said...

I share your feelings about this book Esteban. It's not a matter of agreeing with everything that he said, but rather appreciating how he did it.

Mari Lynch - Bicycling Monterey said...

Passionfish in Pacific Grove has a great wine list, along with being named Best Restaurant of Monterey County by the Monterey County Weekly's readers. They pointed me to your blog.

If you're biking in Monterey County, visit the extra bike-friendly wineries participating in the HER Helmet Thursdays project--a project Passionfish participates in too. See "Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways" at the Bicycling Monterey website.

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