Wine Stories

I’m far more interested in wine stories than wine reviews, and I wonder how many people share this feeling. (Wine blogger Pim apparently does, and points to a couple of good wine storytellers.) In fact, I’m pretty terrible at identifying and describing particular elements in the aroma and flavor of a particular wine, which is probably why I so much prefer to tell a long and involved story about a particular wine than try to review it out of context. 

Don’t get me wrong – I can pick out differences between wines, and can appreciate excellent wines that are not within my preferred “taste”; but accurately describing them in wine taster terms is beyond me (and completely frustrating for my friends).  I usually end up with some bizarre colorful comparison, such as recently “This one feels like a sword – light, thin but strong; and this one a bat – heavy and … heavy, big, hits you over the head…”

This touches on what Jancis Robinson describes as the difference between wine reviewers and wine writers.  (Given my scant record, I don’t put myself in either category).  Of course, most wine bloggers are a mix of the two:  they admit that their preferred memories of wine are very contextual – there’s a story that went along with the act of drinking that wine; but they still write tons of reviews, which seems to be the de-facto activity of wine bloggers.  I personally skip over almost all of the reviews and head for the stories.  I mean, I usually don’t buy a bottle of wine without some sort of personal connection to it, however tenuous. 

I’ve ruminated on this for a while, somehow feeling a little less assured in my wine experience since I not only was disinterested in reading wine reviews, but personally had a harder time defining all the tiny elements of a wine’s “nose and mouth”.

I ruminate still, but what brought this whole thing to a head to me was the sheer joy I had while reading a Port story that says nothing about the objective qualities of the port, but everything about the experience.  From a yoga teacher who doesn’t usually write about wine (and nod to Amanda for pointing this my way.)

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2 Responses to “Wine Stories”


  1. 1 Jacob E. Trask March 9, 2011 at 2:25 am

    very nice post, i certainly love this website, you r unique writing style is quite a pleasure and at times quite humorous..lol.. keep it up,chow!

  2. 2 mauro fermariello May 12, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I don’t know if your blog is still running, but, if you are interested in wine stories, have a look to my blog: http://www.winestories.it/eng/
    I hope you’ll like it ciao mauro


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