I recently had a minor spat on Twitter about the utter pretentiousness of some professional wine writers who use outrageous phrases in relation to wine tasting. The one that really riled me up was “this wine definitely has a sense of place”! Now, you might say that I’m splitting hairs here, but is a wine sentient, does it have a sense of anything at all? Of course not, it’s ourselves the drinker who MAY have a sense of place triggered by a taste or a smell, just as music triggers memories.
Personally I don’t claim any great expertise in wine tasting, but in 50 years of slurping I CAN tell a Pinot Noir from a Cabernet Franc and a Chardonnay from a Chenin Blanc. I can also spot a Pinot Noir from Burgundy and a Chardonnay from Chablis usually, and if the wind is in the right direction I’ll separate a Pommard from a Volnay, two villages next to each other in Burgundy.
But, philosophically the greates sense of place in my own mind is related to WHERE I actually tasted the wine, this is important, think local drink local. So, a Furmint in Budapest, a Gewürztraminer in Ribeauville, a Nebbiolo in Rome, a Ribera del Duero in Madrid …. I think you get my point. So, I’ll shut up! Enjoy my photos of a few very different places where I’ve slurped my way towards a sense of place, but the wine itself has no idea where it is!