My Wine Philosophy
June 4, 2015
Sometimes I feel like writing this blog has elevated me from a wine lover and seller to a wine evangelist. Sure, in-store at La Vigna I can convert a few people to my way of thinking, but hopefully through my blog I’m spreading my message further and wider. So, what is my message, my wine philosophy? Secret Cellar regulars might rightly guess a vital element is my unwavering enthusiasm for new wine experiences – every month I urge readers to try some unfamiliar wine or reconsider a currently unfashionable spirit. I also believe engaging with wine should be an adventure that disregards prestige, brand names, price tags and snobbery in pursuit of authenticity and fun. More and more I feel drawn back to the essential qualities of wine appreciation: the stories, the places, the tastes and the people.
La Vigna’s free weekly ‘Learning to love aged wine’ tastings perfectly encapsulate this approach to wine. La Vigna built the first commercial underground cellar in WA and is still one of the only wine stores in Perth to sell aged wines to the public. Even more unique to La Vigna is our selection of aged wines priced under fifty dollars, available now thanks to my father laying down a good selection of moderately priced wines in the early nineties. For the past year I’ve had the privilege of tasting some of our considerable stocks with other wine lovers keen to uncover the mysteries of aged wine. Tasting any wine for the first time is a thrill for me but opening and tasting an aged wine amplifies this feeling because the risk and reward can be greater; the unpredictability of the aging process means any particular bottle could be exceptionally delicious or a complete dud. We have experienced this excitement throughout our tastings and the disappointing bottles only make the sensational bottles taste even better. As well as the delights of the new, aged wine holds the pleasures of the old – several tasters have remembered drinking the same wine 20 years ago, a Richmond Grove Cabernet Sauvignon1995 was one example, and it triggered vivid memories of that time. This is about the story behind the wine, not just of how it was produced but also of your associations and connections to the tastes and textures of the drink. These genuine enjoyments have nothing to do with the price or the brand of the wine. Instead, they are about anticipation and connection, which I believe are truly priceless. Tastings like these remind me that discovering more about aged wine, or indeed any wine, need not be serious or intimidating – it can be fun and exciting! You are most welcome to join us any Thursday evening from 5 to 7pm and experience it for yourself as we continue our ‘Learning to love aged wine’ tastings. You can also find out more in our previous aged wine blog series.
I’ll admit that my agenda is to broaden everyone’s horizons when it comes to choosing wine. If you’re looking for the perfect drink to suit your mood, occasion or meal, having tasted a wide range of wines (including aged), or being willing to experiment, can only help you make the right choice. We’re always going to have our favourites but keeping an open mind will mean there’s no end to the new pleasures wine can provide. Finally, I believe that wine judging and wine appreciation is an art not a science. Nothing an expert tells you is a substitute for your own experience and personal taste, and always adhering to ‘approved’ wines mean you could miss out on the extraordinary wine waiting to be appreciated by you alone.
That’s my wine philosophy – what’s yours?
Blog Mystery Mixed Dozen – Aged Red Wines NB. This offer has now ended
Price: $312.00 ($26 per bottle) featuring a mystery selection of wines featured in the Learning to Love Aged Wine in store tastings.
All bottles are from the mid to late 90′s and the dozen includes 2 bottles each from 6 different Australian producers.
Please be aware: corks may be a little brittle and crumbly, they may have sediment, and may require decanting. It’s all part of the experience (see above!).
NB. This offer has now ended