In vino veritas

12:00:00 AM

I'm not a big drinker, and I'm not very picky with my liquor. I don't mind hard drinks, especially vodka and tequila, but I find beer most comforting. I like beer with a dash of Extra Joss so it tastes like Mountain Dew, but I'd take fruit-flavored alcopops any day. Lately, though, I've shifted my attention, as well as my funds, to good old wine.

At my current income level, I can't afford the expensive sort just yet, so I research on cheap but good brands. Again, I swear by Two Oceans, especially their Semillon Chardonnay. I also like Anakena Merlot, Lindeman's Cawarra Shiraz Cabernet, and Filus Medrano Malbec. I'm trying Yellow Tail, Luna di Luna, and Altano next - if they're sold locally, that is.

You might wonder why I'm shifting to wine. For what it's worth, I will always like beer. It's cheap, and it's comforting. But every now and then, we all need to be more adventurous, and for me, that's where wine comes in. Wine represents something that I'm aspiring for, something great, something out of my reach that I'm inching closer to. It's beyond the usual, beyond the everyday. This is my humble attempt to assault the commonplace.
Wine is an education. I read about it, and when I do, I pick up new words that I literally have to look up in the dictionary. Armed with theoretical comprehension, I push the envelope and try for an experiential understanding. With every whiff and with every sip, I challenge my nose and my palate to dissect layer after layer of tastes, flavors, and even textures, detect hints of grape, berries and other fruits, and oak.
Winemaking is the perfect union of art and science, of the subjective and the objective, and for this reason, the product of this process is complex, to the extreme. The appreciation of wine requires an open but focused mind (to receive the messages your taste buds are sending you), intelligence (to understand and translate such messages), and yes, sophistication (a precise, exacting palate that can pick up the subtlest of flavors).

If my affinity for wine makes me elitist, then so be it; I'm tired of apologizing for my indulgent side. When I was growing up, my family constantly struggled to make ends meet. Now that I'm earning my own money, I make it a point to set aside a small amount each month to experience the finer things that life has to offer, and wine is one of them.

Wine is made to be drunk as women are made to be loved; profit by the freshness of youth or the splendor of maturity; do not await decrepitude. -Theophile Malvezin


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