What does wine mean to you?

Sour Grapes has recently begun sampling a lot of wine sent to us over the past months from suppliers who like us, work themselves into a passion-filled frenzy when discussing their wines or their producers in order to propel them up the ladder rungs for representation.  We sit, we smell, we judge, we look at prices, we discuss importers, their ideals, philosophies, etc. and then we repeat.  Then we talk about the smells, we bore each other with the profiles, packaging, immediate reactions, chat about our judgments, bitch at the prices, jabber about where these wines would fall in the market as far as pricing and we discuss the competition, etc.  We repeat with the next supplier.  We do this obviously because it's a business.  Without discussing any of these vital things, we would go out of business.  The broke, tired owner within me (we will call Sour) wants to flatten the competition by rifling through samples requested after hours of research to find that one wine that will climb to the top of any retail or restaurant group in light speed rewarding our plight.   As a result, we will be considered a serious contender in the trade here.  Everyone will be in awe and immediate, universal respect will be given to Sour Grapes when it's taken out on the street.  Oh and yes, we hope to make a little coinage at the same time.  To be honest, i hate the entire process.  There seems to be two sides of me now.  I'm torn.  The romantic within me (we will call Grapes) feels anyone going through this jive is truly missing what each wine is attempting to tell you about it's heritage, it's odyssey.  The real story is being overlooked by the relentless pursuit to ultimately retire in comfort.  The real story behind every wine is where its roots began.  Where those roots began producing buds and what family began to cultivate it in the place they chose.  What farming techniques and winemaking traditions have been passed down and what makes each of those secrets special are evident in each and every wine.  I'm torn.  Finally, I ask myself what wine really means to me these days?  It is obviously becoming a lot more complex.

"A wine of terroir is by nature, an ultimately indefinable, unquantifiable agent of memory. This is a curse for relentless rationalists, unrepentant pragmatists, and all the busy codifiers of this world, anxious for absolutes. And a blessing for the rest of us."

Philosophically speaking... 


-Jonathan Nossiter in his book "Liquid Memory - Why Wine Matters".