Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wine Transforms

The November 15th 2011 issue of Wine Spectator magazine… unequivocally the top North American publication on wine… featured a romantic journey through our personal Tuscan-inspired wine cellar. Susan and I love to entertain in this beautiful space. Imagine experiencing an evening of specially selected wines, accompanied by a dinner menu thoughtfully planned to elevate a tasting discovery. You are seated in a dining alcove encircled by hand painted frescos the colors of Tuscany, and completely surrounded by dozens of flickering candles. The air is filled with the sound of gentle music. Everyone is enjoying the moment, totally immersed in intimate story telling. It is magical, it is memorable, often resulting in the creation of a “Perfect Moment” for everyone present. It can best be described as being “In the Zone”. All senses are heightened… taste, sight, sound, touch, and scent… emotions stimulated by the subtleties of the wine, the warmth of friendly conversation… the soft glow of candles.

Back in January when I began cataloging “Secrets of Life” I listed wine as a potential “Secret”. Wine has many attributes. It makes us feel good, and has a history that spans thousands of years. Wine is an art form that expresses intense characteristics of scent, taste, color, and elicits passion from those who enjoy its culture. As I sat down today to write about wine, motivated by Wine Spectator’s awesome article on our cellar, I underwent a new realization.

Wine has become a fascinating and intriguing interest in my life. It is a source of joy and discovery. My taste is delighted by its wide but subtle spectrum, and challenges me to “Always Be Learning”, since wine encompasses immense knowledge, of which I am still so limited. Wine makes me think long term… what is the vintage? When is the wine peaking? How long should it age? What will I drink in five years, ten years, special occasions… and with whom? What stories do I have that accompany the wine… have we been to the vineyard, when did we first discover this wine, who gifted it, what was the occasion, the place… where did I buy it, why this wine, this grape, this region, this moment??

After all, is wine not the original “Fruit of the Vine”, with an ancient history that was instrumental in civilization’s evolution? It is most probable that man’s decision to cultivate grapes for wine making constituted an inflection point in history… a disruptive change in human culture. Man settled down to tend the vines instead of nomadically roaming from place to place. Wine has a civilizing nature. One had to wait years (four or five) before vines produced a harvestable crop. The vines needed care… pruning, staking, harvesting, tasting, crushing, storing awaiting the magic of fermentation. No wonder ancient civilizations thought of wine as sacred and used it for ritual and bringing communities together. The grape inexplicably transformed itself into the nectar of the Gods and in doing so, transformed mankind. Wine is truly a gift and an extraordinary “Secret of Life”.


  1. I love the way you describe the joys of sharing good wine with friends... and your wine cellar is phenomenal! What a perfect place to relax and share stories. Simply divine.

  2. "Wine transforms"- it does. In a social pub where wine overflows, some gets out of their comfort zones and speak their hearts out intoxicated. This just shows that the confidence wines put in people is the catalyst that exhibits their potential in public speaking.

  3. A sophisticated and intimate space...and not a bottle of Yellowtail in sight. ;-P
    The experience you describe has a jewelry parallel - individuals everywhere aspire to experience that sense of pleasure, sharing and celebration that you describe, and jewelry evokes identical emotions.
    Wine can be purchased from a few dollars to many thousands - and jewelry spans a similar range.
    Residents of planet Earth regardless of location or culture seek that experience and it comes in many forms, including grapes and carbon crystals.

  4. You see the tag line "Tuscan inspired" on some people's spaces and then you just kind of shake your head, but not here! This is just beautiful. I can almost here violins serenading just looking at this room. So wonderful indeed.

  5. The single photo doesn't really capture the true essence of this amazing cellar. If you are ever in Boston from "Down Under" it would be our pleasure to share this wonderful experience of "Tuscany" with you.