Wine For The Senses
What are the moments you remember about drinking wine? Sure, the heady aromas and the first sip (not to mention the last!) are delightful, but are they everything?
When reminiscing about an evening, our senses take us back so vividly to moments that aren’t always found in tasting notes and abstract waffle. Some of the most enduring memories of a special bottle aren’t related to flavour at all, but our less considered senses, and it's through these senses that wine becomes art, and a night with a cheeky glass becomes an adventure.
Here are some of our favourite wines to drink with all of your senses.
You’ve got a bit of a special evening planned, and you want a showstopper wine to go with it. Yes, champagne is always well received, but conversations don’t begin at the pop, and you’re looking for chatter. A bottle of wine with an intriguing label, cork pulled, and placed centre stage, is akin to reaching below the table and producing a Henry Moore.
Your extra guest stands proudly in the middle of the table as diners marvel in group admiration and the customary “where did you find this then?” (the answer is Vintner). What isn’t said out loud is all the more interesting. Each of you has a private conversation with the bottle;
You look good.
Thanks, so do you.
Can I take a closer look?
Sure, just don’t spill me.
A great bottle has you searching your mind for a good memory. Your first smile is what you remember, not what you’re thinking now. You’re drawn in, and like the visitor to a gallery staring at a painting, realising they’ve been there too long, you’re a little in love. Time for a taste.
The Tre Leoni is a showstopper in more ways than one. The beautiful artwork by Jacqui Oakley on the label features a technicolour lion. Place this striking bottle in the middle of your table and watch the lion catch the eye of each of your guests. You’re being stalked, but you love it. Give in, and when the bottle is empty, it will be time to go on the hunt for more.
The Lifted Weight
Long days are heavy. Feet drag, time stops, stress weighs. Finally home, you kick off your shoes, grab a bottle of wine and sink into the sofa. You pour, still tired, and as you set the bottle down, you’re aware of the sloshing wine in the glass.
You swirl it. The feeling of centrifugal force (you didn’t know it was that, but now you do you can get that one question right on University Challenge that you’ve always dreamed of) presses the glass into your hand, and the heaviness of the wine lifts the day from your shoulders. A sip, so worth it, changes the feel of the glass, and delicious beads of condensation start to settle on the outside of the glass. By the time you notice it’s empty, your hands and self are relaxed and you realise you’re drinking Vouvray Sec.
The day wasn’t so bad after all.
Hearing something can stir excitement and anticipation. Like queuing up at a nightclub and hearing the thump of the music, or a classical concert where delicate violin are carried in the air.
Wine is the conductor of an evening’s feverish debate. It isn’t the orchestra itself, you need to compose your own group of friends for that, but the pace and intonation of the night is led by the sound of a great wine.
There is something magical about the pitch of a bottle. A bold Argentinian, Pascual Toso Malbec is often the maestro of scintillating conversations and good vibrations.
On opening, the sound of wine is low and full and conversation is slow to match, but as the increasing pitch of an emptying bottle rings about the room, the volume of keen debate is a symphony. Glasses clink passionately on the table between gulps and voices raise as the wine brings animation and intensity to the discussion. These are the sounds of an evening well spent.
All that stops you is the sound of the final drop, the spent composer and the sigh of the half-filled glass. But wait, there is always chance of a second act.
The joy of drinking wine, especially a joy remembered, is about more than just the taste. When you open your next bottle, linger on your less considered senses. It’s often where you’ll find the best kept secrets of a good night.