Monday, March 2, 2015

Rant: Forget Perfection & Love Flawed Wines

These are the words of Nate Berkus, a decorator, product designer, author and speaker. Though he was referring to design, the sentiment has much broader implications, and could be a truism in most situations. For example, I believe it applies to wine and I think you might agree once you give consideration to the thought.

Last week, I spent a few days in Atlanta, Georgia, attending the Design Blogger's Conference, which was presented by Esteem Media, Adam Japko, the founder and CEO of Esteem Media, created an exciting, informative, and fun conference. Though the conference is centered on interior design bloggers, Adam always adds a wine element to the event. In addition, many of the panel sessions have applicability well beyond interior design. The words of Nate Berkus.resonated with me, and led me to some thinking, considering how it all connected to wine.

What is a perfect wine?

Some might say that a 100 point wine is perfect, as there is no higher score available. However, that score is a subjective assessment, and different people would score the wine differently. The same person might even score the wine differently, under different circumstances. There is no single wine that all wine lovers would agree deserves a 100 points. Perfection is more an ideal than a reality. It is a goal that will never be reached. There will never be a perfect wine.

If no wine is perfect, then it can be said that all wines are flawed. By "flaw," I am not referring to the "technical" flaws which can plague some wines. I'm using "flaw" in a more general sense, in a wine's distance from the ideal of perfection. As such, we all drink and enjoy flawed wines, and we give little consideration to that fact.

I have never heard a wine lover say that they sought a perfect wine. Instead, I often hear that they want wines of character, and I believe it is a wine's flaws that give them character. Now, you might not consider the wine to be flawed, but I'm certain others might disagree. For example, the presence of brettanomyces, commonly referred to as brett, can have a negative or positive effect on the taste of that wine, dependent upon the amount of brett as well as the palate of the wine lover. Some wine drinkers have a low tolerance for brett while others enjoy a much higher content. The latter find that this "flaw" gives more character to the wine.

Think about your favorite wines and consider what they possess in common. I suspect that your favorite wines are those who you find most interesting, but which others might consider to possess some type of flaw. It is not perfection you seek, but rather imperfection. You want to drink flawed wines, to revel in their unique character. Perfection would be boring, and who wants to be bored with wine?

No comments: