The concept of “epiphany wine”, the one bottle that first sparked your interest for this beverage, really fascinates me.
I always find interesting that someone can actually remember that bottle. To me it seems a very “anglo-saxon” thing, something that you can experience because in anglo-saxon societies drinking wine is deeply related with becoming an adult.
People in these societies start drinking wine when they are deeply aware of what they are doing, maybe they had some cheap plonk before that they hated (it could have been a “delicious” California Burgundy or an Australian Port) and at some point they found something different, something that opened their eyes, and they do not want to forget it.
I am also somehow envious of this memory, because I have none. It would be great to say that my interest for wine stemmed from tasting a Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino, a Vietti Barolo or a Berlucchi Franciacorta, but it was nothing like that.
There was no epiphany, I always knew that I somehow liked wine: the Verdicchio and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba that my father used (and uses) to drink at table have always been pretty decent and at university, before being stirred towards beer by my girlfriend of the time, I often ordered wine with my pizza.
My career in wine was more the result of a process, starting in 2009, when I finally had to take my life in my hands and I had to consider what I wanted to do with it. It was not simple and involved analyzing what I was, where I was and how I wanted to live.
There is this competition on jancisrobinson.com that really tickles me, I have even written my piece, but I don’t know if I am going to send it because there was neither a single wine nor a single experience in my history. There was a series of circumstances, some of them very personal and others involving friends and acquaintances.
I remember some of the wines that marked my life though: the Cordon Negro Cava that I successfully paired with Japanese natto, the Tunisian Pinot Noir (Reine Didon) that I used to like back when I was single, the Painter Bridge Zinfandel that I was having when my wife told me that she was pregnant, the Henkell Sekt that I drank at my daughter first birthday, the Livio Felluga Friulano I brought on a memorable evening with friends.
There also are those whose name I don’t remember anymore, but that lingers like half-forgotten dreams in my memory, like my first Shiraz back in 2009 or that unnamed but delicious white frizzantino I ordered for my wedding.
So, I had no “epiphany wine”, that’s true, but I had many “small epiphanies” constructing and deconstructing my memories, my taste and my drinking philosophy.
The great thing is that I don’t know when the next one will be. Doesn’t this make life a bit worthier living?