A Romantic Indictment

Accused of Romanticizing Wine

Last week I met with a member of the wine industry. It was pointed out to me that I “romanticize wine”. This comment has fixed in my head, so I’m writing about it to purge it from my thoughts. Today, I looked up the definition of the word romantic; the two definitions of “romantic” which could be applied to this observation include:
1. fanciful; impractical; unrealistic: romantic ideas.
2. imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure,chivalry, etc.

Wow. Is that what was meant? Are my views truly “fanciful”, “impractical” and “unrealistic”?  Yes, I do appreciate the story of wine, the presentation of wine and how great the wine experience can be – especially if the wine is really good. My attitude towards and my characterization of a "good wine" are admittedly influenced by the personality and passion of the winemaker.

An apt example of this, “romanticism” is my review of àMaurice Cellars wine maker, Anna Schafer.

“Anna Schafer is the co-winemaker for her family owned àMaurice Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. She my friends is the future of Washington wine… I was fortunate to enjoy an hour in the company of an intelligent, serious and passionate Washington winemaker. She's engaging, knowledgeable… With a background in Art History, Ms. Schafer also designed the winery label using her grandfather's signature — àMaurice… After sampling àMaurice Syrah and Chardonnay, I would say the winemaker has created an “aesthetic” all her own — reflective of the grapes she chose to use, her personal style, passion and perspective. These are not lazy, rural wines — but big, expressive urban wines, deserving of sunsets reflected off skyscrapers, fine meals in intimate settings and perfect for entertaining your cherished friends… The winemakers “aesthetic” encompass a union of skill, knowledge, experience and passion for winemaking — which is reflected by what is in the bottle, the glass and ultimately its final destination. After meeting this winemaker, I better understand her wine. An industrious winemaker, Anna Schafer makes her wine in Walla Walla, lives part-time in Seattle and manages to work for winemaker Paul Hobbs of Viña Cobos in Argentina! She speaks Italian and is learning Spanish… I highly recommend àMaurice Cellars and strongly urge you to take some time to visit the winery.”

What do you think? Does the definition fit?

While some of the imagery I used is romantic, it is also descriptive, heartfelt and sincere. If you review some of my other posts, I have also taken the time to research the subject of: Sulfite's in Wine.

“According to the FDA, there are people who are allergic to sulfites, but this is a very small subset of the population. The FDA estimates that 1 in 100 is sulfitesensitive, but for the 10% who are asthmatic, up to 5% are at risk of sulfitesensitivity. Of those, the ones with the most severe reactions are reported as steroid-dependent and are taking drugs such as prednisone ormethylprednisolone. See: William Bincoletto, Red Wine Headache vs. Sulfite Allergy.”

So, proof that my articles are occasionally educational, not fanciful, nor imbued with or dominated by idealism. By definition, I’d call them “unromantic”.

Two definitions of “romantic” which I would choose to embrace on this blog include:
1. displaying or expressing love or strong affection.
2. ardent; passionate; fervent.

Much better; I choose to write about my strong affections for wine and the ardent and passionate winemakers I meet. So, I may have a quixotic bent, but then I am, "Wild 4 Washington Wine".


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