THE WINE SPEAKS MUCH MORE THAN I KNOWN NEVER LISTEN BY CARLO STEFANELLI
Drinking a wine and tasting a wine are two extremely different concepts: in the first case you don't even know what you are doing, your hand grabs the cup from the belly and slides a copious gulp into the mouth that is immediately swallowed to quench your thirst or swallow the mouthful of food you're chewing.
The wine from the mouth passes us alone, without stopping, passes and goes like a thought of little importance and as such then disappears in the depths of the stomach mixed with the rest of your dinner.
Tasting wine, on the other hand, means concentrating all one's attention and senses on a small gulp taken from a glass held gently between two fingers, strictly from the stem so as not to heat the nectar, which rests in the mouth and explores it all to then be spit, not even swallowed. Yes, spit, not because it sucks, but because the ultimate goal is not to quench one's thirst but to enter a huge, immense, gigantic world in which, in the fraction of about 1 minute, the mouth and mind pass through a sea of sensations, scents, tastes and images that they are very far from where you are physically at that moment. I am not yet at that level of elevation to wine, frankly I am still in that phase of ignorance (in a good sense) in which I finish each glass and leaving the course of "approaching wine and re-educating the senses" I have to guide my wife because, all in all, my head is spinning.
We dip our noses and feel a myriad of perfumes, I travel in a multitude of distant places despite being seated on a chair, but it's still all confused and not clearly distinguished. I can smell spices, flowers, sometimes fresh fruit, sometimes ripe, sometimes dry, I feel ancient wood or leather and sometimes I even feel gasoline or tar but I can't clearly perceive what fruit or flower that wine expresses. I'm not kidding, I really feel gasoline, it's typical of a distributor in a great German Riesling, like the smell of cat pee in a good Sauvignon, for example. Not to mention the moment I take a small sip and turn it in my mouth. That is the weirdest moment because tastes are never "told" as such but expressed in oxymoronic terms such as softness or hardness, pungency or roundness. However, in all this confusion of aromas and memories of wine that I am approaching in small steps, lesson after lesson, tasting after tasting, I can tell a certainty: I don't like drinking wine, I never liked wine, but only because in reality I had never understood wine and this concept is clear to me already in the third lesson.
However, three lessons correspond to almost 12 hours of tastings and theory and, today, wine speaks to me much more than I've ever heard it. That liquid in the glass shines with a ruby red or an almost golden straw yellow, shining with nuances that I had never noticed and that could never be noticed in nature if not inside a glass. That liquid in the glass smells of everything, really of everything, all in a single exhalation and it is there that even as an ignorant neophyte I smell the smell of gasoline mixed with violet, immediately behind the scent of ancient wood that rises in the same moment together with the cloves. I was hesitant when Emanuele, my owner, told me that wine is an interest that blooms in no time regardless of how much you like it or not at that time.
It is a world too large not to find even a small aspect that interests you. He was right in exactly 11 hours and 30 minutes, the time I needed to realize that I simply never understood wine, never looked at it, never listened to it. If a human being with the gift of the word sits in front of a cold and inanimate glass of good wine, the most talkative is certainly the wine.