I must be honest—I expected many more well wishes after posting that old journal entry. Everyone is modest when they say they don’t want well wishes, and so I expected there would be a few of you who saw through my “plea for privacy”. But, I forgive and I forget. And I absolutely, positively wish for zero well wishes following this post.
Dear Sommelier Ferdinand,
It seems convenient that at your older age you’ve decided you know everything about wine. If you were to live another 100 years, would you still be saying you know everything about wine? -Paula
Thank you for writing in Paula. First of all—I’m not old! I appreciate your accusations of pretentions and your hypothetical science fiction scenario. And I must tell you—I never claimed to know all there is about wine; I merely claimed to know more than you. And that is the point of this column!
I am quite satisfied with myself, my wine expertise, and a majority of decisions I’ve made in my life. What I am not, however—is a complete master of wine. I am still learning, sure; but really, no one can be a master of wine, because the landscape is always shifting. Wine is tied to the Earth, and as long as it spins and breeds new life, there are new things to learn, new places to see with my taste buds.
Take this for example, two young reds from Winelife, a small project based in the Alentejo wine region just inland of Lisboa. I’ve gotten my lips around quite a few Portuguese in my time, but never one such as young and exuberant as in the video. To experience a new taste—a rich expression of Alentejo’s natural talents—is a refreshing pleasure that is tough to beat.
The host in the video above understands that an expensive wine as plentiful as the Sinless doesn’t just appear out of the air—even if it is so deep and lush after only four years. The host relates this to the lovely summers in Alentejo, as well as the artistry of the experienced cultivators. This draws me in to the location. Through this twelve minute, two-wined demonstration, I’ve become a student of Alentejo. An admirer of its wine, and a suitor of its traditional cheeses, smoked hams, and vast plains.
Most importantly, Paula, learning this has made me feel young. I’ve felt young ever since I began learning about wine—and don’t plan on stopping any time in my next hundred years. I hope this answers your question.
I implore you to see for yourself. Watch the same video I did and let the story of these unique Portuguese wines bring you back to that special place in your life.