Memory and wine make odd bedfellows. We drink to forget, right? Those hangovers from downing two buck chuck definitely did not build more gray matter. That second (or third) bottle certainly wiped out a few evenings.
But good wine, hell, even just unique wine, can be a time machine.
Just today, while showing bottles to restaurants, begging them to buy anything, I opened a near-forgotten favorite: Aurélien Verdet’s, Le Prieuré, Hautes-Côtes de Nuits. This 2014 Pinot Noir costs $33. The appellation lacks prestige, coming from a soil-stripped, wind-swept, hill top in Burgundy, France. The best fruit grows midslope. But this little 10 acre Le Prieuré vineyard matters. It went AB Organic in 1971. Ten years later, Aurélien was born. He grew up tending it, inherited it in 2005, has grown his holdings, and continues to make brilliant things.
But today, while I rattled off those facts to a wine buyer…
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If you search the Internet, you will find plenty of references to the medical benefits of the moderate wine consumption – for your heart, blood pressure, cholesterol level, and among other things, memory. It seems that jury is still out on the wine and memory – some say it helps, some say it works the opposite way – I guess it depends on who pays for the research and researcher’s personal view on alcohol – oops, let’s avoid the rant trap, and so let’s leave all the medical stuff aside.
Wine and memory are connected on many different levels. In the most direct terms, mastering the world of wine will greatly tax your memory. Yes, anything humans do connects to memory. But think about thousands and thousands of producers in each and every wine region – the more names you remember, the easier it is for you to make a…
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I take a notes like a squirrel on the bird feeder – fast and and full, getting it all down before someone changes the subject. You’ll know me by my notebooks.
More often than not, however, the stuff that really sticks with me doesn’t require a scribble. My memory serves in certain moments where everything just makes sense, when it links up with something in my genetic code and delivers clarity. This happened last year when I met the SAUREL family at their fifth-generation domaine, Montirius in Sarrians, which is located near Gigondas in Provence, France. The name Montirius contains part of the surname of each of Christine and Eric Saurel’s children: MON (Manon) – TI (Justine) – RIUS (Marius).
Erik SAUREL and his daughter Manon share the story of making biodynamic wine in Provence. Credit: Jill Barth
The Montirius Way
The SAUREL family runs a completely biodynamic shop. “Our…
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Unlike the rest of the writers who will submit entries for this Monthly Wine Writing Challenge, I have an unusual relationship with the word selected for this month’s topic, “Memory”. I will assert that I am the only wine writer who has such a relationship with this word, “Memory”, which is also the title of the eleventh-hour song from the Broadway musical, CATS . Subsequently, it was recorded in the 1980s by every diva who ever had a hit record. Oh yes, it haunts.
Cats, on Broadway.A show I mixed over 1600 times.
Over 1600 times.
So when anyone says “Memory” I have a different reaction than you do… I pause, I take a deep breath, I remember some amazing people, and a show I worked on for a very long time, a very long time ago.
Then, I mentally compartmentalize, and then move on…
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I am certainly glad I read Jeff The Drunken Cyclist’s Saturday Reminders post this morning. In his post, Jeff offers an ominous warning that the deadline for this month’s Monthly Wine Writing Challenge (#MWWC34), is this Monday! The theme for the challenge this month is “Memory.” Had it not been for Jeff’s nudge, I may have forgotten to write my entry! (See what I did there?)How embarrassing would it have been for me to forget to write my post, since the theme, Memory, was my idea! As the winner of last month’s challenge (a heartfelt thank you to all who voted for my entry), I had the honor and distinction of selecting this month’s theme. I had originally proposed “Memories”, because I have many fond memories of many great wines, and I was interested to hear about the wine memories of other bloggers. However in a discussion with…
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