The Search for the Meaning of Wine

Call it a journey. Call it a pilgrimage. Call it whatever you want…heck, you can even call it a “calling”. I know I had a revelation, and the quest was bestowed upon me. Was it preordained? Perhaps.  Wine has bedeviled the days of man for quite some time. Someone has to comprehend it.  After years of cultivation the ficklest of fruit is still a headache.  Where to grow which grapes? Which soils are best? Do vintages matter?  What is the best method of barrel aging? Does biodynamic viticulture really work? Can you really taste the “terroir”? Where is the great Pinot Noir of Canada?

The list goes on.

So after extended, fulltime industry-related employment, a WSET-accredited education, countless hours of tasting, sampling, ingestion and meditation, I am sure of only the following:

That wine is juice….still or sparkling…red, white, or rose.  It may be clean, clear, faulty, fresh, crisp, dry, off-dry, sweet, inexpensive, expensive, premium, light-bodied, medium-bodied, full-bodied, pale, pale green, lemon, pale lemon, lemon green, gold, pink, purple, ruby, garnet, tawny, amber, deep, opaque, thin, thick, big, bold, elegant, inviting, cloying, heavenly, luscious, velvety, charming, enticing, attractive, incisive, sexy, sapid, divine, voluptuous, generous, racy, silky, coquettish, flirtatious, spicy, insouciant, round , rhapsodic, ethereal, esoteric, meditative, perky, organic, biodynamic,  vegan, vegetarian, culty, mass-produced, spoofilated, over-extracted, filtered, unfiltered, hand harvested, machine harvested, vintage, non vintage, fortified, modern, traditional, new world, luxurious, old world, mainstream, underground, hip,  indigenous, bottle-fermented, balanced, well integrated, hot,  oaky, un-oaked, neutral oak, American oak, French oak, Slovenian oak, mocha, oxidized, cinnamon, butter, yeast, biscuit, vanilla, chocolate, nutmeg, almond, hazelnut, delicate, acidic, harsh, tannic, smooth, creamy, austere, rustic, flabby, fruit forward, black-fruit, red fruit, star fruit, green fruit, blue fruit, yellow fruit, tropical fruit, ripe fruit, cooked fruit, stewed fruit, baked fruit, stone fruit, brambly fruit, dark fruit, passion fruit, red currant, black currant, green apple, red apple, pear, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, boysenberry, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, blueberry, huckleberry, loganberry, cloudberry, lingonberry, strawberry, cherry, candied cherry, sour cherry, black cherry, peach, apricot, banana, pineapple, sultana, melon, mango, lychee, kiwi, guava, plum, bubble gum, kirsch, fig, raisin, prune, orange peel,  roses, violets, marmalade, elderflower, apple blossom, cherry blossom, orange blossom, orchard, honeysuckle, sage, rosemary,  juniper, eucalyptus, wet leaves, cloves, ginger, hay, mint , cat’s pee,  grass, onion, dirt, bell pepper, black pepper, white pepper, asparagus, mushroom, artichoke, olive, pea, cabbage, garrigue, lees, resin, smoke, tobacco, liquorice, peppercorn, leather, wool, cedar, medicine, earth, cigar box, granite, chalky, pencil, flint, meaty, gamey, petrol, tar, rubber. Complex, structured, bitter, dense, waxy, tight, pronounced, plonk, vibrant, corked, blended, single-vineyard, village level, premier cru, grand cru, DO, DOC,  DOCa, DOCG, AOC, IGT, Grand Cru Classe, Superieur, Cru Bourgeois, dull, poor, acceptable, good, very good, outstanding, ready to drink, drink NOW, age-worthy, “can keep”, served room temperature, well-chilled, slightly chilled….

– Wes Kirk



  1. Well put… but what does it mean? I love that wine is juice that can be described in so many intriguing ways, and yet, it’s still juice, made from grapes, that is most definitely the best beverage to pair with any type of food (though I do like some micro brews now and then). Going through the WSET Diploma class myself, I look forward to learning about and discovering some of the more obscure aromas like mushroom, artichoke and garrigue(I don’t even know what that is!)… Cheers! Sean

    • amantivinoblog said

      thanks man…liked your site as well…liked the concepts your working with…”what exactly is a sommelier?” is funny…..well played, sir….good luck this year

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