Today Fx, co-founder of Oé, tells us about his way of tasting a wine. From his beautiful pen came an ode to tasting that we let you savor...
"Tasting a wine is an art, some will tell you.
Some will put a whole ritual into it to open the bottle and prepare the glasses. Such glasses for such wine, and above all do not take glasses that are too open or too closed... Do not slam the cork when removing it so as not to produce a wave that would spoil the aromas. Pour gently, aerating the wine, but not too much. In short, we would almost reproduce a chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony filled with spirituality.
And then everything will change...
You will be told to take the wine in your mouth.
You will be taught how to let in a little air to aerate the wine at the cost of a sonorous grimace that everyone will try to make in the most remarkable way possible.
You will be instructed on how to swirl the wine all over your mouth to "understand the wine" (it should not be because of you that he feels misunderstood and has to spend the rest of his life with the shrink).
We will guide you so that the wine passes over the tip of your tongue to perceive the sweet aromas, the sides for the salty aromas, a little deeper still on the sides for the acidity and at the bottom in the middle for the tannins.
Then we will move on to how to spit out the wine by letting it "pee" between the tongue and the upper teeth, while taking care not to put it everywhere...
And we will end up qualifying it, telling it what we think of it, judging it like at the Grand Tribunal des Vins. We will put him on a pedestal or condemn him to be drunk by "the others". It will be placed in the category of "with shellfish" or "with a rib of beef". And we will conclude with a "Not surprising!" by looking at the label and pretending that everything was said there.
In short, starting with good intentions tinged with spirituality, we will quickly have slipped into a technical course in oral anatomy tinged with sonic gargles and sometimes with a few reddish and sticky decorations on the floor... all punctuated by the Last Judgment.
Anyway, I catch my breath...
I confirm that tasting a wine is quite an art but I approach it differently, with certainly just as much spirituality but a formalism, let's say, less technical.
I'm a big believer in "moments and wine" pairings as opposed to "food and wine" pairings. Don't choose wine according to what you are going to eat, but according to your mood, what you are going to experience, the people you are with, the day you have spent or the evening ahead. .
Good friends arrive unexpectedly, I take out a Beaujolais. A nice discussion begins with my father or my brother and it will be a white Burgundy. A book by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt alone by the fire and I open myself a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru ...
Some wines remind you of moments lived a bit like your Proust madeleine.
You don't have a Proust madeleine in your emotional memory? Fire-burnt marshmallows reminiscent of a beautiful mountain hike with friends when you were a teenager? Or a good tea and a nibbled brioche that brings you back to a magical moment shared with your soul mate?
What are your Proust madeleines like that?
So let your emotions guide you to choose what you want to taste. Then take the bottle, feel the vibrations that the moment you are going to experience gives you in advance, take the first glasses that come to you when you open the cupboard, even mismatched, even without a stem, even colored, and open the bottle with more desire than good manners, and pour yourself a good cup!
Smell the wine, close your eyes and think back to what it reminds you of, visualize your Proust madeleines taking a deep breath, and finally take a good sip, open your eyes and then look at the big smile that has stuck on your face !
This is the art of tasting wine.
Come on, tonight, I think it will be a good Côtes-du-Rhône , very simple, as simple as a sweet and quiet evening..."
Fx of Oe