March 20, 2013

Appel on Wine: Natural wine offers 'spirit of itself'

By Joe Appel

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They can't, though their attempts yield important parts of the picture. But a wine made with less human manipulation has its own ability to transmit, much more clearly than over-made wines, that nexus of factors inherent in the place that reared it.

"A good natural wine has a spirit of itself," Rovine said. "Each cuvee (particular blend), each vintage, should be considerably different. It should have its own identity. This is part of why I hate talking about vintages in a broad sense, like, '2009 was a good year in Burgundy.' At least for wines of character, in tune with nature, nothing is the generic case. I prefer to talk about a particular wine through different vintages."

To approach a glass of wine with particularism rather than classifications is unconventional. To approach anything without classifying takes tremendous reserves of conscious willpower, a vigilant resistance, because it's not what the establishment media, corporations and marketeers have an interest in supporting. Language and consciousness arranged the way they are, it's often not even what your friends have an interest in supporting.

But it is what I have found natural wines are best at nurturing. Each glass a new opportunity, each taste a different moment. Some pretty, some not; some unruffled, some jagged. A tree, then another, and another, until eventually you become aware of a forest. Which is still composed of individual trees.

Next week, more from Zev Rovine, and more on particular wines.


Joe Appel works at Rosemont Market. His blog,, continues the conversation, and he can be reached at:


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