May 1, 2013

Appel on wine: Our conversation shouldn't end with 'what's in the glass'


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Instead, we need to have the conversation. The Great Colloquium on Why We Like What We Like has to happen with us. With you. We need to be that room. Yes, the conversation starts when we pay attention to what's in the glass, when we drink and notice what we enjoy.

If the conversation ends there, though, it comes to premature death. The conversation continues and lives just as an evening with an open bottle continues and lives: when, lubricated by friendship and sacred intention, we ask the hidden questions and tell the secret stories.

After my Vineyard Revelation Moment, I resolved that henceforth when writing about wine, I would try to avoid subjective assessments of specific bottles (or "glasses"), and focus more on revealing the actual factors of production at wineries which for one reason or another I find interesting. (Not even wineries I necessarily love personally; just ones that are worthy of inquiry.)

As I reread that sentence, what I'm aiming for sounds exceptionally dull. But I don't think it will be. I think that by laying bare the backstory, I'll set up an opportunity for all of us to enter into our own creative relationship with a wine, with wines, with wine. We'll hear the story straight from the land, straight from the cellar, straight from the glass. We'll get ourselves out of the way, and then, ironically, gain a fighting chance of knowing who we are.


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


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