“How would you like to make snowballs in the summertime? Or drive a big bus right down 5th Avenue? How would you like to have a ship all to yourself that makes daily trips to China and Australia? How would you like to be the Statue of Liberty in the morning, and in the afternoon, fly south with a flock of geese? It’s very simple.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from Miracle on 34th Street, where Kris Kringle (Santa Claus) describes imagination.
I’m not a particularly well traveled person in real life, but in my mind, I travel every night, all over the world, mostly to Europe. How? In terroir driven wines, we can experience climates and soils via the wine. That sense of place in a terroir wine can transport us to any time, any place.
For my 30th birthday this past November, I hosted a party for myself, and opened all vintage 1983 bottles, the year I was born. It made me think about what was going on in 1983, and how the bottle of German Riesling was labeled “West Germany,” indicating a different political climate, and I thought of the people who planted the vines, grew the grapes, harvested, made wine, bottled, and shipped. I thought about this for each of the wines I opened at the party that night, and how when it all took place, I was only just being born.
But even with young wines, while we don’t have to think about time (although we can when we compare vintage to vintage - see my Champagne Taste post on this past January’s UGC, comparing vintage 2011 to 2009 and 2010, and how spoiled we were with those 2 back to back extraordinary yet different vintages, and how it felt to face the 2011s in light of those previous vintages), we still think about place. Feel, taste, and smell the differences. Sometimes, you might even imagine you’re there, in a vineyard in Burgundy, or Piemonte, or Ribera del Duero. Is the wine telling you about hot summers, or intense sunshine, or the fog lifting off the hills in the morning, or iron rich soil farmed for generations of the same family?
The wines bring us on a tremendous journey of time, place, and emotion.
At Madiran, the customers will have the ability to travel via the glass every night.
I’ve been having such fun while doing my homework, picking wines that demonstrate uniqueness and tell fascinating stories. At any time, Madiran’s customers will be able to travel to the rugged vineyards of Irouleguy, the ancient vines of Rioja, the romantic hills of Tuscany, the steep slopes of Mosel - anywhere, really, if the wines speak to them.
I want to make that possible.