Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Sweetness of Holidays and Wine Judges

Today, the vibrant sound of the shofar wakes us from slumber and signals the Jewish New Year. Opposite from Auld Lang Syne, which questions whether old times should be forgot, the Rosh Hashanah holy day is about remembering and a day of solemn judgment when the wicked, righteous and intermediate classes have their fates determined. Whereas the righteous are immediately inscribed into the Book of Life (sealed to live), the intermediate class has ten days (until Yom Kippur) to become better before being blotted out forever, along with the wicked. Historical liturgy defines the day as when all (wo)men pass before God, but for me, the day is mostly about remembering the prior year with quiet reflection.

With the first birthday of my blog just passing, I’ve definitely been looking back on the past year maybe a bit more than usual, and aside from all the great lessons I’ve learned, I continue to ruminate over the vast array of wine I’ve consumed. Not that I typically indulge in delusions of grandeur, but with the Rosh Hashanah holiday, I’ve also found myself engaged in this silly fantasy where all the wines I’ve consumed over the past year pass before me again and I have to make a decision about their worthiness. In other words, I have to sit in judgment over all these wines. What kind of person really judges wine?


I am certain there’s more than a few righteous wines I’d immediately seal in my “Book of Life” (do I sense another Top 10 list in the works?), fated to live on and enjoy another sweet year, and there’s most certainly at least a wicked one in the bunch too. But then there are all those intermediate wines that will have to prove themselves to me, and thoughts of examining each of them thoroughly and completely for all their astonishing virtues and each of their remarkable sins is already stimulating my thirsty palate and hungry mind.

So, what kind of wine judge would I be? Maybe I’d be like Randy and say “Yo Dawg, you know I’m a huge fan, but I just wasn’t feeling you tonight.” Perhaps, I’ve a bit more Paula in me, unable to make anyone feel bad, “Oh, you have a lovely range of expression and you really stayed true to who you are, don’t listen to what Randy says.” I see myself more like Simon I guess, maybe a bit too honest, “I don’t mean to be rude, but what in the bloody hell was that?” Can you see it now? It could be a whole new series… “Wine Idol”.

A fun little diversion, but let’s get back to the real purpose of the day. Jewish or not, raise a glass of your best dessert wine (the one with the most residual sugar) and toast with me tonight: May the coming the year be filled with the sticky sweetness of apples and honey and an exploration of truly righteous wine. Shana Tova Umetukah.

L'Chaim, Cheers, Salud, Salute, Prosit, Skal, Gan Bay, Sante, Kampai, Chuc-dee, Zai Gesunt…

4 comments:

  1. Very nicely done, Tamara. I often find myself contemplating on where I've been and where I'm going. I think it is a good practice for people to do. If we keep doing what we've always done, we'll keep seing the same results we've always seen.

    Cheers!

    Josh

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  2. Thoughtful post. However, you left out the best toast of all (probably all-too familiar from my emails): Sláinte! :)

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  3. Well written and soundly thought out, in fact I wish I had correlated what we do with "Idol"
    because with every new vintage comes another round of upstart contenders, all think they are the champion and of course it comes down to has the most heart. Just like singers; wine makers need to ignore their friends and families when they say yeah that was good. Great job Tammara!
    Enjoy.

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  4. Thanks Josh, didn't know you were such a philosopher, but your words ring loud and true.

    Joe, I know, I left out a lot of toasts. Please don't take my omission personally. Slainte!

    Marc, thanks so much for your comment. I was thinking, sometimes it's not always about who has the most heart though. I've seen it happen time and again where someone just gets marketed a little better, a little more exposure and the public buys into the image. Aren't they all champions in their own right?

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