I have been ranting a lot about vins d’émotion and the importance of feeling and appreciating their hedonistic, joyful excitement.
As I get older I find this becomes even more important, with this impression surely accentuated by the current Covid crisis. I miss the opportunity to seek out these emotional experiences!
What are you missing most during the lockdowns?
The focus on quality – or should I say spending one’s time in a quality manner – is a tendency I see in the world today. One could call it a symptom of perceiving the increasing value of time and how to prioritize it – we just lost a year to the virus!
I see this quality obsession in many bespoke, ultra-premium brands – Porsche by Singer, Gordon Murray sportscars, and Leica and Hasselblad cameras. There are numerous articles about older, top-tier brands and products which speak of getting back to the essence of a thing and being involved and joyful, peeling away all the technical wizardry, pixel peeping, and PDK transmissions.
The same can be said in our world. A wine made using calculations, formulas, and optimized yields is the analogue. It will often give the expected – yet not necessarily involving – result.
Let me put it another way: I am pretty sure that the PDK transmission is great as an automotive tool. The eye autofocus on your Nikon is extremely convenient, and the 93-point grand cru Burgundy is probably a safe bet.
But to mix my metaphors, the 93-point wine does not have the same excitement as a manual Porsche, nor the sensation of the manual 35 mm F1.4 Summilux. It is choosing the obvious, rather than challenging yourself to find the utmost in energy and hedonistic joy.
Excite yourself, surprise yourself – treat yourself!
One should look for what photographers call the “Leica POP,” or for what makes you break a sweat as you battle the manual transmission on a narrow country road. Being one with your surroundings, being alive, not always being able to predict an obvious outcome. I prefer that to the good but rather boring 93 points.
This is the effort that will give you that extra hedonistic joy. And in that effort is the interest! Use that interest and energy to explore, and to share the experience with your friends.
One needs to explore, seek unknown producers, unknown vineyards, take risks. Let’s face it: Very few have been seriously injured by an oversteering pinot in a tight bend.
In these times especially, we need to focus on sheer enjoyment and living the life to the fullest. So get involved! We only have so much time!