‘Yeh. But I don’t drink white.’
Is the most common statement I get when at a wine fair or trade event. Let me preempt this by saying this is my first blog post on L’altre Vi and as a self confessed ‘workaholic’ and ‘busy-person’, I don’t have time for people who only drink red.
There’s nothing wrong with red, of course, but the world of wine is so vast, so unashamedly diverse and so very ‘ugh massive’ that it seems a real shame when people only drink red… and when they say ‘red’ what they actually mean is RED. Deep unctuous, smokey, blood coloured juice that turns your face inside out, will smack you on the head and render you unconscious.
For me. That’s a shame.
Life’s too short (I mean I’m only 29 and quickly learning…) to be stuck to one thing, be it a career or the colour of your poison. I guess that’s why as well as being a wine importer I’m also an architect, and a lecturer (like I said busy). As I delve further in to the world of wines, be it Catalan or not, I find myself fascinated by the complexity, diversity and soul that comes popping out of every bottle. -The pun was intended-. Much in the same way architecture interests me.
Unlike architecture however my friends tend to ask me relentlessly to comment and recommend them wines: ‘I’m having a dinner with mates, what shall I take?’ ‘I’m having Pumpkin Ravioli up a mountain,’ ‘Which wine do I get if I go for the grouse?…’ Ok, that one is not so common, but you get the point. If only they afforded me the same luxury when walking past a Herzog and DeMeuron building and asked me which angle they should take a photo, alas I suppose wine is by far more appealing, but strangely, equally as subjective.
Subjectivity is important.
So as I cast a frosty gaze up from the menu, perplexed, my usual answer is thus: Get the most natural whacky thing on the menu, or a tasty lager beer. Sacrilegious, I know. The truth is, outside of Catalonia my wine knowl is limited. Yes I can tell you all about the terroir of Clos dels Guaran’s vineyard, or about the meticulous hand crafted loving methods of Ignasi from Vinyes Singulars, or about how the icy winds were fended off by huge smoke clouds to heroically save the vines on Eudald’s vineyards last year (I’m sure there’s a blog post in that story); but that’s because I love Catalan wine and I love the adventure of exploring wines from other countries. So whilst I could tell you about the 2016 Rheingau Riesling Spätlese by Mohr, I doubt I could tell you about your local house white.
That isn’t to say however that here at L’Altre Vi I couldn’t recommend a thing or two, I mean if you've never tried Xarel•lo, then what the hell are you waiting for?!
Regardless, what I’m trying to say to all those people that don’t drink ‘white’, live a little. Drink some pink stuff, try some Cava, marvel in some orange (no, it’s not made from oranges…) but for your own sanity give it a go. Build up a knowledge, let the flavours dance on your tongue, surprise your friends with something weird, become a rebel.
Maybe, just maybe, after all that you'll be one of my favourite people that comes up to me with bright eyes, an open mind and a cheeky smile and simply asks: ‘Whats the weirdest thing you got?’.
I’ll high five you and we will be friends forever. Just don’t ask me to recommend you anything.
Drink more Catalan wine.