The Generosity Of Sharing Wines

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - September 19, 2007
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The tragic and untimely death of a friend with whom I had shared many wines and with whom I had expected to drink so much more has had me pondering the things that make wine such an enjoyable beverage.

People’s passion for wine and their resultant hedonistic enjoyment of it is obvious. But it is something else that attracts people from different walks of life, indeed from different socio-economic levels together to share this wonderful fermented elixir. It is generosity and the demonstration of it that people gravitate to as much as the wine itself.

It has been my privilege to be the recipient of much generosity through my years of being in love with wine. In fact, without the generosity of friends and colleagues, I must admit that I fear I may not be in the position I am in today. Perhaps if I had not tasted and been exposed to so many of the great wines of the world thanks to their generosity, I may not have had the palate experience to become a master sommelier. Or if I had not had the opportunity to serve such rare and stunning wines to others, would I have been able to serve as a master sommelier?

My path has led me to countless awesome experiences with wine. I am blessed to be numbered among the few who have tasted the elite of wine whose names are the envy of the wine world. These wines not only command mystique and respect, but also ethereal prices that are beyond reach of most wine lovers - and indeed my own. They come from all over the world and in the smallest amounts. And yet I can say that I have drunk and enjoyed Romanee Conti, Petrus, Screaming Eagle, Montrachet, etc., through the generosity of my fellow wine lovers.

But the price of the wine being shared is not the sole gauge of generosity with wine. It is the willingness and humility one finds in the person who decides to bring and open it with you that shines just as brightly. You can see this light. It is the joy in their faces as they smile, laugh and converse over the table. It is their satisfaction as they realize the appreciation and happiness that you share over the libation in your glass.

It is through others’ generosity that I have been able to find the greatest joy in wine, and that is in the sharing of it - sharing that one moment in time with the wine. At that moment connecting with wine is synonymous with connecting with your fellow human. And this connection is what I will always remember. Adieu, my friend. I can only aim to be as generous as you. And to those who read this and have also been generous with me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Shared Favorites: Chateau Latour ($150-$750). In almost any vintage, it is one of the best that Bordeaux has to offer. 2004 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Grands Echezeaux ($499). Gorgeously spicy and floral nose with a wonderfully sexy and silky texture that seduces you until the very end. Lovely.

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Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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