Welcome to Fine Le Poisson Wines, where fine wine meets fine people.
Recently I was browsing through some wine magazine, when a page I came across that said ‘fine wine specialist’ made me stop and think. My first thought was simply that ‘fine wine specialist’ was somewhat stretching the truth! However, it also got me thinking about what exactly is a ‘fine wine’. It isn’t so easy to define. If you gather a series of expert opinions and you might see a trend, but get those same experts to specify individual wines and you’ll then see frowns on their faces.
We know what makes us tick, and it’s easy enough to say which wines we prefer. But what should a fine wine taste like?
‘Fine’ implies quality of the highest order, but just think for a minute just how subjective the term ‘quality’ is, and try to explain it in a sentence or paragraph. The dictionary definition of ‘quality’ includes the term ‘degree or standard of excellence’ and words such as ‘superiority’. ‘Fine’ is defined on multiple levels and includes the descriptors ‘polished’, ‘elegant’ and ‘refined’. But isn’t it hard applying them objectively to any product, including wine? Isn’t one person’s perceived quality different from another’s?
Let’s try to see what sort of descriptors we can use to label fine wines. The words used include balance, complexity, length, concentration, focus, typicity, elegance and (even) power. Some of the more flowery terms that tend to find their way into merchant’s tasting notes include class, breed, authority, aristocracy and polish. These terms infer fineness. However, to me these more flowery terms just sounds pompous. It’s almost as if some commentators think that fine wines possess inexplicable characteristics that are conferred through some form of status, and their classification should never be doubted.
Stay on and find out more…