Musings on Da Funk vs. technical “perfection”...

Signore Maroni, We beg to differ:

We would like to thank our friend Mario di Dievole (heir, caretaker and ambassador extraordinaire of a nearly thousand year old Chianti estate of the same name) for a wonderful feature in his cantina’s completely over the top large format magazine “Zolle e Nuvolle” (“clods and clouds”, a reference to Heaven and Earth): He asked several very famous Italian wine writers the bottom line question, “What makes a great wine?”.

Luca Maroni (an impossibly obtuse technocrat whom you would rather listen to the grass grow than have a conversation with) drones on and on about “the result of technical perfection, due solely to the oenologically perfect transformation of a viticulturally perfect fruit, is the universal pleasantness of flavor…Let them look for pleasantness, nothing else. It’s quality must therefore be such as to please everybody.”

Uhhhhh…Luke…baby…can’t you see that that road leads straight to Raspberry Merlot, Twinkies and “Kenny G. and Yanni play John Tesch…Live in Vegas”???

An opposing viewpoint comes from Luigi Veronelli who submits what he says is an “extract” from a proposed book on the very subject that has been rejected by publishers with no vision or courage: “to be great a wine must recount ad infinitum ‘the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth…’”

This actually repeats for an entire page but you get his point: While there is a great deal of pleasure to be obtained from things like dark chocolate, truffles, wasabi, smoked blood sausage, really strong espresso and bleu cheeses (not to mention Henry Miller novels, Kurosawa films and Charles Mingus or Thelonius Monk tunes), much of the point of these is the juxtaposition and contrast of familiar, “pleasant” sensations with bitter, smoky, earthy, musky, discordant and even shocking elements. In short, real life encapsulated as is: cinema (or vinema or musica) verité that communicates a sense of time, place and culture on a visceral, even animal level.

We have found that many the most popular wines in our store are the ones that 80% of folks LOVE and the other 20% HATE with no middle ground, an indication that they have real personality and a distinct point of view instead of pandering to a “universal taste”. And often, they gave a good dose of 'da Funk…

Cue Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings:


http://www.youtube.com/v/v5oWJEJBmxE&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0"

Nicely put, Roberto. Gimme da funk.

Excellent point, Roberto. Even with all the complaints one sees about sameness in the wine world and pandering to a certain taster, the truly successful and long lived brands are going to offer “something” different.