Every Monday, discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
Tag Archives: Jean Bourdy
Serendipity provides the lucky theme for this 13th Monthly Wine Writing Challenge. So, what role does fortuitous chance play in wine? Well, one theory thinks we can control nature’s chaos: biodynamics.
Logo DemeterImagine organic wine-making on astrological steroids, based, weirdly, on lectures given by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. I won’t bore you, but biodynamics looks at a vineyard as a whole ecosystem tied to celestial phenomenon and proscribes rituals to better enhance sustainability and produce. Intriguing…
However, bio-ists also latch their lunar planting calendar to a wine tasting calender (no really). 1st century Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder said the moon “replenishes the earth; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them.” In theory, wine lives, and moon phases effect it just like living plants. Now wine certainly evolves and changes chemically with time and oxygen exposure, but to consider it “living” is like believing in zombies: those grapes aren’t growing anytime soon.
But can this (pseudo) science really predict chance? If we can calculate and plan our pleasure: “today is a leaf day, I shall avoid wine for maximum delight!” does it rob us the joy of surprise? Can we control serendipity?