Valencia and the human capacity to understand wine

Just a little update – I arrived in Valencia this weekend and Monday began courses of the enology unit of the Vintage Master. So far it looks like it will be a really interesting 3 months with a lot of great guest speakers and visits to wineries (including my first Watson stomping grounds, the beautiful region of Priorat, and likely even the winery of René Barbier – where I harvested my first ever grapes!).

Interesting quote from the first day of classes – my professor, in talking about the aspects of wine that are little understood, told us that for the moment, “the human being is not yet capable to understand everything that occurs within a wine”.  Interesting, I thought, because here he was making the comparison a bit to other fields in science, where 50 years ago we didn’t understand certain things, take brain function for example, nearly at the same level that we do now, and we just weren’t yet ready for it back then.  Maybe. Maybe we just haven’t looked enough (there are certainly, and justly, fewer resources devoted to wine science that neuroscience). But maybe it goes a bit deeper than that.  Science has certainly evolved over the last 50 or 100 years. We often think of science as concrete, static, but it evolves just like anything, based, really, on the modification and correction of previous conceptions and methodologies.  So this evolution, depending which direction we take it in, could help us arrive at a greater understanding of wine.  Maybe its not just the techniques that need developing though, but our entire mindset when looking at it.

Anyways, to lighten the intellectual load a bit, a couple of photos of Valencia :Image

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