By Osvaldo Nascimento Júnior
“There is more philosophy in a bottle of wine than in all the books.”
We are already experiencing the first signs of fall after a scorching summer. There was plenty of sunshine and beach to help us face this new year and eight months of Curitiba winter and cooler temperatures across the country. Wonderful blue skies, the breeze pleasant despite the heat that still reigns at night. We are privileged in our Curitiba as we pull up a blanket to ward off the cold, but not before we admire the wonderful moonlit nights, vitreous blue with sparkling stars in a splendid universe.
Wine is a natural product resulting from the fermentation of grapes, and as such is not manufactured and cannot be produced in desired quantities nor at any specific time as with beer or soda. Therefore, nature imposes itself on man, precluding market preferences. And of course the season certainly influences the choice of the wine that should be tasted. But before this, its important to remember that the seasons act on the dynamics of wine production.
The grape harvest occurs all over the world, regardless of the type of wine you want to cultivate in late summer, when the grapes reach maximum maturity. The harvest months are usually September and October in the northern hemisphere, February and March in the southern hemisphere. There are exceptions to the rule, of course.
“Late Harvest Wine” is so named because the fruit harvest is delayed until the onset of winter. These famous sweet wines are best served with dessert.
Nowadays, for the disciples of Bacchus, it’s time to start moving to the more full-bodied wines and spirits where the preferred serving temperature is about 18º C to go with heartier meals. Meanwhile, lighter reds are served chilled, for refreshing hot days with light dishes. After all, why would the Beaujolais Nouveau, the famous wine of Burgundy and the lightest of the red wines, be released in November each year, always on the third Thursday of the month? November in France is just before the harsh European winter.
Brazilian wineries release their Gamay wines (the same grape goes into Beaujolais) mid-autumn (so-called Easter Wine), a wine that makes for good drinking any time of the year to accompany light dishes such a seafood.
Light reds generally appeal to many palates, especially to neophyte consumers like Brazilians, who are already learning to buy their wines, thanks to the work of wine cellars in supermarkets and wine shops. Wine shops continue to assist even oenophiles and sommeliers as well as newspapers and magazines, such as the Jornal Indústria e Comercio, which recognizes the needs of this new market. After all, wine is geography, and its history is intertwined with the history of humanity, exercising its immense power to fascinate men. It has followed mankind in its path through the ages in its happiest moments, from the very first steps of ancient civilizations to the present time of great technological advances, resulting in benefits from improvement to its quality. Wine has become a worldwide phenomenon just as high gastronomy has because wine is a complement, the partner of the food — never the opposite.
We taste our autumn wine with poetry and joy for the new season, reddened with the profusion of “assemblages”, blends of grapes such as merlot and carmenère; Chile’s flagship grape, malbec, or Cabernet Sauvignon. By removing some of the tannins for white or rosé or sparkling, we can experience the fortés of Brazilian wines, grapes taken from the Northeast.
Today Europe cannot believe the Brazilian miracle: to have produced wine from the warm 8th parallel, from grapes planted alongside coconuts, and created the global award-winning Terranova, which can be opened by the sea or pool all-year-round in this wonderful country. To paraphrase a Bordeaux countryman saying, (land of premium wines), which is uttered as if in prayer: “Lord, give me health for a long time, long life, abundant love, work that is not too severe, but Bordeaux, always.”
The history of wine is something engaging and captivating. Wine was always considered to be a mystical drink to be consumed on special occasions or by influential people. There is no ritual, although we often invent one. However, there is an interesting revelation within every bottle of wine that deserves to be discovered. Therefore, I recommend you immerse yourself in this wonderful world. Unearth all the pleasures that a glass of wine can provide. Use all your senses, all your aspirations and, of course, always drink good wine!
To review some of my previous articles on wine, visit: www.icnews.com.br. Click on columnists and then Vino Vita Est.