There are things that must be done slowly, learn slowly, enjoy slowly. It is difficult because “slowly” is in contrast with our time, which instead is made of speed, efficiency, constant presence. But sometimes it happens that a voice inside, almost ignored, reminds us that we also have another dimension: wide, complex, cosmopolitan, … it’s a dimension beyond space and time that we know, it’s a dimension that contains everything what happened before us and our present to arrive somewhere else. What happens when we taste? It happens that we are forced to stop in an already unusual dimension. To taste you need the maximum of attention concentrated on a small area of your body and on the subtle sensations that we feel immediately and the ones that will arrive in a few moments. Calmly, but alert.
It is the time to discover slowness and determination at the same time. More and more often I meet people who consider themselves unable for tasting and do not contemplate tasting with awareness needs experience , time and repetition, a necessary practice, but when they do not realize immediate satisfaction, they get bored and decide to give up. I remind people, who join my events “I will not tell you about flower or fruit scents, because for the first experiences it is not easy to distinguish them and it must not be a good reason not to continue practicing, to explore until the first aroma becomes identifiable. Like when you learn to walk and you don’t give up even if the balance is unstable, so you fall down, get up and start again, tirelessly. A sequence that we will repeat several times in our lives, until we have motivation to see our dreams come true.
When I designed “The Wine Walk – trekking with the sommelier”, I didn’t consider all this details. I only had an intuition thinking that I would have liked very much if the same experience had been proposed to me, why have wine experience on foot? Because to know wines and people you need time for your personal discovery, time to perceive the people around you, both the companions of the group and the people who host you in the cellar. I am convinced that anyone who decides to visit a winery, more or less consciously is animated by the desire to discover a place and people and that wine is a traveling companion for this purpose. “Ci si viene incontro” in Italian means we come one’s way, with the precise intention to facilitate other’s effort, “I come to meet you” means “I make a piece of the path in your direction” to make you easier to reach me and vice versa.
Sense of smell
Immersing yourself in nature is the first step we can take to train all the complexity I’ve talked about so far. Enjoying nature implies the availability of “getting lost”, feeling fused with the landscape and the scents of the environment. Training our senses, specifically the sense of smell, giving them the right attention is in turn an experience that varies in intensity with time. We all have in mind the evocative power of smells on our memories and pages of European literature have been devoted to this topic. The power of smell is extraordinary, even if it does not come into people’s speech because it lends more to discovery than to competition. We should never forget that at the “origins” of our human being our olfactory organ had the precise task of distinguishing a food that is valid for our body from a spoiled food and avoiding it to protect our health.
A time that is not measured, but rather an individual time, what we need to fully enjoy an experience and that ends spontaneously, when we have made it ours and are ready for something else.