When I started writing about wine, circa 2011-2012 my idea was to find a medium to channel my passion for wine & food. Like a new relationship, everything was new and perfect. I was in love with the image of the wine writer: free tasting, wine samples and the glamour of wine travels. In fact, my ego went to the roof and viewed myself as better than the common man. My writings and the praise from my colleagues fueled this being inside me. I wanted to compete and become better. I was very ambitious and got what I always wanted: Free wine travels and wine bottles, spotlight on the media, etc..
As the years passed, this enchantment started to wear off. There was something not quite right in the air. I could not pinpoint it with my finger and was starting to doubt if I could make a proper contribution in my practice. Everything was becoming repetitive and found myself talking about the same wines in theme cycles like the rest of my colleagues. My creative voice was asphyxiating and this was getting me sick. The event that saved me was the discovery of natural wine. This was the seed of a new vision for my practice.
As time passed, I started to realize the cynicism of my local wine industry in Quebec and the rest of Canada. I realized that I was a pawn of the industry, censored by the diktat of the wine importers, PR agencies and the liquor monopolies such as the SAQ and LCBO. Quickly, I became an outcast because I was talking about natural wines and very fast, I was kicked out of the establishment. I remember the phrase of a good colleague of mine when I stop receiving wine samples: ” You are not anymore good PR material”
Separation, the pandemic and my new venture into Art studies have completely changed my outlook of wine. I will present you below a set of principles that have been simmering in my mind for a while. This is my manifesto:
- First and foremost, I am a wine drinker then a wine writer. If I dont love wine, I cannot properly write about it.
- Wine is Art. Wine is the narrative of a place of a land and the people that make the precious liquid in the bottle. For that reason, it should be treated as a cultural object.
- I am the agent of my own voice. Wine is not strange to the ideological apparatus of the capitalist system. For that reason, I refuse any affiliation with any commercial entity with the purpose of exploiting it for a deliberate promotion to satisfy the market taste
- I shall write about what I like and not what the market tells me to. Artisanal producers are always welcomed and wine corporations should go away. Please bear in my mind, if you are thinking about sending me samples.
- Wine tasting is about sensations and emotions as well. For too long, I have been a victim of the colonial tasting approach of the WSET ( Wine & Spirit Education Trust). Like an art object, wine should be described as the emotion it conveys not just the taste. This is more of a holistic method
- Wine shall serve as social cohesive, as a tool of bringing together people. Wine shall not be used as an instrument for social segregation but rather unity.
- Wine is above all natural and you shall not manipulate it to strip its true aesthetic qualities.
- I recognize that the old and new world has been a reference for the production of wine. However, for far too long, they have imposed an ideal that prevents new avant garde expressions or visions of wine.
- Wine shall be consumed in the table and along with other art objects. You shall not disrepect wine by consuming it along popular mediums of culture
- Wine is liquid poetry and it makes you alive.