Does Wine Have A Soul?

When we drink a good glass of wine it often brings us thoughts, memories and emotional feelings. So what is it related to the wine which creates this? Thinking about this phenomenon, that we are touched by wine, raised the question: Does wine has a soul?

Drinking wine is the feast of reason and the flow of soul
(Alexander Pope)

Of course, the concept of soul is arbitrary. Physiologically there’s no such ‘thing’, but at the same time the soul is a concept that we all value. It gives us meaning beyond physical existence. For some it is a divine phenomenon, for others it is the sum of their feelings and beliefs – something to live by, something to cherish. So finding the soul of wine would definitely give us reliance.

When we go back to the spiritual teachings the soul of man is his inner core, his metaphysical essence or the driving force within. Or to put it in another way, it’s the life energy that functions inside him which you can’t see. For man this spiritual essence is generally associated with his assumed individuality or identity and his ability to be aware and to have feelings, which we refer to as having a subjective or personal consciousness. And to state that consciousness is in all things, or a step further, everything is in consciousness, might be a step to far in this article. So if we (for the sake of this article) continue with the principle that there isn’t consciousness in wine, what else is it than the physical wine itself that touches us when drinking a good glass of wine?

The Soul of Wine

One eve in the bottle sang the soul of wine:
“Man, unto thee, dear disinherited,
I sing a song of love and light divine
Prisoned in glass beneath my seals of red.

“I know thou labourest on the hill of fire,
In sweat and pain beneath a flaming sun,
To give the life and soul my vines desire,
And I am grateful for thy labours done.

(Charles Baudelaire)

As the physical wine itself has no soul in terms of a spiritual essence, it might be another metaphysical element what comes with the wine. Just like the metaphysical spirit is coming with the physical man. If we transpose this concept to wine we could say that part of the appeal and joy of wine does not purely come from its intrinsic taste or its inebriant effect, but from it’s metaphysical representation. As such we can say that the wine we drink represents its origin in terms of the fruit where it’s made of, the vineyard where the grapes were grown, other elements of the terroir like the climate and topography, but also the proces of winemaking and even the winemaker. If we consciously and mindful enjoy our glass of wine, these combination of elements can be seen as the metaphysical reflection of the wine, or in other words: the soul of the wine.

The soul of a wine transforms our mundane moments into beautiful encounters.
(Corné van Nijhuis)

As humans we have the desire to belong and connect, not only with the people around us but also with natural places. The most immediate and almost intimate way we can connect with place is through what we eat and drink, as the food and wine foster us in our own communal humanity. What we eat and drink is a way to experience the interconnectedness of us with everything around us. The longing for connection to people and especially with place, is something we have lost in the current world of industrialism, materialism and individualization which we have created.

Savoring wine with mindfulness and that slight sense of intoxication
is a doorway to experience the interconnectedness of all.
(Corné van Nijhuis)

It is the ability of wine to mirror the natural place where it was created and the expression the winemaker has put into it. This representation is the soul of wine, which invites us to connect with those places and the artisan who made it. In that sense wine can bring us home and it can make us realize that we are part of a deeply interconnected reality which we call our universe. So like the spirit which gives life to our body, it’s the soul of the wine which connects us with the nature and people behind it.

Good vibes!

Corné van Nijhuis
World’s first self-declared Vinosopher

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