I drank hundreds of great wines last year and it’s impossible for me to single out one wine or experience or memory over another.
I shared great wines with my colleagues, complete strangers and close friends. I drank serious wines in blind tastings at work. I drank excellent wines on vacations to Waimea Bay in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Lake Louise in Canada and New York on three occasions. I drank wine at the French Laundry and at many great dinners in the homes of friends.
But as meaningful as those wine memories are, today my thoughts return to a visit to Manhattan the week of the New York Wine Experience. There in one day I toured the city on one of those red double-decker sight-seeing busses – and had a wonderful history lesson about that great city. Earlier that day I had visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), where a long line formed along the sidewalk, with hundreds upon hundreds of people eager to enter and view the exhibits.
As I joined the throng it reminded me of the crowds I’d seen the night before at the Grand Tastings. Today I can’t recall the main exhibits at MOMA that day – it could have been Van Gogh. But once inside it ended up being one of those incredible experiences, where at each turn into a new room another classic appeared. From my notepad that day I scribbled the following names as they appeared: Chagall, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Mondrian, Dali and Miro.
Could I choose which of the artists, or their creations, were my favorites? Yes. Could I say which were the superior works? No. And that’s one way to appreciate wine as well, as we move into a new year and perhaps a new era in our history. Great wines can be appreciated on many different levels. There doesn’t have to be a winner. When you drink great wines there needn’t be a best.