Consider a tear

Consider a tear. [I’m referring here to the tear that comes from our eyes, not the tear that occurs in a fabric, or the sort that runs up the inside surface of a wine glass.]

We can describe a tear in scientific terms. But this is a completely inadequate, and almost stupid way to describe a tear.

When we think of a tear in terms of emotions, it is suddenly powerful, profound and often quite precious.

A drop of liquid rolls down someone’s cheek. We observe it and cannot help be moved. [The fact that we are moved by this sight says something of the power of empathy in normal-functioning humans.]

What motivated that tear? The end of a relationship. A bereavement. Disapointment. A cruel word. Loss. Or even profound joy: a loved one returns, a child is born, we see someone achieve something remarkable, brave or unexpected.

There is so much meaning in a tear when it is described in emotional terms.

What about wine? Should we restrict ourselves to scientific, clinical assessments of wines? Can tasting notes – lists of descriptors – capture all that is in a wine?

Or do some wines possess something more? Like a tear, are they better described in emotional terms? Do they have a significance that is impossible to capture in the typical vocabulary of the wine taster?

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