Do you know how it is when you are enjoying a book and you don’t want it to end??? The characters become friends with whom you want to share years of enjoyment? The locale becomes home and you must get there immediately?
I just finished reading a book in which this is an understatement. Last night I sadly completed Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France.
I’m proud to call myself a Sommelier and a Certified Specialist of Wine, but after reading this book I feel as if I never really understood wine before at all. Oh sure, I knew a lot of facts. I had the knowledge of the different regions, the vines and varietals, the chemistry of how it all works. I was even pretty proud of my palate. But did I truly know WINE????? I’m not so sure.
Lynch’s book was written 25 years ago, and yet it all made sense to me. In case some of you out there don’t know, Kermit Lynch is an importer of French and Italian wines. He started his wine career with a retail store in Berkley, CA (which he still has), and soon realized he wanted more control in which wines he sold. Little did he know his career was only beginning!
In his book, he travels throughout France in search of new and perhaps undiscovered winemakers and growers who excite him and his palate. He takes the reader all through the fabulous French wine regions and introduces us to characters and wines we will never forget. Each named vintner he describes led me to grab my laptop and search them and their wines on Google. He does include some pictures in his book, which was very considerate of him since 25 years ago we didn’t have Google to find these photos for ourselves! I loved discovering each of these “characters” and also learning about what is happening to their wines and wineries now. In many cases the sons, who were very young men we meet in Lynch’s travels, are now expertly running many of these Domaines.
I am fortunate to have been to France tasting, but after reading of Lynch’s adventures I can’t wait to go back! I know that I will look at the experiences very differently now.
I also feel as if I finally “get it”. I will never taste wine the same way again. I truly believe that I was overanalyzing it at times, instead of just enjoying the nuances and differences of each wine! I look forward to my upcoming “adventures on the wine route”!
Thank you Kermit Lynch! You have given me so many new wines I desperately want to taste, as well as enhancing the way I look at wine in general. Even though we’ve never met, I consider you my new friend!