Making the most of the Christmas break for me also means catching up on some reading by the fireplace. The book I have chosen this year is "Il vino capovolto" (The overturned wine), which was given to me by Bruna Ferro, an extraordinary woman in the world of natural wine, founder of Carussin winery. I was taking my WSET Level 2 when I started reading it, but I had to put it on hold until after my exam because I soon realised it was going to take all the things I was learning at class and pull them apart.
This bright orange book is a special Italian edition of "La dégustation géo-sensorielle" (The geo-sensory tasting) originally written by Jacky Rigaux, with “Other writings” by Sandro Sangiorgi, author of "L’invenzione della gioia" (The creation of joy). I am only halfway through it, but it’s so engaging and I absolutely love reading it so I just couldn’t wait to write about it.
The geo-sensory tasting talks about radically overturning the modern rules of not only wine tasting but also wine making, from soil through to swirling wine in your glass, including the glass itself. The key word is terroir - which is also a term that the author wants to awaken and reaffirm, going back to the origins of the relationship between mankind and nature, starting from the principles of ancient Greek philosophy to explain some of the basic dynamics of this fundamental interaction.
Every statement or reference to other authors is very well documented, mentions ranging from pioneers of natural wine (Jules Chauvet) to Cistercian monks. Every concept is expressed extremely clearly and the revolutionary aspects of this book towards the current wine world convey pure energy to the reader. When I read this book, I feel totally involved in the natural wine movement.
Further in the book there is a model of geo-sensory tasting that I am curious to understand, especially after learning the conventional tasting method through my studies. I won’t reveal much more about it now, but I will express some more thoughts when I finish the book, expect an update! Until then, I’ll leave you with a few key words and their definitions in line with the book - recurring concepts and useful to know. I hope an English version will become available, for now you can only read it in Italian or the original in French, so don’t miss out if you know these languages!
geo-sensory tasting = association of knowledge about terroir to appreciation of the genuine taste of a wine
terroir = the thousand-year old relationship between nature and mankind
minerality = the correspondent in wine of the unconscious mind, which leaves a permanent imprint that varies from one place to another