Written on 14-07-2015 by Jelena Bulum, Zagreb, Croatia
This is the third part of my report on Dalmacija Wine Expo 2015 and I’ll be dedicating that to the encounter with the first wine philosopher I met in person.
That kind gentleman was speaking so smoothly, eloquently and memorably that his words went directly into my heart and made me thoroughly re-consider my way of thinking about the wine!
The name of that man was Darko Petrović Skradinjanac. He was sitting at the stand of wines from the Bibich vinery. I approached the stand with the intention of tasting some wines and to learn a few notes about them. I had to start the conversation somehow so I asked Mr. Petrović to show me the best wine they had and consequently to give me some food suggestions. Now I know I did it all wrong.
The man didn’t seem to like my questions and he was looking at me suspiciously. Soon I realized I was not going to be given any answer, but I didn’t realize yet I would be given much more than I expected. At that moment I couldn’t possibly imagine that two questions, which I perceive now as trivial, would provoke such a complex answer which I bring you here entirely.
Let me remind you of the questions: “What is the best wine you brought at DWE 2015?” and “Which food you would pair it with?” In a good deconstructionist manner he gave me an answer which taught me that wine can only be approached with humiliation and open mind. Formal categories do not apply when it comes to wine and classical scholars will hardly be able to understand its essence unless they switch to thinking beyond the box.
Now I will give the word to the main protagonist of the story, Mr. Petrović, asking you to reflect and make conclusions for yourself:
There is lot of prejudice when it comes to wine and food pairing. The greatest prejudice of all is that people take it for granted and as something that should necessarily be done. It is absolutely unacceptable to trivialize two great entities such as food and wine through cheap forms. If you do this you will get entrapped into the web of prejudice from which you will never get out. Instead, wine and food are two open worlds which tend to be explored by an open mind. Food, on one hand, is a natural platform which helps us maintain our energetic balance. The wine, on the other hand, is a structure which helps us process our spiritual reality. I will come to that later but it is important to remember that our empirical knowledge is completely insufficient to determine the values of these two entities.
The phenomena of wine ask for spontaneity in order to achieve the highest degree of pleasure in drinking wine. This means that empirical knowledge of wine is secondary. You don’t have to know anything about the wine to feel its impact. Moreover, the less you know about wine the more you will get affected. But only in one condition: you have to be good and honest person. Villains will never be able to experience the full dimension of wine. If this was possible, wine wouldn’t have existed. This is what I call thinking according to the wine principle.
My reflexions are fully compatible with Alen Bibic’s philosophy of wine making. His wine charisma is largely due to the fact that he got involved in the world of wine as a very young 4-year-old boy. In the origin of Alen’s approach to wine is his belief that the whole nature in itself could be concentrated in a grape berry. The attempt of conventional market to define wine using physical and chemical parameters by 99.9 % is mere prejudice.
Physical and chemical parameters are varying and ever-oscillating process which, as such, cannot be realistic because does not contain continuity. It's just physical ever-oscillating and varying appearance. To be clear, reality is what has the continuity. Principles govern the world of phenomena.
Thus only wine principles are real which with the skills of winemaker are getting integrated into the structure of wine. Therefore, the soul of wine and the soul of winemaker make part of one and the same soul which by the principle of simultaneity or oneness preludes man to a higher level of consciousness, the purpose of their existence.
All those wine tastings and wine analysis as a definite state of wine do not actually follow the wine logic.
Then where the true nature of wine could be derived from? The true nature of wine is in your glass with 1350 wine components which have been defined by science so far and two-thirds of secret ingredients which still remain unknown. What does it mean? It means that whoever would try to reduce wine to physical and chemical categories would fall into a delusion. Wine is not a rational category and cannot be treated as such.
Just like a life on earth wine is a special gift. Life as a special gift is eternal and this eternity is innate to our souls. We cannot reach the eternity by mere reason but with wine we can. Why? Because the very moment we taste wine it twists our mind. Through transpersonal process we join the integration of conscious and unconscious and at that moment the physical laws do not apply. Suddenly, we have a feeling of connection to a larger, more meaningful reality and that’s the reason wine exists!
As Mr. Darko Petrović told me later his thinking was inspired by Bela Hamvas, a Hungarian writer and philosopher popular among wine lovers for his short book The Philosophy of Wine where he praises the rare and solemn moments of life, ease, serenity et cetera.