Synaesth-what?

I just read an article about someone ‘losing’ their synaesthesia. That it had evaporated with age.

Mine arrived as a part of an indefinable pain disorder. At first I thought it was a side effect of the morphine. And it may well have been but it hung around. It coloured my dreams and my memory. My sense of smell is vivid – as in, actually highlighted with colour. Cassis? That identifier often used with cabernet? Not purple. Not even red.  For me it is violet – and more to the blue end of violet. Eucalypt is clearly a dull gold. It just is. I don’t know why.

This alignment of colour and character makes judging and the writing of wine notes an interesting process. I need to dull my colours and revert to more “standard” terminology. A venue buyer asked me about a wine last year. I told him it tasted blue. Without thinking. It did. To me.  It really did. Luckily said buyer saw a blue fruit synchronicity and agreed.

Synaesthesia is a weird concept. My memory and my ideas are coloured. This helps me to arrange them and to recall them more easily. It is also utterly random and outside of my control. Wanting bright, new linear rieslings to taste a green/gold colour will not make it happen. They taste like a mandarin colour. Mostly. Except when they aren’t. I can’t dictate to the weird bit of the brain that does this.

It does occasionally force me to think differently though. To assess the flavour initially without an edit feature. Then to impose some of the more conventional terminology over the top.

Applied to the less conventional end of the scale, it is almost exacerbated. I refuse to use the term *natural*. Whilst I understand the original intent, there is no rule to define this magical term. Natural how? Or why? Is there a scale? And if so, who creates and monitors these definitions?

Not that I object to the styles. Or even to making the wines to whatever style a maker may choose. I would prefer MY wines to skew to a vibrancy defined by careful vineyard management and minimal screwing around in the winery. Preserve the fruit. Make a gorgeous glass of wine.

But the beauty of the wine game is that we ALL have different palates. Different preferences. A differing degree of malleability regarding our preferences. If a wine finds a market, it has marketability.

To a degree. I find – for me – the fetishisation of (what I consider to be) fault to be a complicated issue which will render an ongoing miasma in terms of marketing and saleability of our wines.

I adore the variety and complexity of our world. But it casts issues on occasion.

I would not dictate on style. Each to their own. And if it can be sold, go nuts.

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