I love this simple drinking toast. It is said William Butler Yeats and his group of drinking buddies used it frequently… For such a brief little verse, its subjects are fairly heavy. Beauty, Truth, Love- somehow all wrapped up in the act of lifting a glass?
For me this is a reminder of what wine is all about- human connections, be they marked by grief, celebration, new beginnings, or some bittersweet end. We have grown grapes and made wine in order to create something that will help us to physically mark all of these types of experiences. We inhale it’s aroma. We feel it roll over our tongues and slide down our throats. We take this beverage into our bodies and swallow it. Wine becomes part of us.
I recently tasted a Poulsard from the Jura, from Domaine de la Tournelle that embodies this eternal link between wine and love and truth. Immediately pleasurable, this rustic red wine was cloudy and full of lovely, swirly sediment (a natural byproduct of conscientious and hands-off winemaking). Salty, like black tea and seawater. Strawberries layered on orange rind. Luxurious wine, even with its crunchy acidity. This is the kind of bottling that makes you believe in all the most ancient winemaking practices. A wine that recalls the ancient alchemy that gave our historical forefathers the power and fortitude to survive in inclement places, like the Jura. Wine as daily sustenance, but also as a daily commemoration.
A real celebration of life and love.
I lift the glass to my mouth/ I look at you and sigh.