Thursday, 9 April 2020

Is there anything in biodynamics or am I a bit gullible?

A couple of years ago I was introduced to an app called 'When Wine Tastes Best', essentially the biodynamic calendar. Good days for wine are called Fruit or Flower days; bad ones are Leaf and Root days. There's a bit of explanation for all this but, it comes down to the theory that the same wine tastes better on some days (fruit or flower) than others (leaf or root) because the movement of the moon affects all living things on earth and wine is, in some respects, a living thing which responds to the 'rhythms of the moon' as it ages.

What is doesn't suggest is that, if all living things respond to the movements of the moon, then that includes us so, perhaps, rather than the wine tasting different, it is our perception of the wine that changes.

Either way, this gives rise to the only question that matters: do wines taste (or is our perception of them) any different according to the movements of the moon?

Supermarkets and many leading wine merchants seem to think so, holding tastings only on fruit or flower days. Also, some of the world's leading wineries, including the greatest of them all (DRC - not the Democratic Republic of Congo but Domaine de la Romanee-Conti - for anyone who doesn't know) are guided by biodynamic principles through all stages of viticulture and vinification. So there must be something in it, surely.

Well, there is only one way to find out. Taste, taste and taste more. In the last couple of years, we have done just that, tasting all sorts of wines over and again and yet again just in case of bottle variation. I can report that, scientific understanding notwithstanding, there really does seem to be something in this. Some golden rules:

1. NEVER open a bottle of mature wine on a leaf or root day. It will taste like Marmite gravy which is not something you will enjoy even a glass of and, frankly, what a waste of those long-loved bottles.

2. Avoid fragile wines such as most Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo except on fruit or flower days.

3. Most important, what we have found is that, by following these two rules, we are able to experience a wider range of wines than we would otherwise. Like many people, after years of experimenting, we have found particular styles we enjoy and for a period of time we will want to drink one style of wine almost exclusively. This rule ensures that, whilst Burgundy is a perennial favourite, we still get stuck into some old favourites such as Domaine Brusset's Chabriles Cairanne from time to time. And every time we do, we remember how much we enjoy it!

Anyway, as luck would have it, the app informs me that, as of about 1pm today (until 3am tomorrow), it is a flower day so I will now sign off and see if I can find a 2013 Givry 1er Cru (Cellier aux Moines or Servoisine - either will do!) from Domaine Joblot.

Happy drinking and stay safe!

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