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Art in Wine,Books,Culture,Spirits,Viticulture,Wine,Wine Writer

Ode to a Wine Incarnate, as written by Dr. Sondra Barrett

The first time I read through Wine’s Hidden Beauty ~ Bioscapes of Wine: Sondra Barrett, I began to think of wine as a whole new entity, something much grander than a liquid food. Reading it didn’t inspire me to write about whether or not the book worked for me and how I’d share that. Nope, it just inspired me, bringing out my long lost poet.

I learned in high school that I was given a gift, when our first iambic pentameter assignment was given to my class. I went home, had the time of my life writing it, turned it in, and then was asked in front of the class where I got it. When I told Miss Dumas that “I wrote it,” (rather indignantly) she then asked if I would mind if she read aloud, which she did.

Dr. Sondra Barrett’s words and images reignite that poet inside of me, every time I read her book again… Yeah, it’s that good. As I’ve read her words about the unique spirit that exists within each grape variety, she’s taught me an entirely new way of seeing wine, even without her microscope… No longer with simply my heart, but also with my soul, and I know I’ve got one… I don’t just wonder about this. I’ve had visions and out of body experiences. And, no I never dropped acid. My friends used to drop acid and tell me, “I’m doing this so I can be like you.”

Sondra Barrett book’s journey to the molecular structure of wine gets to the core its life, and how its structure so closely parallels the cellular structure of human beings. From conception to decay, they are both – under her biochemist’s eye – very similar in story… As we drink the life within wine, we civilize and cultivate our own bodies.

What an amazing journey, from such a magnificent read, is given to us by Dr. Sondra Barrett.

Her book is about to go into its second printing. This printing is far more important than the first. The first one gets it out there, as being validated by a publisher; the second really validates it by consumer, as this is the true success story.

So, I revisited it again, to give you inspiration to search it out, if you missed the first printing.

Sondra explains, What is Soul? in  Chapter 7… You’ll find for a scientist who holds her PhD degree in biochemistry, her thoughts are not dogmatic nor pedantic. They’re very open and inclusive. Sondra no longer has only the singular view of, “If you can’t show me proof, it therefore does not exist.”

What is Soul? (p. 94)

The idea of a soul compels us to look at the meanings given to the word since it embraces one of the most ancient concepts of a culture, a religion, and an individuals. When we explore soul we delve into the mysteries of life. Neither visible nor measurable, soul is as elusive as controversial as spiritual beliefs and God. Native Americans hold that all things – animals, plants and even rocks – have soul. Other groups believe only humans possess soul. In Christian Science, Soul is the name for God. In Jewish mysticism, the soul is a spiritual magnetic field with no boundaries and connects us to the source of creation.

Sondra has been “Called by the Grape”

She writes, on page 96:

Those who hear the voice of the grape calling, often hear it as something deep in their soul. Many people working with the grape in some capacity feel the same way; it’s not accident. A message summons one to pursue the spirit of the vine. Perhaps it arrived in a bottle of Bordeaux or a waving grapevine surrounded by acres of happy vines. Perhaps it was harvest time with its showy silver streamers flapping around vineyards to keep ravenous birds away. It looks like the vineyard’s having a party; a happy time makes me smile.

I’ve occasionally found myself defending Sondra’s thoughts of wine having soul. Naysayers don’t want wine to go that far, at least that seems to be the gist of the concern. The last time I finally quieted a wine writer who was put off by all this talk of “soul,” it was by simply saying, “quantum physics.” That is easily understood. I’m thankful for the days when I could simply walk into Bates College’s library as a “townie,” and convince the librarian to allow me to take out the armful of books on quantum physics that I wanted to explore. That time and reasoning came back to me in that last debate of whether or not wine has soul.

Hey, if nothing has soul, we all just die away; and that’s okay, too, because we all do it together, so to speak. But… if we all do have soul, then the final dance will much more glorious; and, therefore, so is wine.

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2 Responses to “Ode to a Wine Incarnate, as written by Dr. Sondra Barrett”

  1. Sondra says:

    The above image, the dancing sprite, or ??? – you name it, certainly represents the soul-full wine making of Theo Rosenbrand. The image is iconic for sauvignon blanc (SB), a crisp lively personality. This wine was Theo’s favorite when he was the curious jolly winemaker at Sterling when I had the good fortune of being artist-in-residence there. He opened my heart and soul to wine. He had no UCD training, instead he learned from the cellar on up, the old apprenticeship way….Who’d he apprentice to, Andre, you know who i mean.

    He had such curiousity – he wanted to know if merlot made from grapes on Diamond Mt would show different images than that made from Three Palms in the valley – they did. Another story…..

    This SB was the 2nd wine I ever photographed – and its lively spirit captured my imagination. How could a wine show so much liveliness? I have lived with one large print of this wine for years, couldn’t imagine living without ‘him.’

    I call this a male wine, because its linear, light, not rounded. Do you think you’d like a wine that looked like this, that expressed itself this way?

    Always poetic, my dear friend Jo, what would you name this design in wine?

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Merlot Tuxedo

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