Wine Tasting as an Act of Zen / 葡萄酒品鉴是一种禅宗行为

眼睛累了不想看屏幕?在路上不方便阅读?您可以来听作者们为您朗读的这个博客喔!Don’t feel like reading? You don’t have to! Tune in to listen to our authors read you this blog.

英文原声 – English by Isabell

中文原声 – Chinese by 晴格格

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The Japanese term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (chán), an abbreviation of 禪那 (chánnà), which is a Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word of dhyāna (“meditation“).

日语中的“Zen”一词来源于中古汉语中“禪”的日语发音,“禪那”的缩写。“禪那”是梵语词汇“dhyāna”(静修)的中文音译。

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How can this philosophy be applied to the world of wine? Well let’s examine the three main tenets of Zen. Self-restraint, Meditation-Practice, and insight into the nature of the mind; the personal expression of the nature of things, as if it were a spiritual practice.

这种哲学如何应用于葡萄酒世界?让我们来看看禅宗的三个主要信条。自我约束、冥想练习和洞察心灵的本质;对事物本质的个人表达,仿佛这是一种心灵的实践。

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Infusing the Zen habit of Self restraint seems quite obvious when it comes to food and wine. The famed Zen monk Shaku (1860 -1919) stated that overindulging in food and drink was not advisable, because it impacts your quality of life over time and it takes away from the enjoyment of experience. So in the Zen mind-frame, tasting a wine means either remembering to spit if you have several wines to try,  or just enjoying one glass, whether trying a sip or a glass, most wine experts will agree it is like a Meditation-Practice in itself because of what goes into the whole experience.  

当谈到美食和葡萄酒时,灌输“自我克制”的禅宗观念似乎相当明显。著名佛教创始人释迦牟尼 (1860 -1919) 说过:“过度沉溺于美食和饮料是不明智的,因为它会随着时间的推移、影响你的生活质量。并剥夺你充分享受味蕾体验的机会”。因此,在禅宗的思维框架中,品鉴葡萄酒意味着如果你有很多款酒要品尝,记得要吐酒;或者只享受一杯。不管是尝一小口还是一杯,大多数葡萄酒专家都会同意这就像冥想练习一样,因为这是整个体验的一部分。

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I am no expert on wine tasting but I know that there is a lot that goes into recognising the aromas and flavours of wine. I would argue that out of all the tenets of Zen, when it relates to wine, the most relevant is found in the insight into the nature of the mind; the personal expression of the nature of things, as if it were a spiritual practice. This is because your expression of the flavours being experienced come into play, serious wine lovers who make tasting (as well a understanding) wine a part of their lives, could liken the acts of swirling, examining the colours, the tears on the glass; the distances they use to smell the scents and the notes themselves; the feeling in the mouth; the flavour notes including the aftertaste, an art-form. It has the ability to allow the person to live in the moment; attempting to discern the terroir, the expression of varieties, the vinification techniques, and of course the expression of fruit, flowers, or other elements that may be sensed in the final creation.  

我不是什么葡萄酒品鉴专家,但我知道识别葡萄酒的香气和味道需要很多专注和投入。我认为,在禅宗的所有信条中,当与酒相关联时,最相关的是对心灵本质的洞察;对事物本质的个人表达,仿佛这是一种精神实践。这是因为你对所体验的风味的个人表达开始发挥作用,严肃的葡萄酒爱好者将品鉴 (以及理解) 葡萄酒作为他们生活的一部分,可以把摇杯、“察言观色”、高脚杯上的“葡萄酒的眼泪”等同生活相比拟;他们用来闻香的距离;口腔中的感觉;包括余味的味道,都是一种艺术形式。葡萄酒有能力让品鉴者“活在当下”;风土差异、葡萄品种的表达、酿酒技术,当然还有果香、花香或其他元素的呈现,这些都可能在最终的创作中被感知到。

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To illustrate this point with a concrete example, let’s use the famous Brunello di Montalcino. The wine lover would likely note that this is a wine made with 100% Sangiovese grapes, thick-skinned berries, that express bold fruit flavors, high tannins, and high acidity. They would note the deep colour and obvious tears on the glass caused by high alcohol, they would swirl and sniff, making note of anything that comes to mind, experiences, food, even feelings. The experience of tasting this wine could prompt the recipient to think of floral flavours including cherries, dried cranberry, wild strawberry, blackberry, violets, potpourri, and licorice. Then they would likely be drawn to the expression of earthy notes of strong coffee and soil. An older Brunello di Montalcino (10+); dried figs, candied cherries, hazelnuts, and sun-baked leather. The tannins turn chocolatey and the acidity succulent.

现在,让我们用著名的蒙塔奇诺的布鲁耐罗(Brunello di Montalcino)这个具体的例子来说明这一点。葡萄酒爱好者可能会注意到,这是一款由100%桑娇维塞(Sangiovese)葡萄的厚皮浆果酿造的葡萄酒。它表现出浓郁的水果风味、高单宁和高酸度。他们会注意到由高酒精度引起的杯子上的深色和明显的泪痕,他们会摇杯和嗅闻,记下脑海中的浮现的任何东西:经历,食物,甚至是感觉。品尝这款酒的经历会促使品鉴者想到花香,包括樱桃、蔓越莓干、野生草莓、黑莓、紫罗兰、百花香和甘草。然后他们可能会被浓咖啡和土壤的泥土气息所吸引。一个老Brunello di Montalcino(10年多的陈年时间);很有可能你会感知到无花果干、蜜饯樱桃、榛子和晒干的皮革的香气。单宁发展出巧克力味,酸味多汁。

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But what perhaps is one of the most unique characteristics that the experience might bring is the reminiscent minerality caused by the Montalcino terroir; the number of different soil types found in this zone would make this a unique taste experience. The producer Banfi for example has identified 29 different types in its vineyards alone. Italy was formed when the African and European plates collided, and the soils from each plate intermingled. Millions of years ago, Italy was under a sea, and slowly emerged. Castello Banfi (est. in 1978) while digging in a vineyard about 10 years ago, workers uncovered the massive skeleton of a prehistoric whale. Nicknamed “Brunella”, this creature is believed to be about 4 million years old, evidence of events that took place millions of years ago; these ancient events shape the wines enjoyed today and the winelover can fondly think of this while they are enjoying this particular wine. A zen experience for sure!

Brunello di Montalcino territory, the Tuscany Region. Photo from: https://www.chefbikeski.com/the-terroir-of-brunello-home-of-whaleinavineyard/

但是,这次经历可能带来的最独特的特征之一可能是蒙塔奇诺(Montalcino)风土令人想起的矿物质味道;在这个地区发现的不同土壤类型的数量将使这成为一种独特的味觉体验。例如,酒庄Banfi仅在自己葡萄园中就发现了29种不同的土壤类型。意大利是在非洲和欧洲板块碰撞时形成的,因而两个板块中的土壤混合在一起。几百万年前意大利还在海底,之后慢慢浮出水面。Castello Banfi (1978年建立), 大约10年前,工人们在葡萄园里挖掘时,发现了一具巨大的史前鲸鱼骨架。绰号“Brunella”,这种生物被认为有4百万年的历史,是几百万年前发生的事件的证据;这些古老的事件塑造了我们今天在享用的葡萄酒,葡萄酒爱好者在品鉴这种特殊的葡萄酒时会深情地想到这一点。一次地道的禅宗体验!

Whale bones “Brunella” from the Brunello di Montalcino territory, the Tuscany Region. Photo from: https://www.chefbikeski.com/the-terroir-of-brunello-home-of-whaleinavineyard/

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