In the Eastern Hemisphere of our world, folks are getting ready to celebrate a new year, a lunar new year. Traditions involve gathering on the eve of the new year for feasting with family. On New Year’s day they clean their houses to remove any remaining bad luck from the previous year. Terrific tradition, right? But wait … isn’t this a wine and spirits blog? So, 2018 Year of the Dog – What Significance for the World of Wine? Is there a pattern in wine? Let’s explore this together.
2018 Year of the Dog
A quick study of the Lunar New Year calendar will show you that it is a twelve year pattern. Each year has a spirit animal that was determined by the Jade Emperor. The origin story goes that he determined that the first twelve animals to arrive would be the spirit animals to represent each of the years. Subsequently, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig were the twelve that ultimately became a part of his calendar in that order.
Due to centuries of study, the Chinese have identified a cycle of patterns. Certain qualities are possessed by those born in the different years. (To learn more about the Lunar Calendar click and read either – When is Chinese New Year in 2018, why is it the year of the dog and how is the animal and date decided? by the Star or Metro New’s article What date is Chinese New Year and why is this the Year of the Dog?
Especially relevant the 11th year of the calendar is devoted to the Dog. Whichever year you are born is said to determine personality traits. “Dog” year behavior patterns are thought to be able to communicate well, have a serious nature and be responsible with their work.
Patterns and the World of Wine
Almost anything we care about becomes a subject of study, right? If you care about wine, you will begin to study different aspects of it. What other patterns have emerged in the study of grapes, wine making and wine consumption? What could be a pattern in wine?
Which Grapes are Cultivated Where?
Interestingly, many folks have studied the different patterns pertaining to wine. Hence, grapes are grown around the globe. Which types of grapes are grown can be influenced greatly by climate, soil and elevation.
Did you ever stop to consider other factors that determine which types of grapes are grown where? What other factors could there be?
In the Middle East, the grapes that are grown are large, juicy and bulbous. So, these grapes are not known for being very good wine grapes. Throughout Europe, there are many grapes that are much smaller with similar sweetness profiles. Why this difference?
Religion! As a result in Muslim areas of the world, farmers have worked to develop tasty table grapes. For centuries in Christian areas, farmers grow and develop grapes that create enjoyable wines. This was something we learned reading the PubMed.gov’s article Patterns of Genomic and Phenomic Diversity in Wine and Table Grapes. Definitely a pattern in wine.
Patterns Within the Wine Making Process
Making wine is to carefully induce and control a chemical process. Studying this process requires all a vintners senses combined with deep underlying knowledge of the scientific process timeline and practical effects of the chemical reactions.
Experienced vintners know the patterns that depict the different stages within the wine making process. They readily identify when they should arrest the fermentation process to achieve a specific desired level of tannins in red wine. Utilizing the yeast in the wine creation process is a pattern in wine.
If the chemistry patterns of wine interest you, you can learn more by reading the book Principles and Patterns in Winemaking by Robert Boulton, Vernon L. Singleton, Linda F. Bisson and Ralph E. Kunkee.
Wine and Economic Patterns
When we think of the different economic strata among people and classes, there is a difference. Every area of the world has a local drink that everyone seems to consume. Therefore, many regional drinks are thought to be those of the working people.South Korea, soju is that drink. Japan has sake appeals the masses. Vodka, rum, etc. have now found their way around the world to be enjoyed by everyone in many ways; however, they come from humble beginnings.
In America, for example, beer has been the drink of the working class. It is economical to produce and, therefore, to consume. We say it is a “Blue Collar” drink. While the West Coast craft beers are changing this, the correlation of the beer belonging to the working man is a long standing American tradition.
Aptly describing the role of wine in economical class development is this quote from the Culture of Wine article. “Wine has evolved as part of life, culture and diet since time immemorial. As an enduring cultural symbol of fine life, the role of wine has evolved over time, changing from an important source of nutrition to a cultural complement to food and conviviality compatible with a healthy lifestyle says WineinModeration.com’s article “Culture of Wine.”
Around the world, wine has been a symbol of the good life and culture all the way back to earliest civilizations. As societies develop, upper classes demand sophistication. Wine is sophisticated. As economies continue to build middle classes, they seek to share the pleasures of the upper class. Wine continues to be one of the good things in life, right? A pattern in wine regarding economics revealed.
2018 Year of the Dog – What Significance for the World of Wine?
In conclusion, patterns exist if we stop to look. So, let’s use 2018 as a year to look more closely at the wines we enjoy. Perhaps, try keeping a wine journal of the wines you try. Making detailed notes of the wines you particularly enjoy may surprise you. You may discover an enjoyment pattern in wine for yourself.
Once you learn your own personal wine preference pattern, you can explore new wines that you never considered previously. Consequently, “2018 Year of the Dog” may teach you a new trick or show you a new favorite type of wine.
Would You Buy It Again? = Another CKJY Exports blog post to help you evaluate wine with your personal preferences.
Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our “retired” USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life’s path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.