The Bloody Descent of Oliver Stone Meets the Aging Wine Lover
I only have inconsequential anecdotal evidence for the idea that as dedicated wine lovers age, they tend to gravitate to wines that are less obvious, more nuanced, more delicate and less enthusiastic in their size. If my anecdotal evidence for this idea is accurate, and if I am correct about the aging wine lover, perhaps its is a case of experience overcoming the power of sensory manipulation.
Why my mind tends to drift to the issue of wine upon experiencing decidedly non-wine subject matter, I do not know. But this issue of how older wine lovers more often eschew obvious wines occurred to me after I wasted two hours in a dark theater observing the descent into irrelevancy that is the storytelling proclivities of Director Oliver Stone.
"Savages", his latest film, is a soulless, simple, gratuitously violent piece of shit that has at its center the following premise: violence, death, blood and anti-intellectualism can enthrall the human mind and capture our attention in the absence of storytelling.
When I first entered the wine industry and began to experiment with wine very seriously, I willingly sought out those wines that were easy to deconstruct. The big, sweet, dark reds of California and Australia I drank and studied were sexy and violently simple examples of headknockers that grabbed your attention quickly and held on. They were not unlike the salacious slasher films we teens used to gathered in theaters to consume together. They were not unlike simple, straightforward pornography that doesn't even attempt to give tha allusion of a story or deliver the classic PornMusic we all love so much.
Today I avoid the slasher films and the manipulative throwaways the film industry likes to call "psychological thrillers", in which a mad man (or mad child) hides in the dark and terroirizes their families until the victims go mad, get killed in a spectacularly bloody and gruesome fashion and the mad man is finally defeated. The point of these films is to demonstrate the numerous new ways filmmakers can expose the details of mutilation of the human form.
The point of heavy-handed, big, sweet, tannic wines isn't so immoral. They just aren't products of a mind that is concerned with storytelling and engaging the intellect.
It doesn't seem so shocking that as young people and young wine drinkers we would gravitate toward the simpler, easiest, and most shocking examples of storytelling and wine. I assume we do gravitate toward these things in our inexperienced youth because they thrill at first glace and we have not developed any internal filters for ferreting out superficiality.
But as we age, we must develop filters on our palate and in our brain, both born of experience and the motivating shadow of mortality that always looms. It seems most of us lose patience for the simple, one-dimensional and the shocking, and more often seek out opportunities to inhale something more complex and more nuanced to satisfy our need for intellectual and sensory stimulation.
Oliver Stone's recent homage to bloody pornography simply reminded me how we change as we age and gain life experience. But I have to give him credit for motivating me to think about my own personal wine journey and consider the source of my (and I think most experienced wine drinkers') palate evolution.