The wine-tasting: hearing

by (January 24, 2013) - Comments

La degustazioneWhat can be the relation between wine-testing and hearing? What help can hearing give us? I remember that saying, “first wine is lokked at and admired, then it’s smellsd, then tasted, and finally it is talked of”. This is the importance of hearing, in dialogues, in intellectual contacts, “human relations”. Even if the true wine-testing prefers a solitary and silent environment, hearing only can measure the silence necessary for rightly observing wine.

Wine is a pleasure for smell and taste, establishes a communication, activates conversation and is very suitable to be put together with pleasant and friendly words. It mixes pleasure coming from the eye, the nose, the mouth and the ears. To know how to drink means to know how to hear and talk; and wine has also to be heard, because it talks, in its way. It has a secret language, a kind of soft singing that leads us on hills and cultiveted dreams, to harvests of happiness, to the pure pleasure of contemplation.

Texts from “Barolo as I feel it” by M. Martinelli (ed. Sagittario 1993)

About Massimo Martinelli

I was born near a river, the biggest Italian river, the Po, in a zone where it is already majestic ald solemn. Rivers have been signs and nests for civilisation. To me this is a great cultural honor because the ancient cultures were linked to the rivers, and events in history have often happened on water. Rivers have been ways for transports and commerce, and ideas also; from them I learned that things go, but they don't come back.
So I have a "liquid" sensibility, and I strongly prefer wine to water. I intensely study it. Either as a producer, in the Renato Ratti firm in Annunziata di La Morra, in the core of the land of Barolo, or in writing and talking (courses of wine-testing, of cooking); the titles of my books are well-known (perhaps because they are difficult to find): Wine-testing (Quaderni del Museo Ratti dei Vini di Alba 1975), Langhe cooking wine (edizioni Antoroto-Mondovì 1977). I also gather wine labels; my collection is very interesting. It is composed by around fifty thousand labels.
In the Langhe, in the land of Barolo I have found a very peaceful life.
Massimo Martinelli


Sono nato in riva ad un fiume, il più grande fiume d'Italia, il Po, in un punto in cui è già maestoso ed imponente. I fiumi sono stati i segni e le culle della civiltà. Per me ciò costituisce un grande privilegio culturale essendo le antiche civiltà collegate ai fiumi, come le vicende dell'umanità che si sono svolte lungo i corsi d'acqua! I fiumi inoltre hanno permesso rapidità di scambi commerciali e di idee, per questo so che le cose vanno e non ritornano.
Ho quindi il senso "liquido" e preferisco decisamente il vino all'acqua. Ad esso infatti mi dedico con accanimento. Sia come produzione, nelle Cantine Renato Ratti all'Annunziata di La Morra, nel cuore del Barolo, sia con scritti o interventi divulgativi (corsi di degustazione, di conoscenza, di cucina), con titoli ormai prestigiosi (anche perché introvabili), quali La degustazione (Quaderni del Museo Ratti dei Vini di Alba 1975), Langhe cucina vino (edizioni Antoroto-Mondovì 1977). Ed ancora raccogliendo le etichette dei vini, oggetto di collezione che può essere considerata fra le più interessanti, con circa 50 mila esemplari.
Nelle Langhe, nelle terre del Barolo ho trovato una grande oasi di pace.
Massimo Martinelli

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