When Harry Potter first arrived on bookshelves in the United States, I had just started my wine career as a "box boy" at Central Market in Austin, Texas. In the late 90's I was unaware of what Potter would become or that I would even enjoy the saga. As I now reflect on my journey as a wine lover and professional, I have found one parallel in the Potter saga to my wine career: the Patronus. The Patronus is a charm or spell that acts as a guardian or positive spirit for the individual who is casting it. According to the story, each person has their own Patronus that captures their spirit. For Harry, it was a stag. (Harry's Patronus, the stag)
This may seem far-fetched, but I think everyone has a wine patronus. What is the wine that centers you? That reminds you of your passion for wine? Though I have known my patronus from the day I first tasted it, it has taken me a while to realize it. In Harry Potter, the ability to cast the patronus charm is difficult. This can also be true for your wine patronus - are you able to allow yourself to recognize it?
(Aldo Vacca of Produttori del Barbaresco, brings the vineyards of Barbaresco to life.)
I was fortunate in my career to be exposed to Nebbiolo early and often and it has remained one of my passions. My mentors drove home that Nebbiolo, along with Riesling, Chardonnay, Syrah, Sangiovese & Pinot Noir, is where I should focus my energy (and I did!). Every time I would try Nebbiolo in its various forms, it would captivate me, force me to question and search for a deeper understanding of how a grape could be so many things at once.
This is my Patronus. The one wine that year in and year out, Cru or classic, old or young, always captivates me. Produttori del Barbaresco represents what I long to be and the wine that defends me from becoming whom I wish not to be. The wines of this cooperative are classic, indicative of their place and always represent some of the best value in the whole world of wine.
What is your wine Patronus?