Thursday, September 6, 2012

tasting versus drinking


NV Jean Geiler Rosé Brut | AC Crémant d'Alsace

There comes a point as a piano teacher when you have to tone down the intensity, and make sure that your kids are still having fun. As foreign as it may sound, kids need to be having fun in their extra-curricular activities - when we were growing up, that was the last thing my parent's worried about. Naw, we worked hard because piano was simply what we were supposed to do. We (and I say we because I learned along with my oldest friend) never questioned why we were sacrificing weekends and summer holidays to do seemingly endless exams and competitions and concerts . . . I think we just knew that there was a deeper purpose behind all the hard work, and we'd understand once we grew up. Or maybe just got used to my parents feeding me that line.

So it's important to me that my students understand right now why we're doing all this. And we do that by occasionally pulling out music that genuinely excites them. When I was a young fellow, I loved playing jazz and rag, that kind of old-timey love that's just worlds away from Chopin and Beethoven. What I hear most now? They want, I shit you not, Katy Perry and Bieber. But I'm a good guy, so I let them have their fun - one run-through and then back to scales and Czerny. God help us.

I drink wine nearly everyday. It's a bit tough when you're working and busy with a set routine - work, gym, then a quick dinner, before you unwind for bed. And really, a single glass just is never enough. I'd almost rather not drink than hold back, but sometimes it's what you have to do. So when I get a chance to have a glass in front of me, I'm almost always tasting. That evaluative approach, almost entirely forgoing a more sensory enjoyment of the good drink. But maybe sometimes we have to go back to why we fell in love, why we're so head over heels about wine.

This bottle reminded me of all that.

We saw beautiful weather this past long weekend in Toronto. I was eating at home, for the first Saturday in what seems like months. And once the charcoal was red hot, we set the most amazing Angus short ribs on, with a bottle of Jean Geiler Rosé Brut on ice. I always love drinking rosé sparkling wines, but this was extra special - 100% pinot noir. I suppose I could go on and really evaluate the wine, but what's the point? It was bright and fresh and just perfect with our fatty beef and steamy weather. The wine was just so delicious and I had such a great time drinking it. Truth to the wisdom that sometimes you just need to stop thinking about things and just feel.

Learning piano is tough and the great ones, like those in any field, have to suffer for their craft. But in our constant search for greatness, we can't forget the simple pleasures that made us fall in love in the first place.


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