I was recently invited to the presentation of the Master Sommelier organized by the International training center for Italian cuisine Alma in Parma (Italy) with the collaboration of the Italian Sommelier Association. The most "emotional" moment of the day was a tasting of 4 wines hosted by Luca Martini, Best Italian Sommelier in 2009. He led us in what he called "centro benessere del gusto" (a "beauty farm" of taste). His idea is that wine can be compared to colors, lines and types of music in order to describe the "crescendo" of taste and complexity. In this way, the emotional experience of tasting is amplified, because all the senses are deeply involved. The four "colors" were: a Soave Monte Grande Prà 2008, a Brunello di Montalcino Mastrojanni 2005, a Montevetrano Colli di Salerno 2007 and a Barolo classico Boroli Villero 2004. Starting with the white Soave, the color we have to think about is green. It is the color of "go ahead", of freshness, it reminds me of a fresh morning dewdrop. It is the wine of light- heartedness, of immature youth. As a starter, it whets your appetite and it's like a straight line. The music must fit this opening with simple, soft and inviting notes. Orange is the color for the Brunello di Montalcino. As a mix of yellow and red, the wine is more complex, it has freshness (riper than green) and rough tannin. It is the wine of energy, like a more rhythmic song (Martini used a song from the Italian singer Jovanotti as background music). The geometric figure is a triangle. The Montevetrano is the wine of maturity, of smoothness and soft tannin. It's very powerful and burning. The color is red and the figure a circle. The music is then intense and sensual. Then it comes the Barolo: the perfect maturity, the wisdom, the elegance, the classicism, the nobility. The tannin is riper and the wine is very complex and fine. His color is blue and his figure is a square. The music is like an orchestra, a piano concert, which evokes intelligence, composure, knowledge and style. In Italy we say "la classe non è acqua", "style is no water". Indeed, according to Martini, it is a "blue" wine.
Here below some pictures of the tasting.