First and foremost my background is in the arts: studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for a Bachelors in Fine Arts, mainly collage work that incorporates found objects, various papers, and fine line drawing verging on automatic drawing. It was in this period that I went on a study abroad course to Barcelona and in the quieter nights began discovering the wines at the local shop.
This excursion led to jobs in wine shops over the years and fed my natural curiosity for variability, which I sometimes equate to a collector's impulse for the plethora of possibilities that wine could take. I wanted to taste them all. The further I went the more intrigued I became with exploring the wines origins and more importantly how to describe them in a way that goes beyond simple grading or cliched descriptions.
In this I found myself caught in a verbal bottleneck of redundant terminologies, face with having to describe a wine to a customer or even trying to flesh them out for myself. It was easy to fall back on a list of key phrases and words that communicated what to expect but this felt more like an obligation than inspiration, the description of the experience causing it all to fall flat.
It took a lot of time, tasting and thinking to understand why something so interesting seemed to have been almost forced flat but eventually, like something you always subtly knew was there and only took a certain kind of spark to align, I knew what was wrong. Although the flavors and aromas awoke a visual variety of what I would call descriptors, I was locking myself into the verbal descriptors and not paying much attention to the synthesis that was happening between sensory input and creativity: I was trying to pick out "spice" or "plum or "acid" or "grapefruit" as if they were operating like satellites orbiting the wine in some abstract place. So the goal became first to define what was happening as it was happening in a more unified way and then naturally follow this up with execution on paper.
This is when the Dionysian Spectrum came about, the focus of which was to flesh out in written form what was being experienced as a concise snapshot and then, or rather simultaneously, develop the pictorial form of what these experiences were impressing on my mind when they were happening. In this way those individual satellite descriptors or traits became intermingled with one another, they became unified just as the wine was a unified expression of it's making.
I don't promise some grandiose tasting flights to be plucked apart or to purchase expensive hard-to-find wines that cause my bank account to whimper, what I can promise is an eclectic array of wines to be had, depicted and reviewed with honesty.