Monotonous Stimulation Pairs Well with Pinot Noir

Corvallis, 2009 Pinot Noir

I’ve been waiting for a warm summer night to make ceviche and open a Tavel. But the weather hasn’t been cooperating. We’ve been experiencing a wonderfully long spring. Last week we had highs in the 50’s, definitely not pink-wine weather. So, I made a coffee-rubbed roast and opened a Pinot Noir. I went to Willamette Valley for my Pinot, Corvallis, 2009. The color was garnet red. The aroma was cherry with some citrus, maybe orange. The flavor had red cherry with a hint of some nutmeg, and a little thyme. It was lovely and crisp with great balance.
Pinot Noir is known for being difficult to grow. It’s a thin-skinned berry that is especially vulnerable to the elements. Too much of any element can hurt the grapes, and thus the wine. Too much rain just before harvest will saturate the grapes and leave the wine flavorless. Too much wind will damage the vines. Even too much sun will cook the grapes and give the wine a stewed or herbal flavor.
Monotonous Stimulation is an intriguing psychological phenomenon. If someone is exposed to the same stimulus repeatedly for a long period of time, his or her brain waves go from active alpha waves  to meditative beta waves. Things like a slow water drip, perpetual rain, or chanting will physically affect our brains. When we are exposed to a stimulus so often that it’s no longer stimulating our brains experience this mind shift. The beta waves can put us into a in a profound state of ennui such as we experience on a long, monotonous bus ride or a very predictable sit com. It can, also put us into a spiritual state of mind such as we experience in meditation or prayer.
Too much of any element is nothing but bad for grape growing. For the human mind,however,  monotonous stimulation can take us somewhere quite profound.