path of the Way of wine
The Way of Wine ritual includes a prelude and three acts, divided into nine movements. Before being led, one by one, into the ceremonial enclosure and directed to their seats, guests gather in the antechamber. We request that participants arrive an hour before the ceremony begins, preferably with an empty stomach. Spring water is served, and the guests are given a few simple instructions about the way the celebration will unfold. After the ceremony, guests have an opportunity to share their experience while tasting wines and eating savoury and sweet foods.
To give you a preliminary taste of this journey, I included the part of a narrative that is more allegorical than didactic. Although it contains the terminology of various elements and objects from the the Way of Wine ritual, it does not describe the ceremony in its entirety. I have always refused to make public all the steps of the Way of wine. This preserves its value as an initiation, and also the shroud of mystery around it, both of which help to create a state of wonder in new guests. In offering this today, I wanted to reach out to future participants. I understand that the desire to try a new experience, no matter how tempting, is often mixed with apprehension. That being said, if you find the answers to a few of your questions in these pages, it could be beneficial. Moreover, whatever is said or written about this ceremony, I believe that the essence of the mystery will remain intact, because no explanation can substitute for the direct experience of the Way of wine, even in the imagination. Just as it is futile to explain the mystery of an apple to someone who has never eaten one, you guessed it… there is only one way to know the magic of the Way of wine.
Thierry Forbois, September 2018