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Silent, upon a peak in Darien

There are wines which do not need words, says N K YONG as he recalls some that left him speechless and wondering

IT happens rarely, but when it does, it stays in your memory for a long time. It is the occasion when a wine leaves you silent and still, once you've tasted the first mouthful. The wondrous impact of its taste in your sensory cortex and the lingering remnants on your palate leave you desperately finding the right words to quantify and describe its content and nature. At moments such as this I am reminded of that immortal sentence "Silent, upon a peak in Darien" from John Keat's On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer.

Keats' poem describes the feelings of the Spanish explorer Cortez, who was looking for the Pacific Ocean while he was exploring in the province of Darien in Panama. He had advanced...

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