What the F*** does Vin De Soif Mean?
Vin de soif is not nearly as complicated a wine term as it may sound. In fact, the term or concept of a Vin de soif is completely the opposite of complication. Vin de soif literally translates to a wine of thirst, but as a concept, it is about finding joy in a wine's simplicity. Its all about enjoying a wine that is refreshing and uplifting instead of overbearing and complicated. To put it short, a Vin de soif is a wine for the throat, not the head. Its thirst quenching, and easy to drink. But why do we need this term anyway?
What is a "Vin de soif?"
Vin de soif refers to an approach of making a wine that is intended to be a thirst quencher. The wine is made in a lighter style, so it has a lighter body and less alcohol, and a bright acidity ringing through it. A Vin de soif is a celebration of simplicity, where joy is not found on the complexity of the wine, but rather by its refreshment and deliciousness. These are wines that are meant to lift spirits rather than be contemplated an examined.
Its hip to say it, fun to drink it
It always feels cool, if a little pretentious, to say something in French when you could so easily say it in English but for whatever reason calling a wine a thirst quencher just does not cut it. Saying a wine is easy to drink seems to fall short as well. To say a wine is a Vin de soif is saying much more than it just being refreshing. A light beer is damn refreshing, but its often lacking in flavor or character. That light beer you bring to a barbecue is just there for people to drink without paying too much attention to it. A Vin de soif still gives you a sense of delight, of pleasure. You cannot mistake its lighter style as having to take away from the wine, but rather gifting it a lightheartedness that brings joy to everybody there. That's what a Vin de soif is for, for joy.
Its becoming a thing
A lot of younger winemakers are coming out with their own versions of a Vins de soif which shows us that this is a style that is catching on around the world. It fits into a new lifestyle of th modern, younger wine drinker who is not looking for all the fuss, or for all that jazz, but rather is looking for something that is jazzy. It describes perfectly what this generation of young drinkers is looking for, something lighthearted but delicious. Its a part of who they are, and as such they drink more and more every day. As we see more and more winemakers, such as Laura Brennan Bissell of Inconnu focus on creating these types of wines as well as drinkers connecting with them we are going to see a cultural shift to a much more easygoing wine lifestyle.
Shut up, drink up
The one thing about a Vin de soif is finding the right time to enjoy it. It is looking for those moments in life where a fun, fresh, easygoing wine is a better choice than that super prestigious bottle of Barolo, or Bordeaux. Its also about finding wines that are ready to go on a hot day, that are going to give you that moment of respite from the warmth and the sun while at the same time allowing you to enjoy it all. At the end of the day though, its best not to elaborate, not to ponder, not to try and pick apart the flavors, the notes, the profile. Its best to sit down and enjoy it. Its best to shut up and drink up.