About Stijn Verleyen
A language scholar by training, I have taken a passionate interest in wine since several years, reading books, traveling to vineyards, and tasting wines from around the globe. After having obtained a sommelier’s degree, I started teaching wine classes in Brussels.
Good wines are for sharing. They are meant to be drunk in good company, and we can share our thoughts about them, adding to the pleasure of tasting. Hence this blog, my wine lessons, and the private tastings I regularly organize. Feel free to contact me for custom-made tastings, wine courses, wine advice, etc.
– Sommelier, Syntra Vlaanderen (2014)
– Advanced certificate of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – pass with distinction (2015)
– Master and certified instructor in the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon (2015)
– … and numerous other master classes and trainings on specific wine regions
About the blog
One of the nicest compliments a student ever gave me, was guessing that I was a geographer or historian by training. Not that I value geography or history higher than linguistics, but it illustrates what I am so passionate about in wine. Far more than being just another beverage, it speaks of the history and the (cultural and geographical) landscape of a region or country, while of course also being determined by those factors. It is this complex interplay that is so fascinating, as is the fact that the wine world balances on the verge of art and science. More and more is being discovered about the chemical processes behind wine making, yet anyone who has tasted, for example, a Montrachet, will agree with me that however detailed our knowledge of the chemistry, an objective scientific description of the wine does not do it justice. It is rather a work of art which can generate intense emotions, and which in this case, unfortunately, also commands stellar prices.
Why the name Vinilegium?
Other than the obvious “vini”, it suggests an analogy with florilegium, a compilation of writings. In these pages, I will be eclectically reporting on wine tasting and travelling experiences, on striking news in the wine world, in short, on all things connected to this noble drink.
Legere in Latin means first and foremost “to read”. One can read texts, of course, but also wines, provided one grasps the language they speak. No high-brow or over-the-top descriptions with 20 aromas per wine; just an interpretation of how a wine was intended and crafted, and what are its building blocks or cornerstones.
Beside “to read”, legere also has the meaning of “to gather/harvest” and “to choose” (as in German Auslese). I will present the findings of my harvest in the world of wine, but also inevitably make a selection as to what I present.
For whom is the blog intended?
I write because I enjoy it, and because putting things into words compels one to make one’s thoughts and ideas more explicit, in order for others to understand them. Anyone who takes an interest in wine will be able to read and understand the blog. No unneeded technicalities will be used (if they are, they will be duly explained). I will not have the pretension to give explicit purchasing recommendations – the offer of decent wines and information about them is vast enough for anyone to find what they are looking for – merely a sample of interesting or remarkable wines I have tasted.
An inevitable question for a linguist. Dutch (or at least a version of it) being my native language, some of the articles will be written in that language. Others will be in English, and the occasional French contribution is also likely.
I ask the readers who have native command of the latter two languages to bear with me and put up with the mistakes I may make – though I will do my best to avoid those, obviously.