Wine itself is not discerning, offering its mystery to anyone willing to sip and listen.
wine guideS of the lost grape: KEITH AND LENORA BIESACK
Thanks to the wines of Bandol, Keith Biesack got hooked on the evolving and elusive mystery that wines can hold. Keith learned about the connection of wine to all cultures and classes of people by working as a wine buyer and beverage director in NYC restaurants Maysville and Char No. 4 for several years. In order to deepen and broaden his practical knowledge, Keith studied at the International Wine Center in New York City, attaining the WSET Advanced Certificate (the next and highest level WSET Diploma is next in sight). After leaving the Hospitality industry, he continued his wine swirl, but now in the world of Jersey City retail at an exceptional spot: CoolVines. Here, a new level of understanding began to unfold. Leading weekly Friday night wine tastings to a sold-out crowd for over a year, Keith became a connoisseur of wine & history pairings. This busy retail shop revealed that wine goes beyond commodity, beyond entertainment, beyond accessory and shows itself in all types of earth studies. Now in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Keith collaborates with his wife Lenora, a lover of wine, history, education and organization. Together they create all of The Lost Grape tastings.
Lenora Symczak met Keith Biesack at a sherry tasting as a new explorer in the world of wine, and instantly fell in love with both. Already deeply interested in history and storytelling, Lenora had been teaching film history, criticism, and production courses for high school students through the Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston up until this point. On the side, she secretly devoured books and took notes on British royal history as another way to escape the modern world. These experiences not only fed her natural urges to read, research, investigate, and create, but also led her to exploring how we learn and share knowledge through pursuing a masters degree at Columbia University’s Teachers College in Cognitive Psychology. It was during this time that Lenora went to her fateful first sherry tasting, as well as developed her own philosophy and practice of teaching called OPP Method, which is used in designing The Lost Grape tastings with Keith. Together they believe that wine is the ultimate time and space machine to exploring the world together, and they want to invite you to join them along the way.
The living artifact that is wine: The lost grape philosophy
Why do we drink wine? What for?
To answer this, the Lost Grape takes us through an examination of human behavior throughout time. Wine is our time machine taking us into the mysteries of the universe. By pairing wine and history we bring our individual viewpoints into a collective experience, creating a wholly original and new understanding. Where we find significant moments in human history, we find wine.
The Lost Grape tastings are an expression of a Biodynamic approach to experiential learning and understanding. The swirling glass holds an interrelated mix of humanity, history and the bounty of the earth. Our response to this mixture furthers the story’s complexity. Here’s how it works: We observe, examine, and study.
We ferment our knowledge in the barrels of our mind.
Then we offer our response, bottled and shared with the world around us.
Knowledge is stored and communicated and developed.
As the world changes, the function of wine remains the same. Connoisseurship begins: we like, or we do not like. Wine continues. Life is built up, moved around, settled, again and again. Wine continues. Wine is a pleasure to drink. To taste and study wine is to know what it is to be alive in the world.
Through wine we travel.