This article explores the making and tasting of wine through the anonymous processes of nonhuman consumption that participate in the production of its relational ontology (the terroir) and shape its visceral encounter with the human tongue (taste). First, the author defines a notion of consumption that is neither reduced to the human, the subjective, or the phenomenological nor dematerialized into sociocultural or politico-economic anthropic schemes. Second, he explores wine’s terroir as a prism through which to challenge the two main ideologies that frame the contemporary wine world: a normative territoriality premised on spatio-legal frameworks, and a consumer-oriented marketing approach. Third, the author introduces the natural wine movement, an umbrella term loosely gathering different wine makers who share a common reaction against those ideologies. In the constellation of thinking, making, and tasting that constitute the movement, he finds the lineament of a strategic materialism that aims to make visible and is open toward the agency of the nonhuman matter, and which does so by addressing simultaneously wine’s terroir and taste, by means of profanating their taken-for-granted normativity. The article concludes by suggesting that this strategy may hold promising insights for implementing radical food politics in the age of agro-industrial capitalism.
Profanating Gastro-Normativity: Exploring the Nonhuman Materiality of Making and Tasting Wine in the Natural Wine Movement
Andrea Pavoni is research fellow at DINAMIA’CET (Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies), ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal. Drawing from various areas such as critical geography, urban studies, legal theory, sociology, and philosophy, his research explores relations among materiality, normativity, and the urban in different fields. He is the author of Controlling Urban Events. Law, Ethics, and the Material (2017).
Andrea Pavoni; Profanating Gastro-Normativity: Exploring the Nonhuman Materiality of Making and Tasting Wine in the Natural Wine Movement. Cultural Politics 1 November 2020; 16 (3): 367–386. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-8593564
Download citation file: