Wine tasting here is a ritual that can be intimidating. The self-righteous sommelier stated that filling out the wine order form was a “test of intelligence”.
I know little about the intricacies of wine. I know which tastes good and which is going to give me a headache. I own a few wine gadgets: an electric corkscrew in honor of my carpal tunnel, an aerator to help it breathe and a vacuum bottle stopper for leftovers. I’m ok with where I am right now in the wine department.
I choose wine from areas I have been to. Wine with a story. I am drawn to Montepulciano from Tuscany, Barolo from Piedmont, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Shiraz from Australia. I recall sitting in a pub in New Zealand – it was trivia night (the horrors!) and I was invited to join a team. The only answer I knew was a question about Brett Favre ;-).
Drinking wine has a cerebral and a sensory component. Cerebral is the easy part for me. It is knowing the demographic origin of the grape, the soil composition, the wine-making process. The other is the primal sense of taste. That sense, as with all our senses, is underdeveloped. While we are aware of the 5 elements of taste (sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami), they don’t get adequate attention. Wine is different in it’s depth, quality and mystique than, let’s say a Coca-cola. Drinking wine with a bit of reverence is a good thing.
That said, often in life the less you know the more you can enjoy. An avid surfer knows so much about surfing that he can no longer go to any beach and catch a wave. He needs to check the surf report for the perfect conditions. Perfect is the enemy of good. I know musicians that can’t just lean back and tap their feet – they need to deconstruct and respond to their analysis of the song rather than the song itself. It’s like a joke…if you dissect it, it dies.
When it comes to wine if you get too intellectual about it, it is no longer fun. But if you down it like a Coke, you miss out.
Yesterday there was a recipe for lemon bars in the New York Times. Anyone who knows me fairly well knows how much I love lemon bars. I am always trying to find new recipes to make them just right. They are my first choice in a bakery. It is not easy to get the crust perfect and the filling balanced between sweet and sour. The perfect lemon bar is very elusive and a work of poetic art.
Several people saw this article and messaged me about it yesterday. What struck me was the thought involved. That someone would see this, think of me and act on it by sending me the link. The more technologically-challenged just let me know about the article, leaving me to look it up because they don’t know how to send a link.
This simple act of selflessness often goes unnoticed. Something as little as tagging someone in a Facebook post or messaging about an article shows the bright side of social media. It is making a connection between people in a very intimate way. Even if only for brief moment. This is being the seer, not the seen. This is a more subtle act that goes deeper. It shows how much this person knows you and doesn’t want you to miss out. Social media is notorious for self absorption; showing others how much fun you are having. That public display is suspect to me anyway (“Doth protest too much”).
So next time you see something that makes you think of someone – pay to forward. Don’t assume they’ve seen the article. Pass it on and let someone know you’re thinking of them. For real.
A rainy cold weekend is forecast for us but remember, there is no bad weather, only bad gear!
Some weekend reading/watching suggestions:
Are Men With Beards More Desirable?
The many reasons that people are having less sex
Isdal Woman: The mystery death haunting Norway for 46 years and ‘Major breakthrough’ in Norway’s 46-year-old Isdal women mystery
Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?
I’ve been loving Shetland, a BBC crime drama set in the Scottish islands. The wild, scraggly coast, the eccentric people…it’s a fascinating series. Some call it Celtic Noir. You’ll want to go there.
Louis C.K. 2017 is on Netflix. He’s looking more dapper these days and is as funny as ever. Tackles everything controversial.
What are you up to?