Today’s simple pleasure is for all of you out there who enjoy wine, and more importantly, a particularly wonderful bottle of it. I made this quick little doodlewash tonight as I’m short on time and about to enjoy a glass in just a moment. Many of you who’ve read my posts know that I rather enjoy wine, but I’m also a bit picky when it comes to the type of wine I’ll drink. Not surprisingly, in our house, you’ll find mostly wines from France, since my partner is French. But I do prefer them most of all. Second in the race would be South American wines. I like wines that are dry and not at all sweet, though a bit a floral note is sometimes okay. I’m no sommelier, so I can’t really speak to all the terms. By terms, I simply mean phrases which describe a red as having “hints of tobacco, dark berries, grass and cedar” and the more alarming thought that a high-quality Sauvignon Blanc smells of “cat’s pee.” Suffice it say, I far prefer red wine.
Wine descriptions are almost as delightful as the wine itself. So many odd combinations that to read them literally, one would have to think twice before consuming such a concoction. It makes me think that tasting notes, those odd descriptive comparisons, are a true example of the power of imagination. In many ways, it’s no different than someone attempting to describe another person’s art, particularly abstract art. What they see and experience is often far different than even the person standing next to them in a gallery. That’s part of what makes art and wine so enjoyable. Join a friend and try a wine flight of various wines and you’re likely to discover this phenomenon. And if these wines come with a description of those who have tasted them before, it’s fun to see if you agree. Does this wine really have hints of coffee, berries and mushrooms? Does it taste peppery with a hint of licorice and fern? Or is it all just oak and smoke? In the end, the only thing that really matters is whether or not you personally think it’s delicious and wonderful.
An additional phenomenon when it comes to tasting wine is that your physical location has a lot to do with how you imagine its quality to be. Many times, Philippe and I have been tired and trapped in an airport to discover a wine that tastes just heavenly, only to attempt to purchase it at home and realize it’s totally crap. In that moment, at least, it was exactly what we needed, but in any normal moment, it left much to be desired. So many things in life are amazing simply because it’s the very first time. This is why I was enamored by Venice the very first time, and yet, on the second visit, began to notice the smell. Our imaginations are a wonderful part of our experiences. True, imagination is an unreliable narrator if facts are really of interest to you. But if you’re fond of just enjoying life’s experiences, it’s the only narrator you’ll ever need. And when you have your next little glass of fermented grapes, it’s best to just let you imagination run wild. Whether it’s a hint of a cigar box, tea, or even a bit of a barnyard scent, it’s entirely up to your own unique imagination when it comes to enjoying a great bottle of wine.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Yellow, Red Rose Deep, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.