Even as a kid I had fun with the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th. That's when I began to notice most of the unfortunate occurrences attributed to superstitions were normal events that simply stood out when one's mindset was predisposed for disaster.
This "pre-disposed mindset" was the subject of an amusing short story I recall from my youth. It featured a young Midwestern boy (much like myself, at the time) named Homer Price. In this particular short story, a snake oil salesman by the name of Professor Atmos P. H. Ear (a wonderful play on words) blew into town, and then just as quickly, left town, as is the wont of such salesmen. This particular charlatan was selling shakers filled with a lifetime supply of an odorless, weightless, tasteless and invisible flavor enhancer called "Ever-So-Much-More-So".
When sprinkled on a common doughnut, the fried ring was suddenly the BEST doughnut ever tasted. When added to a common cup of diner coffee, the bitter brew suddenly transformed into a transcendent morning eye-opener and mood-enhancer. Of course, the salesman was simply able to bring his customers to focus on what they were tasting, and in so doing, they re-appreciated the flavors they'd bome to take for granted. And in so doing, he also sold a lot of cans filled with air.
This story appealed to me because it's an amusing and well-told tale. But also because it helped me see the human foible - that everything tastes better when we pay attention to our food. You know where i'm going with this, I suspect. Sometimes we discover anew an old favorite, just by focusing on it at the expense of everything else. A partner, for example. Or our kids.
Or a good glass of wine.
One of the exercises I lead at the beginning of my wine classes might be called "Ever-so-much-more-so". It focuses our attention on each wine's unique aromas and flavors and it's always an eye-opening experience, if you'll allow me to mix my sensory metaphors to make a point.
Our noses and tongues were once critical to our survival - indicating which food sources were safe and which were deadly. Now that we buy food at a store, and most of it is safe (peanut butter aside!), we have less to worry about. So food scents and flavors have faded into the background noise of our busy lives, and we're content with rather bland, salted, sweetened, and processed foods that fit nicely into our hectic lives.
So on this Friday the 13th, I invite you to slow down and smell the wine. Enjoy a meal, perhaps following the old meditative practice of preparing a meal in silence, with no TV, radio, phones or conversation, paying attention only to the aromas and flavors of your ingredients. If it sounds weird, that's because it is, but you'll be amazed at the amplification that occurs in your senses.
Or maybe I'm just superstitious.
This is a surprising wine that offers true Pinot pleasure at a fraction of the cost for most pinot noir hailing from Monterey county. This prestigious pedigree normally justifies a price two or three times this amount, and while this wine would have difficulty standing up to its big brothers in a blind taste test, it offers a lot of value for not a lot of coin.
I happily discovered the Torbreck wines over a year ago. An Australian producer that pulls fruit from all over the Barossa Valley, this particular wine is a blend of the classic Rhone varietals, with Grenache in the lead. The fruit comes from old vines, and I mean really old - some having celebrated their centenarian birthdays years ago - which lends a depth and intensity to this young, un-oaked wine. And no, the 2008 vintage is not a typo, but keep in mind the Southern Hemisphere harvests during our spring, so this wine is almost a year from its harvest so don't worry about bottle shock - it's been in bottle for many months now. Drinking very nicely right now!
Cima Collina, 2006 Pinot Noir, Tondre Grapefield Vineyard ($48)- This wine is at the other extreme from the affordable Tarrica, offering a truly transcendent wine made even more so with even the most feeble of attempts to shut out the world and focus on its aromas and flavors, which evolve and develop for as long as you can resist finishing the bottle. Not a wine for everyday drinking - at least, not for most of us - but a wine that makes a any celebration ever-so-much-more-so.
Any or all of these three wines will suffice as proof of the ever-so-much-more-so phenomenon, with flavors and aroomas that evolve over the course of an enjoyable evening. But if you decide to test the theory this Friday, I mean, just in case, don't do so while sitting under a ladder, or looking in a mirror, or with a black cat in the room, or with an umbrella open indoors, or the number 13 anywhere in view, or...
Cheers! Quote of the Day: ~ Francis Bacon, Sr. (1561-1626)
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Dave the Wine Merchant
"The root of al superstition is that people observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses."
Quote of the Day:
~ Francis Bacon, Sr. (1561-1626)
I Need Your Vote! VOTE DAILY!
. Help me continue this free blog by taking 5 seconds to vote here!