Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I taught a “class” the other day called Passionate Pairings, and I paired brie cheeses and chocolates with different wines. It made me remember a lovely bottle of wine Gordon and I shared some time back, and I wrote this:
Smell is your most powerful sense. I don’t know about you, but I have been in the middle of nowhere, caught the scent of something, and it has brought back a memory I didn’t even know I had!
Recently, Gordon and I were drinking a bottle of wine, and as with all wines I find special, I was more into sticking my nose into it than tasting it. There is a special delight in anticipating the taste when the bouquet is so enticing. I take my time, inhaling sharply, inhaling slowly, swirling the glass thereby aerating the wine, inhaling again, sometimes repeating this process so many times that Gordon is frustrated and says “TASTE IT already!” – he wants to discuss what I find in my nose and in my mouth and compare it to his experience. Yet another joy of wine tasting. Frequently we will open a bottle, pour a taste immediately, then let the bottle sit for 10 minutes, and taste again, let the bottle sit 20 minutes more, then taste again…having lovely snooty discussions about the changes that have occurred. And if you’re raising an eyebrow as to why I haven’t brought up decanting, let me tell you why. Decanting can be a lovely way to show off the color of a beautiful wine, and a lovely way to aerate an important wine if you’re drinking it immediately. But if you have the time to let the wine sit and settle, do it my way. It’s way more fun. And a lesser wine, sold for a premium price to an unsuspecting buyer, will fall totally flat after decanting.
This particular wine, a 2014 Cuttings from The Prisoner Wine Company, made me respond emotionally. Sometimes I respond intellectually but this time, there was definitely a warm fuzzy safety elicited by the bouquet and I didn’t even struggle to figure it out. I just “went there” and enjoyed it. Then I tasted, and joy was definitely brought forth! The palette lived up to the nose in an extraordinary way, bringing forth complexities to be mulled over; reveled in. I began trying to put words to my experience. “Leather”, I said. “Fine Wool”, I said. “Cherries”, I said. “Tobacco”, I said. “GRANDADDY!!” I said. And joy was born. I was back in my grandfather’s arms, on his lap in his armchair, with his pipe at the ready on the humidor side-table. He liked a cherry tobacco. He wore his business suit. He had just come home from work and we were eager to snuggle. Thank you, Cuttings, for the memory! Wishing for you this Valentine’s Day the making of a new memory or two!!
A Note From Chef Lori
Don’t forget to check out Lula’s recipe for Winter Greens Lasagna in the latest issue of Edible Ohio Valley!
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