Sunday, April 5, 2009

Expanding My Creativity, or Another Way I'm Justifying My Kookiness

I've been reading The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace, a very masterfully crafted nonfiction novel about the world's most expensive wine. I'm finding it unexpectedly educational (I've learned a lot about Thomas Jefferson that was never taught in school) and decidedly inspiring as far as well-crafted nonfiction prose. I've also found what I will be cultivating as a new hobby (and a way to drive Cody crazy):

In the book, Wallace brings to life the personality of Michael Broadbent, the auctioneer of the most expensive wines, among other things, and also a man acknowledged as having the most experienced palate in the world by his wine-connoisseur peers. In his description of Broadbent, Wallace comments on how the man had a "knack for putting wine into memorable words," describing wines as "black as Egypt's night" or in terms of women, likening one vintage to Sophia Loren: "You can admire them, but you don't want to go to bed with them."

Broadbent has inspired me. No more shall I conform to the wine verbiage of the masses, talking of wines in terms of spicy, plumy, jammy, earthy, etc. No. I shall break free of these confining descriptives and go with something more creative.

Thus, when we went wine tasting today, I noted to Cody that the first wine we tried, a Kosher Merlot (I didn't realize there was such as thing as Kosher wine before today, either), hearkened to crab-tossed sand dollars in the moonlight. Cody almost snorted his wine. The next wine was like a sun-warmed granite rock with yellow butterflies dancing on the updraft of its heatwaves. By the third, Cody got into the spirit. When we got to the Cabernet, which I felt had notes of a bubbling brook near which a whimsical frog played, Cody joined in, discerning a hint of a lone moss-covered red brick wall near that brook in the after notes of the wine.

We were careful to keep our comments quietly to ourselves so as not to scare off the other tasters, but with practice (and a little more wine), I feel that I'll be compelled to share these descriptions with my fellow wine lovers.

No comments: