27 July 2009

27July- blah blah blah wine blah blah sigh

I usually enjoy my memories. The more time passes the more that's all anyone of us will have so it's good to learn how best to spend time with them now, I suppose. I will sometimes languish and swim in my memories when I'm not keen on the present and sometimes the memories will insist themselves upon me, at times when I neither expect nor appreciate them.
Just to keep this mildly restaurant related, some of my most frustrating, yet wonderful memories are about wine. I want deeply, at times. I like to want. Wanting makes me feel alive and illustrates that there is something that I want, which sometimes leads to a filling of that void, which can sometimes be satisfying. Wanting is natural. Emptiness is natural and is eternally bound in spirit to the filling of that void. It is that balance that I seek and that balance that can be so frustratingly beyond my reach, at times.
There are bottles of wine that have sent me on voyages of the palate the memories of which have made me get quiet and contemplative suddenly when I've been having a good time. A note, a suggestion within the structure of what I might be drinking may send me back to a time when another wine pleased me on a higher level. The experience of an extraordinary bottle of wine can be like a close moment with a lover. When the world goes away and you're left with all that's important at that moment. When you want to laugh and smile wistfully and bask and consume and possess and be possessed and understand and be understood all at the same time. When an aroma and a flavor suddenly integrates itself into your memory like the sweetness of that first kiss or the smell of that special, close layer that hovers just above the skin, close enough that only someone with their nose against the nape of a neck can experience it. A sudden meshing of being, a connection between what a wine has to offer and what a wine drinker needs that can only be described as chemistry and that, upon experiencing it, makes your throat hitch because you feel like you've seen a beacon of light on a pitch black night on rough seas.
I don't think I'm over-selling this. To paraphrase Nabokov, you can always count on a wine-lover/romantic for a fancy prose style.
Where was I? Right. Memories. Frustration. Wine. There's a wine right now that lives at the restaurant. I took it there once when I went out of town so that, god forbid, the house got broken into I wouldn't lose all of the good stuff. It's that one bottle that isn't for sale. Not that it's rare or particularly nostalgia-ridden. It's mostly that it's so expensive that I haven't drunk it yet and it's expensive enough that it's not likely to sell. It's not a big name. It's not from a region that, in and of itself, demands high prices. It's an IGT, but it's a super-Tuscan and it's a glorious example of the winemaking art and every so often I become aware that it's there and that I'm not drinking it. A thinness of glass separates it from me. And I want to hold it and look at it and open it and then experience it with all the raw ends of my craving. But I don't.
And in a larger sense, I don't know why. I have it.
It's mine.
One of the things that's considerably different from my "lover" analogy. This is an experience I can choose to have as easily as simply opening the wine cave door, removing a cork, and pouring a silky ribbon of wine into a glass. I don't have to wait until we're alone. My consumption of it isn't dependent on the whimsy of synchronous desire. And, sure, it's expensive but the money's spent already.
I've decided to open it. I know why, for whom, and roughly when. And maybe it will be everything I remember and maybe it'll disappoint, but the experience will add another layer to my memories of it and another reason to stop, on whatever night during which I might be having a good time sometime years in the future, and remember the time that I had that bottle.

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