Ummmm… Two Things

November 28, 2006 § Leave a comment

While I’m fairly good at identifying flavors in foods, I completely suck at identifying the same scents in wine. It’s as though I’m a completely different person, one without a nose or any experience smelling other things that one should smell in wine.

For example, I really can’t imagine what cherries smell like (that is to say, I can’t develop a smell-memory of actual cherries, though I can develop a surprisingly strong smell-memory of cherry-flavored gum, but I can’t imagine any winemaker aiming for a patently false Bubbalicious nose) which is unfortunate since it’s one of the most common scents that critics (allegedly) find in red wines. I am better at imagining other smells: caramel, wet earth, gasoline, butter, roses, almonds, coffee, vanilla, manure, apples, pears, grass… in fact I believe that I live through my nose more than most people, but I still can’t identify flavors in wine.

Anyway, I’ve been nursing a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for about two and a half hours now (it’s not my favorite, I must say, particularly since my wine-writer husband cheerfully describes its characteristics as “a combination of gooseberries and cat piss”) and I could have sworn I just caught a hint of tuna. Lovely.

In other news, Richard finally found the perfect gift for my uncle whose name Richard received for the family gift exchange. My uncle’s a difficult man to shop for; the only hobbies he has that I know of is building antique cars through mail-order kits and constructing rock walls. A large hunk of granite, however polished, isn’t a very warm gift, and I absolutely refuse to purchase a subscription to a car magazine, so I was at a loss, and I only had four days left to choose something.

So, we were at the Picton Castle* Shop, looking for something for my brother, when we came upon what may be the perfect holiday gift: a ceremonial brain fork from Fiji, where brains were once eaten in ceremonies, (but are now just eaten symbolically? The clerk wasn’t very clear on the details, but I must admit I was not very concerned. This one is new, either way.)

*The Picton Castle is a tall ship that functions as a training vessel: you pay $10,000 and they teach you to sail over the course of a 6-week voyage. They collect items at different ports of call throughout South America and the Pacific Rim, and then have sale days when they come in to North American ports. Their stuff is always cool and incredibly cheap. Today I saw this fantastic piece from Bali: a 3×4 solid-wood carving of a jungle scene (marvelous craftsmanship, considering the artist must be self-trained), all framed in another wood and priced at $1200. Just beautiful. But I’d be pretty happy getting a brain fork, instead.

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