In our everyday world, at the end of a day, many of us go home, change into something more comfortable, look in the kitchen for something to cook and pop a bottle of wine. Like breathing, we do it often. And as is often the case, we don’t think too much about it. And for all intents and purposes that is usually more than adequate.
This morning I read an article in the NY Times, I'll Have What She's Thinking, about scientific inquiry into the nature of spontaneous orgasm. In the haze of an endorphin high and while eating a delicious breakfast, I poured over the article. One graph caught my attention:
“The finding was significant in that it challenged a common stereotype — that men achieve orgasm more readily than women. Now science was suggesting that, at least for some women, all it took was a vivid imagination.”
Imagination. It had me thinking perhaps we just found a new door to explore in this wine game. What if the wines everyone told us we would like in no way could compare to the inner voice, the imagination led voice, towards getting us a leg up on enjoying more types of wines with greater pleasure?
Yes, there are all kinds of things to be worrying about. Job insecurity, world peace, rambunctious relatives, all kinds of dysfunctional asteroids banging up around inside our heads. But what if, just what if the greatest pleasures of wine yet remained untapped?
I thought about one of my yoga buddies, who would probably laugh at my “attachment” to a material object, this wine stuff. And yes, he would be right and much more evolved as a soul than this exploration was looking to uncover. Wine, first of all, is alcohol and can alter perceptions by way of the delivery of wine down the gullet.
Imagine a simple red wine, let’s say a Sangiovese from Tuscany. And let’s say this wine doesn’t have the provenance of a Sammarco from Rampolla or an Ebo from Petra. Let’s say it is further down on the evolutionary scale of quality. But what if that was all a matter of how we perceived the different wines to be? Let’s take the reviews of Galloni, Larner, Suckling and Sanderson out of the mix. Let’s go to a place where the external stimuli are at a minimum, for the sake of this exercise, the equivalent of one of John Lilly’s isolation tanks, without the water. Sitting somewhere in a darkened room, little to no external stimuli. Or if not available maybe with an eye mask on or eyes simply closed. Let’s go explore.
The first thing I notice is the olfactory messages. I’m getting the pulsing heart of a garden in the afternoon. From there the herbs are sending me waves of aromas, from the oregano to the dust, the sage, the dried cherry pits lying on the ground from the dinner party the night before. All of a sudden I get a milky note, like the dried milk on a bib that the baby dropped. From there we get a sense of a small animal running around, maybe a mouse. There is a little “animale” note, not offensive. We are not in a mode to absorb negative, just sensations.
As I gather some of the wet liquid inside my mouth, I swish it around; let it sit there for a moment. It is like a pot that has been stewing with tomatoes and oil and herbs, which has been turned off and is cooling. There are flavors of that and there are deeper flavors, along with the heat of the alcohol. All of this sits there begin to go down the throat. But I wait, breathing. In and out, and the new aromas mingle with the flavors, like a piece of music building up to a crescendo.
I wait as long as I can before the intensity of the alcohol has my mind begging my body to swallow. And I do. And just like that the ride is over and I want to get on the roller-coaster again and again and again. But the ride inside isn’t over. It’s just begun.
That, with a $10 wine and a little vivid imagination and a spontaneous wine-gasm might be possible.
It opens up all kinds of possibilities.
Like what, you ask?
For one, you might take it out of the darkened room and into a public setting. After a bit of practice, almost any wine could trigger the imagination to greater heights of sensorial and metaphysical delectation. The inherent sensuality of wine lends itself well to new explorations, maybe as many as in the sexual realm. Perhaps blending the two together will open up new horizons. Take it where you care to go.
What I found in the exercise, inspired but the NY Times article, is that there are others who are better at things than I am. What if someone with a great and vivid imagination could show us the degrees of elation one could experience with a wine, one an expert might otherwise dismiss?
I’m sure this will not be a huge movement anytime in the near future. We all want the answers too easily; want someone to tell us what to love. But what if we could learn to love what is right there in front of us so much more deeply and profoundly because of a little exercise we could learn with our mind?
Then we might take the power of the critic and put it inside our own mind.
And that would be a very powerful and compelling act.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W