So I spent Thursday afternoon doing something that I’ve been trying to be better at but have never really warmed to, I spent the afternoon at a trade tasting. Now I know all the people not in the business, (there has to be like 3 people that read this blog that is not now, nor trying to be, in the business. That’s ITB for you. Fuck what a douchebag abbreviation. Really?! In the business needs to be shortened? I blame Twitter) think I’m insane for not wanting to spend my whole day lodged in thick traffic, being bumped and knocked into, huffing in the rank ass perfume of the “hostess” that the sommelier next to me brought…..you know, to educate her palate, cramming oily olives, always dressed with the ever wine friendly citrus rind, into my pie hole while trying to nudge my way to the front of the table where I will fumble with my notepad, tasting sheet and wine glass while dodging the lama like spit so I can get a teensy taste of wine, poke my rump out and slowly back away to savor said wine only to do it all over again….like one hundred more times. I don’t blame you for questioning my sanity, I mean what’s not to love and desire about that?
I know some people love it; love the free snacks, the meeting up with others ITB, (ugh) the being away from work for a couple hours and schmoozing with sales reps or winemakers but it simply drives me batshit. I try, I really do but I spend the duration of these events feeling squished, aware of just how chunky my backing up ass is, rolling my eyes at the, “look how much I know and I am going to stand here, at the front of the table, unwilling to move until you admire my knowledge” crank yankers that insist one of the wines is corked…of course, just wishing I were back at the store. So not my scene and not at all a way for me to truly evaluate wine.
Sure I can swirl, sniff, slurp and spit with the rest of them, been at this long enough to have the basics down, to fit in with my fellow squished tasters but I find myself in the same goddamn quandary once I leave and am face to face with Randy at the shop, “So what was fantastic?” he always probes…his face all lit up waiting to hear. “Um, I’ll have to check my notes” is all I can ever give him. No rattling off or gooing over one wine or another. No long descriptions, no chatter about this vintage as opposed to last. Just a tasting sheet with stars and me with a crunched face wanting to go home and wash the squish off me.
Been going to more over the past year. Just making an effort to support my favorite importers, distributors and sales reps but I always go knowing that this is more of a preliminary tasting for me. I’ll taste a few wines from each estate just to get a feel for the house style or vintage and if I find something that piques my interest I will tell my rep and ask that they bring the wines by the shop so I can really taste them. Call me crazy but I just can’t get quite enough out of a wine, in that setting, to get all weak in the knees or even really commit to buying it for The Wine Country. I mean, I’m huffing hostess and tasting like how many wines, interspersed between bits of rind scented olive, (and restaurateurs, I get that they look lovely, taste nice and all but YOU try tasting Marsannay rouge after eating one of those fuckers) focused more on not bumping, spilling or getting the “look at me” guy's spit on my mug. Not really conducive to wine appreciation for me.
I love wine. I’m not talking just love, I’m talking I can have a very physical and or emotional reaction to wine when given the time to really explore it. Now I’m never going to be one of those cats that requests a whole bottle sample to take home and spend the night with. Just not built that way and I appreciate that suppliers have only so many samples and need to see as many people as they can with them. I can share. Fine with that actually but I just need a few more minutes, just a little more time to spend with my nose in the glass. A few focused moments where I can just shut the clutter out, the schmoozing, the mélange of hair gel and “hostess” just close my eyes, let my mind, nose and tongue uncover all that the wine has to offer. Just like speed dating makes no sense to me, speed or power tasting leaves me flat and aching for something….
Always with the lips. I always start at the lips. My face close and slowly taking in every tiny pore, the pattern of facial hair. My lips wet as my heart races and I move even closer, the sound of my own breath setting the pace as I move from the mouth to the neck and up to the earlobe. The scraping of my teeth along the freshly shaven or not shaven at all jaw, the way his body begins to stiffen and soften. My hands moving up the chest, my fingers taking in every bump either caused by my touch or there years before me. Reading his stomach and chest with my hands, memorizing the way his skin leaks into my fingertips….the sounds of his breath quickening, the sting of my teeth digging into my bottom lip as I remove his shirt and let my eyes fall upon the flesh that my fingers have been studying. The almost tortuously deliberate pace, the purposeful delaying. The bend of a kneecap, the imperfect patches of skin, the shaking when I press my lips along his hip, trace his ribcage with my nails, the hands digging into my back as I let my nose and cheek run along his thighs. Me devouring, investigating, chronicling each little bit….the voice, the smells, the skin, him. I want to know, see, taste, smell all of him, remember him before I can even completely succumb to him.
This, this is how I make love and as I said, I love wine….cannot imagine giving it any less thought than I would anything else I might think about letting slip inside me. Maybe it’s a chick thing and wine ladies feel free to chime in here, but I just can’t separate my passion, my desire, my want, the way I love, make love, am made love to from the things that made me want to be there in the first place. It takes more than a look, more than a smile…I need more to move me, I need time to keep me reaching up that shirt, for that next sip. I would never go on a blind date with a man my friend met in the checkout line at the grocery store so I have to wonder, why would anyone take wine advice from someone that attended a mass tasting?