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  • He spoke of the wine as if it had a personality, not surprisingly a female personality. He used words like sumptuous, sultry, and gorgeous. The wine was full-bodied and velvety, the tannins were sensationally polished, curving around his tongue, and the taste was perfumed. "How can you not love this?" he exclaimed, frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm. "I just don't agree that it's such an astonishing wine," I said. "There's nothing to agree or disagree with," he said; "there's no room for subjectivity in this matter, this is - objectively speaking - an excellent wine." I shrugged, a gesture that seemed to annoy him even more than my obvious ignorance. "Taste it again," he said, "roll it around in your mouth, chew it, listen to it." I grinned. "What do you mean, listen to it?" I asked, skeptically. He sighed. "This is a soft-spoken wine," he explained, calmly, as if instructing a child; "you have to think of it as having a quiet voice, but at the same time a natural authority."

    I swallowed another mouthful, after having swirled it around in my mouth for as long as I was able to before starting to feel suffocated. "Now draw your breath," he said, encouragingly. I obeyed, closing my eyes in intent concentration, hoping I'd be able to please him by decoding the cryptic message extracted from the bottle. But alas. "Nope, this wine has nothing to tell me," I said. He looked at me, sternly. "Well, then you're obviously not listening properly," he said; "let me use a metaphor you'll understand." He went on to describe the voluptuous redhead in Mad Men, and how, when she speaks in her soft, feminine voice, everyone's listening. "Not just because she's hot as Hell," he said, "but because she's smart, too." I felt like emptying the rest of my glass in his lap, but since this was a wine that apparently needed space in order to unfold properly, there wasn't much left to pour out. "A good Barolo is built somewhat like her," he continued, unaffected; "imagine a massive, curvy body, evoking anticipation of a passionate affair, but then she opens her mouth, and what you get is a surprisingly ethereal loveliness, a soft elegance, dulcet tones of violets and roses, and you want to impress her, right, you want to really listen to what she has to say, not just stare at her rack like some slobbering jackass."

    When our meals arrived the red lady spoke up. She completely overpowered the fish I had stubbornly ordered, against his better judgement, and when he offered me a taste of guinea fowl soaked in truffle sauce, I realized that this particular red was in need of a strong opponent in order to fully show off her best qualities. I sat back on my chair and looked at him across the table. He didn't notice that I had stopped eating, stopped pretending to listen to what he was saying between mouthfuls of juicy bird. While he savoured his small amount of the precious liquid, I gulped down more than my fair share. I drank it as if it had been water, I gobbled it down, devoured it greedily, and what do you know - it got better and better. The red was up for a bit of fun, a heated discussion, a passionate tango, a night on the town, and by the time he finished his dinner and was ready for a refill, the Barolo and I were long gone.
  • Old red wine
    Well past its prime
    May have to finish it
    After crossing the line

    Old red wine
    Well past its prime
    Gonna have to drink it with you
    Some other time.

    Let it breathe

    Let it breathe

    Let it breathe
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