December 4th, 2010



Wine has many eye-catching variables, each of which is designed as an attempt to stand apart amongst a sea of its brethren. "Choose me," the individual bottles calls - and some to great success.

Most wine bottles are of a generally standard shape and size, though there are those which are more or less misshapen - these too stand out, some for better and some for worse. While you may certainly notice a particular pleasingly-shaped bottle when its displayed with the rest, those which fall too far outside the norm may be deemed unworthy of the trouble and thusly shelved elsewhere. Some men choose these wines over others simply because they're different - an oddity; they usually end up novelties, the quality of its contents long forgotten once its been emptied. Shape can be really fun, but its certainly not the most important.

The singularly most arresting visual attempt which jumps out at a man shopping for wine (and in extreme cases of overt allure, even when he's not) is the label. From a very early age we're instructed to not judge books by their covers, but to date that has not stopped marketers from wrapping them in imagery. Wine is no different. Why, some of the best I've had was in plain, unadorned bottles. Yet I too have fallen victim to taking home a bottle of sub-standard wine simply because of its ornate pleading. Not every fancy or beautiful label is hiding a lurking disservice, but until you're true to yourself, you'll never find happiness.

Oh the wit, humor, or prestige which is its designated nomenclature! The "fun" sounding wines and "serious" named wines are still just wines. And while they each contain their own individual nuances, at the end of the day you're still only drinking wine. Fun and serious are a state of mind - and while a great wine can help you reach the destination you're shooting for, the name alone isn't going to assist one iota. Some of the names appeal to a man as if from a nostalgic memory, others perhaps an exotic fantasy. Regardless, not a good long-term choice strategy. Why some of the most horrid wines I've ever spat from my mouth sounded as if they should've opened up the very doors of Heaven to me. Don't let the name distract you. As a Shakespeare might write, "That which we touch to our lips, by any other name would taste as sweet."

What I personally seek - above all else, is the multi-layered complexity within. The Old Man missed the mark. Complexity doesn't mean difficult - though the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive either. If you have the opportunity to swirl the wine around a bit and watch it slowly ease from the sides of the goblet as it captures the light, it may just also capture your imagination as well. Inhale the aroma. The power of scent can trigger strong memories, the type with depth of emotion on its heels. If you've waited this long to choose the wine you plan on taking home, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed.

Our preferences are as varied and personal as there are choices and falls outside the scope of this entry. I don't want to discuss what you should choose, or why - only that you put thought into it, and let your heart follow. These are things no one can take from you. Use them for everything they're worth, and never pass up an opportunity.

I thought I tasted of too many cigarettes
But you tasted like wine.

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