Reminder: I am unable to promise daily blogging until Monday due to holiday, incoming house guests, and other obligations. Feel free to browse the archives!
I’m in the 24 hour eye of the storm before house guests arrive. Sheets changed. Floors swept. Meals planned, shopped for and pre-assembled. Towels folded nicely. Children picked up from grandparents and talked down from Sugar and Lego high. Bags unpacked. Outfits for the next four days o’ family fun coördinated.
I even put on deodorant.
We returned from holiday mid-day yesterday, after a leisurely drive home. We took the scenic route, stopping at all places kitschy, fabulous, dunes-y, climbable, photogenic, or ice-cream laden. It was the best way to cap three days of being wonderfully without Something That Must Be Done. I won’t go so far as to say I was bored, but I enjoyed the lack of To Do lists, Have To Dos, Need to See, and Networking That Must Be Done. My brain needed a break. Safety tip, folks: the moment you feel dizzy and NOT thirsty on a hot day, that’s when you have to force liquids. I learned that the hard way in college. And on this trip. Also, don’t drink a lot of caffeine on a hot day. Also, write complete sentences, people. It’s the right thing to do.
In the interest of not grossing you out, and in the interest of having enough time to scrub what appears to be fruit snacks out of my toilet (dear God, I hope it’s fruit snacks) I’ll skip the gory details of my dehydration and the mushy details of my long stretches of time lingering on what emerged from the mists of my brain corners and share this:
I am a bit of a wine hillbilly. I like wine. I like sweet-ish wines with food, and I have no problem with a dessert wine. Port is my drink of choice when I want to feel sophisticated, moody, artistic, and/or buzzed.
I don’t know much beyond that. My critiques tend towards “Ooh. Good!” and “Gross.”
Wine tastings are generally wasted on me. I do not have the palate. I tend to get the giggles during wine tours…not because of excessive “tastes” but because of the earnest descriptions and murmurs about overtones of berries and oak and coffee. I don’t taste it. And I laugh because folks look at me with my Chardonnay and roll their eyes.
“People always ask me what my favorite Chardonnay is,” started my 23-year-old wine guide. Yes, 23. I won’t say sommelier. He was a self-admitted salesman and guide.
I swirled my little Chard sample and sniffed it. It had overtones of…grape. “Say! What’s your favorite Chardonnay?” I asked because he had fairly prompted me.
“And I tell them I HATE Chardonnay. We all do here. But it sells to the general public.”
Blah blah blah. He went on about sales and refinement and I think at one point he may have called me a commoner. Wasn’t listening. Drinking Chard and tasting the big Cab, which was…grapey.
Then, a ray of sunshine lit upon a glass display case. Chocolates. Air-brushed. Gorgeous. Sophisticated.
Toto, we weren’t in Hershey, Pennsylvania anymore.
The guide caught my gaze and said they were specialty chocolates and only sold in 7 locations in the US. The chocolatier combs the world for the finest, rarest, most beautiful ingredients.
Another taster in the room, one who apparently was able to sniff out the type of foot cream the grape-stompers used for his Cabernet, asked if the chocolates were in the case to keep them cold.
Unable to help myself, I said, “No, it’s more of a humidity thing.”
I was right.
bff wine guide offered us some samples. Most people either refused or took a small bite out of what seemed to be politeness. “Oh. Good!” was the general consensus.
The chocolate melted on my tongue. Unlike the other
winos conossieurs in the room, I was able to differentiate between the chocolate from Ecuador and that from Bolivia. The Venezuelan had distinct plum and orange blossom notes while the Madagascar had a strong vanilla (naturally) and hazelnut aroma. I didn’t care for the grapefruit splash in the sample from Dominican Republic.
Hey. I may be a hillbilly when it comes to wine, but apparently, I’m a chocolate gourmand.
As for the rest of the world that cannot appreciate or enjoy the complexities of chocolate? Let them eat cake.