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Can a grenache really taste like strawberries, rhubarb, hints of leather and dutch cocoa, all over the course of a long swig? While it may sound ridiculous, it does pose the challenge: how would you describe a flavor? It’s not easy to talk about wine! This is part of a complete episode.

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  • ‘How to describe in words…’ – not always easy, and my attempts sometimes get people to question my sanity.

    Example 1a: Sitting around with some friends, one said he couldn’t tell the difference between regular Coke and Diet Coke.
    … The rest of the guys said, “Are you kidding? They don’t taste at all alike.”
    … I chimed in, “Yeah, sugar tastes SHINY.”
    … Blank stares.
    … I tried to explain, “Well, Nutrasweet is sweet at first, but then it turns gray in your mouth, like gum after you’ve chewed all the flavor out of it…” I trailed off as the blankness of their stares deepened.
    … Finally one of the guys nodded slowly and thoughtfully, and said, “Yeah, I guess in a way sugar DOES taste shiny.”
    Q 1a: If you were trapped in my brain, how much would you pay to get out?

    Example 1b: A few years later I was having lunch a different set of friends. Somehow I ended up telling the sugar-tastes-shiny story, and one friend understood it immediately.
    … Then I turned to him and said, “Another question just popped in my head, and since you’re a master’s student in music, you can probably answer it: Which composer sounds most like a radish?”
    … The others at the table gave me that I-hope-‘crazy’-isn’t-contagious look, so we let the subject drop and went on to other topics.
    … A few minutes later, during a lull in the conversation, he turned to me and said simply, “Poulenc.”
    … “Of course!” I responded, as it clicked in my mind. “I kept thinking Prokofiev, but he’s HORSEradish.”
    … “Oh, definitely,” my friend nodded in affirmation.
    Q 1b: So there are TWO of us in the world who think like this. Is that as scary to you as much as it is to me?

    “Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.”
    ― Terri Garey, Devil Without a Cause

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