My husband’s nose is poised delicately over a large, freshly poured—some might say stupidly expensive—Petite Sirah. We’re deep in romantic wine country. Eyes closed, he conveys such bliss it sends me and my nose scurrying to my own glass. “What do you smell?” he murmurs reverently.
“Alcohol.” Cause I do. That’s what I smell. The kind of scent I associate with the last few seconds of physical comfort I’ll know before my arm is jabbed with a sharp ‘this-won’t-hurt-a-bit” needle. ‘Fear’ is the word association I put to those kinds of smells.
He laughs. Cause he knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Don’t get me wrong, I love wine. I drink wine all the time. It’s all I do drink, as other types of alcohol for me are just that: Al. Co. Ho. Rubbing. Disinfecting. Warning. Those are the only appropriate uses for something that smells so damn industrial strength. No…wine…wiiiiiiiine…whine…. That's always been my poison of choice. And I don’t stint myself on price either, cause the cheap stuff gives me headaches. When it comes to wine I go big or go home. But having said that, I’ve never once been sniffing distance from it and found myself thinking: ‘Ah, there it is! The indelible taste of scattered Autumn leaves laced in fine Brazilian dark chocolate with a whimsical note of a Monarch butterfly’s breath and all undercut by a sly hint of nun’s underwear’…or something. Nope. Words like ‘nutmeg,’ ‘cherry bouquet,’ or ‘soft alpine fire’ never occur to me, even when they’re advertised by the experts. I don’t smell them.
“What do you smell?” I ask my husband.
He swirls the glass professionally, creating the ‘stems’ of wine on the inside of the glass that’s supposed to mean something…to someone. He sniffs again. “Hm, yeah…oh, yes…definitely…”
“Smells like I’m one glass away from a guaranteed shag tonight.”
Wine shoots out my nose. Enough wine in fact by his definition to put him one and a half glasses away from getting lucky.
It’s okay. He’s wrong about the wine sealing the deal anyway. After nearly thirty years together, wine coming up my nose is a far more effective aphrodisiac than wine going down my throat. He had me at “guaranteed shag.”
Let that be a lesson to you boys: girls like the funny.
We also like bouquets of course…especially those underscored with the scent of fresh cut cedar along with the over-tones of rippling turkey-jerky, maybe just a nod from an elfen-lighted-honeysuckle-wick and finally rounded off with the smooth velvety texture of Black Sea mud, in order to reach for a perfect crescendo into a finely sanded, buffed if you will, holiday mood and—I could do this all day—the buttery warmth of toasted pine-cones…