Wine, Body and Perfection
I never appreciated the importance of the body of a wine until I stopped smoking cigarettes a few years ago. I realized then that while under the influence of smoke, so much of what I understood about wines was a result of appreciating the wine’s body and texture since my sense of smell and taste had been muted.
I actually came to appreciate the beauty of wine by primarily appreciating the various bodies I encountered. To this day I still tend to categorize wines in my mind based on how their bodies appear and appeal to me, despite having returned to the realm of aroma and taste.
So, perhaps its no coincidence that today I can unequivocally say that the most beautiful thing I’ve ever encountered in my life is the pregnant body of my wife.
You know that revelation that you experience when you feel a wine wash over your palate in waves of rolling textures that seems perfectly attuned and integrated to just your palate? It’s a beautiful thing. And when I encounter that wine, I am set back on my heels. It’s glorious. But it’s nothing like the setting back I experience today, right now, when that perfect swell of my Kathy’s belly, pushing forward into a curvaceous glistening round, hits my eye. There is a perfect symmetry of meaning and flesh to her body that extends from head to toe.
I’d post a picture of what I’m talking about right here on this blog, but I have a feeling that the perfected beauty to which I am witness is meant wholly for me and is perfectly attuned to my own eyes. Still, it is something to see.
I think a rich and silky red wine that also possesses the perfect moment of grip on the middle palate then slides like weightless velvet down the throat is the kind of thing that multitudes of wine lovers can experience communally. We can all appreciate it because it doesn’t belong to one person but rather is contrived to impact any wine lover with a discerning palate. It’s a beautiful thing, but it is unlike my Kathy’s current curves, which are primarily ours. I get that. And I get that the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is that because it is derived from us. But I would equally reckon that in her current form she could stop a stranger and set them back on their heels too.
Sometimes when you ask an old wine lover what was the greatest wine they’ve ever tasted they return with a very specific memory of a wine that impacted them and to this day stays with them. They not only describe the wine in detail, but they know where they were and what time it was and who they were with. I like hearing those kind of stories. You realize you are being offered a glimpse into a rare thing: one experience in one person’s life that ranks above most all other moments in their life.
There is certain melancholy that comes with realizing it is unlikely you will ever see anything again, ever, in your life more beautiful than what you’ve just seen or are seeing now. It’s a reminder that you’ve seen a lot of things and lived a lot, lived enough to know that this life is half gone. On the other hand, the exhilaration of experiencing what will be the pinnacle of beauty in your life, and knowing it is your own pinnacle, is difficult to adequately describe. But I want to be able to describe that feeling better….so I think I’ll take another look.