The Coming Taste of Wine
Over the years there were some people who, upon learning that I was a smoker, became very interested in getting me to quit. When they learned I worked in the wine business, they almost inevitably crafted a "stop smoking argument" that looked like this:
"Tom, you're in the wine business and really NEED to be able to taste and evaluate wine. How can you do that when you are layering smoke over your palate. If you quit, just imagine how much more sensitive your palate will be. Just imagine how much more you will get out of the wines you are tasting"
It's not a bad argument, but honestly my first reaction to it was, "hey, I can taste wine with the best of them. There's nothing wrong with my palate." The fact is, the most acutely sensitive part of my palate has always been its reaction to textures. I have long made determinations about wines based on the texture they deliver. Thinking about it now, this may be because my sense of smell and taste have been dulled by Pall Mall Light 100s.
That said, the anticipation that I will be opened up to a new world of taste sensations upon quitting smoking is a very strong motivator as I work through this transition from smoker to non-smoker. Unfortunately, by all accounts I'm going to have to work through a few other things first. Experts tell me that I'll experience the following:
1. Weight Gain
It's a result of feeding the oral fixation and, they say, the fact that foods now taste so good. I really don't want to gain weight.
Wonderful!! Apparently, nicotine has a laxative effect.They say its a temporary condition. But that's all I'm going to write about this.
3. Withdrawal Symptoms
Yep. They nailed that one.
I'm told I should avoid stressful situations for a couple weeks. Otherwise those close to me will be exposed to a touchy disposition.
A little bit of this has already kicked in. But there are good drugs for this, so I'm not worried.
After the constipation and irritability are gone, I should be in a good position to start to evaluate whether a smoke-free palate is indeed a better palate. As I type, I'm formulating a plan whereby I can test the idea that food and drink will taste better and be more intense once the smoke and nicotine no longer inhibit communication between my taste buds and my brain. I'm imagining putting wines of supposedly complex flavors in front of me and pairing them with foods that are said to both contrast and compliment the wines. I'll need to rely on palate memory to determine if there is a real difference.
I'm looking forward to this experiment
Quitting Smoking: Day 3 Update
The mind still imagines a cigarette between my lips and smoke rushing into my lungs. These are real, vivid images that turn into compulsions as quickly as the snap of the finger. Have consumed two small lollipops already this morning in fighting off these desires. Regular and very deep breaths help too, as does the consumption of copious amounts of water. So far, concentration is good this morning. Need distractions. Good ones. Really good ones.