That’s an easy one for me to answer. (To get the full background to appreciate the level of, All American, red-faced, “Beam me up Scotty,” “Help Mr. Wizard, I don’t want to be an enophile anymore” embarrassment, read my previous blog from 1-12-05.)
There I am, graduate laboratory novice, making $950 a month—Okay, that was in 1979 but shoot, in today’s dollars that would be like $982 a month—standing beside a gorgeous slate topped pool table in the mansion of the chief head and neck surgeon at Emory University in Atlanta. We had a couple of wines already and I hadn’t exactly learned, nor cared, to pace myself too well yet. I had a glass of newly poured white Bordeaux and I was trying to make a good, no, a great impression on the surgeon with the awesome underground wine cellar.
In my most sophisticated 27 year old manner I could muster, I swirl my stem plunging my nose deep into the glass taking a long sophisticated inhalation of complexity and joy. Only problem is I took my eyes off the glass for one little moment as I am sniffing to see, I think, if my host is watching. That was enough for me to inadvertently tilt my glass just enough to let the wondrous creation fill my nostrils; not with the wine’s tantalizing bouquet but with the full force of the wine's 14% ethanol.
If you want to know how sophisticated I looked, take a nose full of soda while looking in a mirror and see how impressively you handle it.
I don’t know whether my host saw or not, I only hoped white wine dried invisible on green pool-table felt.