Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So just what is it that attracts us to things….and each other for that matter? Twice this week I have been “treated” to one of my favorite steps in the “dance” between male and female, the whistle and yelling from the car. There I am on my drive to work, thinking about the things that I need to get done, listening to music and having a grand old time, lost in my all too rare private time and all of a sudden there is some dude either honking and waving or making those awful whistling sounds, you know the kind you use to call a dog or something…..has this maneuver ever worked?! Has a woman ever looked over and said, “You look like a fine upstanding citizen, I am going to pull my car over so that we can get acquainted.” Does that happen? Am I just some freak that finds this intrusion both annoying and just plain silly? I have never driven by someone and felt compelled to get their attention…unless it was to tell them their trunk was open or something. I told this story to a friend and she told me, “They are attracted to you Sam”…..my nose scrunched up and all I could think to say was, “They are attracted to me? But they don’t even know me?!” She then went on to tell me that I was indeed a freak.

Now don’t get me wrong, I notice good looking people, I can be aloof but I am not blind. I appreciate a good looking person but do so much like I would a pretty house, gorgeous flowers or a lovely picture, I see it/them think, “Oh Pretty” and move on, oh on occasion I have been known to utter a, “damn” or “oh wow” but other than that…..almost nothing. For me to be attracted, (physically or otherwise) I have to be interested and I tend not to be too terribly interested in shiny packages plus I have always thought that looks were just genetics or luck of the draw so what is so interesting about that? Now one of the “gentlemen” that heckled me this week, (the dog whistle guy) was what most would consider good looking but to me….his behavior, his actions, (not to mention the super cute simulated dangling “man” sack hanging from the back of his truck) were anything but….he was common and no different than any 13 year old boy…just with bigger toys and a bigger mouth, that equals big fat zero on the attraction meter.

I have always been attracted to things….and people with depth, richness, texture and intrigue, the unexpected. Take my husband for example when we met almost 15 years ago we were both a part of a group that would get together once a month. There he was each time with his long hair, concert T-shirts, (tucked into his jeans no less) Doc Martins, horrible taste in music and stories of how he dropped out of college because he was too into drugs….zero on the meter. One evening we were sitting in a bar with the group and they were playing video trivia and there was the long haired, grunge guy getting every single answer right….ding ding totally registered on the meter, turned out there was a lot more going on there than the package would imply.

Not into cars, clothing designers or jewelry, (other than Jeanine Payer who makes these incredible looking pieces. Kind of industrial looking with phrases or bits of poetry carved in tiny script on them…my favorite is a Rumi quote; Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I’ll meet you there carved onto a less than one inch hollow cube that dangles from a chain that looks a little like a bike chain…seriously cool) and I am clueless when it comes to names of the hot new actors/actresses and models, not because I think they are lame….jut not interested so why bother trying to remember? My taste in wine….very much the same, if what is in my glass gives it up on the first or second sip, zero on the attraction meter.

The reason for this post is I was talking to a customer yesterday, (wish I could remember his name…so bad about that) I had met him one other time and we had spent almost 25 minutes talking about Burgundy so I knew a little about his taste. I took him in the kitchen area to taste a couple wines left over from our Best of the Year tasting we did on Saturday because he was asking me about the 1999 Chateau Musar, ($53.99) which was featured. We tasted the wine and he was really into the aromatics but not so much on the palate so I figured while I had him there I would pour him a couple other things. I poured two glasses side by side, in one the 2006 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Monthelie Rouge, ($29.99) and the other, 2004 Paolo Scavino Barbera D’Alba ($39.99), the first was a light cranberry color the second the color of black plum skin.

I watched him reach for the lighter wine, as we all would right…start light go heavier, he tasted it put it down and reached for the second glass, took a sip and put it down. He stood there for a second and reached again for the little Burgundy, (Monthelie) this time taking more time, swirling it, smelling it and taking little sips….never reached again for the Barbera, we chatted a bit and then I asked him, “Did you like the Barbera?” and he replied, “Oh yeah it was tasty, really good…I just prefer this one” I had to laugh because that was the opposite reaction to what I see all the time.

Cannot tell you how many times I have poured an extracted wine in someone’s glass and they say, “Whoa look at that color, yum”….Yum? You haven’t even tasted it yet, what do you mean, “Yum”?! Or worse, I pour a red Burgundy in their glass and they say, (before tasting it mind you) “That is so thin, I like wines with more flavor”…but….but…you haven’t tasted it yet how can you say anything about the flavor? Is it the color, the fact that you can see through it that makes you think there is not enough flavor? To this I throw up this example, chocolate cake…dark, rich and full of flavor right….now lemon juice, you can see through it…does it have less flavor…um nope just as much, if not more. Now those are extreme examples and there is clearly the sweet and sour factor but as far as volume of flavor, length of flavor….I’d say that thin little lemon juice trumps chocolate cake, so that color equals flavor deal has no legs, kind of like saying that if someone is good looking they are interesting…yeah, maybe for a second but the package tells you nothing about what is inside.

Now for my palate some of those ultra rich wines are just too simple, very tasty and full of deliciousness but if the second glass tastes the same as the first….I’m kinda done with it, not that I don’t like it or find it in anyway inferior, just looses my interest and I am no longer attracted to it. For others that’s the draw, they are attracted first by the color and then seduced by the luscious flavor, that is what they love about wine and you know what….that diversity is what I love about wine and another reason the 100 point scale used for rating wine is flawed….my 90 points and your 90 points can be light years apart. As a retailer it’s not my job to sell you something I think is attractive, it’s to help you find what it is that flips your switch, turns you on and keeps you reaching for another sip. How freaking cool is that?!

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