Tag Archives: smell

Who put medicine in my wine?

I've been on a mad tear for three weeks, probably twenty cities, and hundreds more cocktails and wines (beers don't count, or at least I don't count them as they go down) and I've been waiting for today to try to write it down. In some form or other. Some sort of record, but then I always imagine that I will write these things down and time doesn't allow it.

That, and this morning I had to undergo one of those procedures that people of a certain age undergo. It involves 24 hours of gatorade, juice and, well, nothing else, and before the sun came up this morning, I was up and about to go down, at least as long as it took for them to take snapshots of my innerds. For some reason, they feel like it's a good thing to give you a few reproductions of your slimy (but very empty) insides. Thanks. Wait, now that you mention it, I see the resemblance. Wow, it looks just like me. 

But here's the part that was weird. I'm on the gurney, butt exposed to the not yet fully awakened medical team (that should do the trick), when the guy with the drugs gives me the shot. Things start to go fuzzy and wobbly and then there's the smell! What the hell is that? Nap.

When I wake up about thirty minutes later, I'm just been wheeled into the recovery area. The nurse is giving me the okay to sip water, but all I can think about is: what the hell was the smell? So I ask her. Oh, it was the oxygen tube under your nose. No, it wasn't. That was there for about five minutes and it was when he stuck the drugs into my IV that some totally weird, medicine meets plastic meets rubber hose meets artificial herbs or something got up all in me.

I explain to her and she does the, hunh, that's weird (but we've got like 300 more patients lined up so drink your water and go home), and, no, actually, she was quite nice but I got no answers.

That was sixteen hours ago and I can still smell it. Not much of it. I have to really sniff hard to get it, but (sniff) there it is again. Weird. There was more of it earlier today, and I was still a little hinky from that shot and it's lessening.

But now I'm trying to taste some wines, assess them, write about them and be, well, correct as to what's in them and what if that smell is still here? It's one of the many dubious matters of wine tasting: there are always influences, whether smoke, fatigue, the trash needs taking out, the cat box needs cleaning, the cat's butt needs cleaning (you don't know my cat. Couldn't they breed longhairs with shorthairs on their butts?). The list goes on.

We assessors of taste, we try to get it right. But the central issue of wine or any other drink that we hope to limn is: is it good to drink? That too is fraught with influence: mood, season, food, proximity (whether to aromas or just to the wine that came before) and we spend a lifetime trying to sort out a relative mean. Then along comes a new flavor (and somebody squirts it into your veins) and, damn! This shit is hard to do!

Having done this pretty much 24-7 for thirty five years or more, I haven't usually felt that I couldn't put together a reasonable explanation of a wine, even in the throes of a cold or such. But tonight, at least, I'm giving these wines a rest.