I am not a drinker.
(I can hear some jaws dropping to the floor.)
Being in the food industry, I think it’s widely assumed and sometimes even mandated that all good food lovers (read: gourmets, gourmands, and gastronomes*) should be wine drinkers. Not only that, they must also be well-versed in pairing wines with their food.
As a food writer, I’m confident that I hold my own with people in the industry: I know that this summer’s trendy ice cream flavors (in New York) are avocado, lychee, and black sesame, in addition to wasabi-ginger and cilantro; I can compare the gluten percentages of different flours with professional bakers; and I know the difference between a compote and a coulis.
But when talk turns to wine, I feel like screaming out the door. Frankly, I’m quite freaked out by words like tannin, color, aroma, and taste. My dad (a wine aficionado) once told me that I’d have to learn how to drink sooner or later, but I don’t really want to. “Face the fear,” some of you might intone, but you know what?
I don’t really care to.
I don’t like the taste of wine. Or beer. Or any kind of alcohol. I’ve never even been drunk or hung-over in my life, and I’m 31. (Shhh.) I have other sins. When it comes to alcohol, rum cake is an exception as well as Bailey’s Irish Cream. But then again, I use them both as flavoring agents in my desserts. By the way, Bailey’s is divine in brownies, on ice cream, and cheesecake, and rum is good in all sorts of cakes.
My fellow food writer, Danny (one heck of a funny guy who has a way with words), once put it to me this way, “A good match of food and wine will expand the [food] experience. A small portion of taste displays its whole universe with the right wine.” I told you he had a way with words. It sounds poetic and enchanting, but it doesn’t pull me in.
So you can imagine my anxiety when I was invited to an event dubbed “…a casual evening of wine and food” at Azzurro…
See following post.
Gourmets (n.) have discriminating palates and are considered connoisseurs of fine food and drink.
Gourmands (n.) People who appreciate fine food, but often to excess.
Gastronomes (n.) Same as gourmets, but the word is harder to pronounce (!)