Book club (which is what we call every writing session) is sacred. Wine is also sacred. And because of this, we select wines based on our moods, current projects, or special occasions – like a holiday! Oh how we love the excuse of a holiday. We’re cheesy like that and we’re completely okay with it. In fact, nine times out of 10, we have a plate of cheese to go with our wine. But we digress…
Halloween was just a little over a week ago, therefore, we indulged in several dark, tempting, full-bodied wines with luxuriously velvety mouth-feels the entire month of October to pay homage to the occasion. Some of our favorite wines of October included: Apothic Inferno (which is aged in whisky barrels- delicious and strong!), Witching Hour Red Blend (13.5%), Freak Show Cabernet, and the wine we were drinking as we wrote this – Scarlet Path Lodi Zinfandel 2014 (13.5%). We are not wine connoisseurs by any stretch of the imagination, but we sure like to pretend we are and our process is not exactly professional. It all starts with the choosing of the wine. Some people look at vintage, winery, location. Not us. We look at the label – it has to be pretty or captivating in some way shape or form – and the alcohol content – that one’s self-explanatory. If there’s a pretty bottle with an alcohol content of 13.5 percent, we’re all in.
Let’s talk about the definition of pretty. We’re not talking wild horses and flowing hair, or even pretty buildings or garden paths. And don’t even think you’re going to get away with a plain brown label with boring font. We like labels that invoke a story all their own. Apothic Inferno (16%), for instance, has a fiery label with the signature “A” emblazoned across it. Insurrection (15%) has a man’s profile, a motorcycle, a flag, and their logo, which doesn’t seem like much, but together tells a story in only one small frame. Freak Show (14.5%) is a collection of unconventional people in unconventional situations that instantly catches your eye and causes you to buy the bottle if only to sit and study everything about the label like you did with your cereal box when you were five.
There really isn’t a point to any of the above, except for you to understand just how weird we are, which will absolutely explain the next portion of this blog.
If you were to listen to us talk about how certain wines taste, you would think we were sommeliers working in Napa. Well, if you had no clue what you were talking about as well, anyway. We’re kind of ridiculous about our wine – taking tentative sips, swirling, and swishing before describing what the wine tastes like. We certainly don’t spit it out – goodness gracious what a waste! – but we do play the part with lovely descriptions that make our husbands look at us like we’re nuts – not unusual – and laugh off another one of our ridiculous idiosyncrasies.
These are things we have actually said when tasting wine:
“It starts off light and then it just poofs in your mouth like a dark cloud.”
“It tastes like wine that has been carbonated and it’s not even old.”
“It envelops your mouth completely and then warms your esophagus going down.”
“It tastes like cherry, attacks your tongue, and then has a smoky finish.”
Hell, we know we’re quirky, but we embrace it. As most authors know, libations are a coveted friend, helping the words flow from mind to fingertips. And also, as authors, we find inspiration in the most trivial things. A sip of wine, which we have determined to boast a luscious mouth-feel, could lead to how much we love and admire the way wineries describe their wines, which in turn could lead to how beautiful and seductive we find the word ‘luscious’ to be, which then leads the two of us down a rabbit hole and we come out the other end with this brilliant idea for a T-shirt we must commission someone to make, with the heading: “Luscious Lushes”, two clinking wine glasses below the words. I mean, seriously… what wine lover doesn’t want that shirt?!?
Back to the point we were trying to make (if there was one). Book Club + Wine = Success. And that is an equation we stick by, but the point to all of this is that we decided we want to start a secret society. It’s called the “Secret Sommeliers Society” and it is basically a bunch of us lovely weirdos that love to pretend we have any clue of what we are talking about when we first take that luscious sip of wine and then proceed to describe it.
You have to suggest a bottle of wine with an incredible label to be allowed in. Dues are collected on the first of every month and they are just flowery descriptions of what you think your chosen wine of the week or month tastes like. If you use words like “tannins” or “smell descriptor” you are suspended from the “Secret Sommeliers Society”. Mouthfeel is a perfectly acceptable term however.