My daughter is a genuine connoisseur of bourbon, a trait I’m sure I don’t know how she acquired or where for that matter, but she is. I have friends who can come pretty close to guessing the vintage of wines.They claim they can actually taste the hints of chocolate, tobacco, citrus, licorice and all those other good things a connoisseur is supposed to find within the bottle. I, on the other hand, taste only alcohol, and it burns. I do love the aroma of a peaty single malt scotch because there’s nothing wrong with my nose, but I cannot taste those oh so delicate notes in wines nor the subtleties of an aged scotch or bourbon. For those who drink vodka, well, come on it’s just straight alcohol cut with a little water, isn’t it? Gin, now gin is like scotch, I can smell the major herbs that go into gin. Well, major as in the juniper berries they use, and like a peaty scotch, I like that smell as well. But then I take a sip and it’s just alcohol. I’m always disappointed but there really isn’t any taste other than the burn of the alcohol down my throat. Sigh.
I do like a Sazerac or Vieux Carre. Those are cocktails and they come with the aroma of absinthe and Peychauds bitters. A Martini is like downing a glass of Everclear 150. Wine tastes flat and tinny but I love to read the little tags in Total Beverage about the copious flavors offered by each wine. Should I be able to taste them I’m sure I would be overjoyed spending time in the wine section going from bin to bin attempting to decide whether I would prefer the leather, tobacco, very manly Cabernet or the slightly citrusy Chardonnay. How pleasant that would be. As is, I think, steak get a heavy red, fish, get a medium white. Yep, it just comes down to colors for me.
I never learned to like beer, probably because the beer in my house when I was growing up varied from Pabst Blue Ribbon to Jax and Dixie and when we moved to Texas, Pearl and Lone Star. There was also the occasional Miller High Life. You know, the Champagne of bottled beers. And that is the one thing I can taste, Champagne. I know a good Champagne from a moderate one or God forbid, Asti Spumante. Yes, I can and do drink Champagne but the Champagnes I like are expensive, and I’m just a retired government servant.
If you should visit and find yourself thirsty I can offer scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka, vermouth, Campari and such. I’ll mix you a Sazerac if you like for I am the proud possessor of a bottle of Peychauds bitters, A Manhattan,sure, a Tom Collins, you bet. I even have the proper vermouth for a Vesper. I’ll mix you one up and we’ll have a proper conversation discussing oh so very cultured things and I’ll even have a drink with you. But mind you, I won’t enjoy it. The drink that is, I’m sure the conversation will be scintillating.