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TUESDAY TRIBUTES
06/12/2012
Tuesday Tributes
I Feel Better When I Think About Wine

By Charles Olken

I think therefore I am. I hold that truth to be self-evident. The world is my oyster. Give me an inch and I will take a mile.

And, folks, that’s all there is to it. I have long believed that the power of positive thinking is, after good health, the greatest gift we can possess. And now, through the magic of a glass of wine, all of my clichés and borrowed wisdom has been proven to be true.

Researchers in New Zealand have discovered that if people simply think that having a glass of wine will be relaxing, they will relax. I, of course, have lived by that theory for decades—and it has served me well. But now, new research, conducted right here in Connoisseurs’ Guide laboratory, has uncovered the real truths about drinking wine and thinking.

I can report, for example, that merely thinking about Petite Sirah will make me think I am stronger, leaner and tougher—all good things. It’s a pity that it also makes me feel all tannic and swarthy. And drinking Petite Sirah brings on a whole ‘nother set of problems. I can report that our research shows that drinking Petite Sirah can cause hair to grow on the back of one’s hands. Of course, that only happens in one drinks and thinks at the same time.

There is a better solution. Drink Riesling. Riesling makes people think of springtime and wild flowers and romping barefoot through the meadow. I know this to be true from my undergraduate days when it was proven beyond doubt that one’s dates frolicked more heartily when they were told that they would be drinking Riesling. Serving them Riesling also worked, of course. In fact, the time between mentioning Riesling to them and handing them a glass of luscious liquid was so short that it is possible that my research has confused thinking with drinking.

Today, of course, I think most often of Pinot Noir. Is there another grape anywhere that lends a gentlemen a greater air of sophistication? None of that overripe Zinfandel for me. That is the stuff of rugby players. I used to play Rugby back in my uninformed youth. But my wine was all wrong. Somehow Lancer’s and Mateus did nothing for my game.

Mrs. Olken has long been a Sauternes drinker. One immutable rule of dinner parties at our house is that they have to end with Sauternes. I always thought it was because she thought I was an old smoothie. Now, it turns out that just thinking of Sauternes not only takes the wrinkles out of her furrowed brow but makes her all the sweeter. OK, I had to say that, but I do think it might be true, because Sauternes does make her happier.

Come to think of it, those Kiwis who have just discovered the mood-altering potential of our favorite substances, are way behind the times. Have they never heard of the summer of love?


 

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