This year, I decided to give up alcoholic drinks as penance for Lent. While I wouldn’t say that I went through withdrawal (I pair alcoholic beverages with dinner about four nights a week, and abstain the other three), this pleasure was greatly missed. Exactly how beer tastes has vanished from my memory. How spirits taste appears rather vague. Amusingly, wine, even though I presently enjoy much less of this kingly beverage, is still very clear to me.
While helping my father out in choosing the wines for this Easter celebration, reading the flavor descriptions allowed me to form very accurate ideas of how the wines would taste. I suppose the reason lies in that I started out with wine (or, to be more precise, with water, and then tea–but wine was the first alcoholic drink I took the time to study). Also, my family, being of heavily Hispanic and Mediterranean origin, always preferred wine to other beverages. It is true that my father’s a Scotch fan as well, but he seems to enjoy collecting more than drinking. So, you might say that my memories of wine stretch back much farther.
Expect an accurate report from me on the best bottles tomorrow. I’ve also been saving some bottles of Hitachino Nest, a Japanese craft beer brewer. I was astounded to find them in a well-stocked store in Richmond. They were selling them for $4 a bottle! But, I snatched up four of them. And I had thought that I should never see these beers without taking a trip to Japan! The Hitachino Nest XH (a Belgian Strong Ale), though not the greatest example of the style, had a wonderfully rich flavor and was very smooth to boot. So, I’m very much looking forward to these.