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Cowboy Humor

Vintner's Dinner

Sheep, by Hannah RoseLeft: Sheep, by Hannah Rose

Cowboy Humor by Ben Marshall

I went to one of those vintner's dinners recently.

In the past, I normally said, "no," to these events because I've never been able to enjoy the selection of wines when I go.

It might just be me but I find myself tryin' to figure out what the food is and don't take enough time with each glass. The truth is, given all the time possible, I still might not appreciate the wine.

 In my experience, I've never come close to the appreciation some seem to reach. What does "elusive effervescence" really mean anyway?

But my friend, Peter, talked me into goin' and I think I'm happy I did.

They were havin' the dinner down at Nick's Cove so I rented one of their rooms for the night. They said I would be in Heart's Desire.

Bein' a little worried about spendin' the night alone in Heart's Desire, I asked my Bodega Bay girlfriend if she would go with me but first I had to apologize to her for not callin' more often.

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I took the day off and we drove down on one of the nicest spring afternoons in a long time. When we got there, the shindig was already in full swing. Peter was havin' what he called a pre-party in his cabin on the water and invited us to drop in before the dinner.

There was a lull in the conversation soon after we arrived and Peter took me aside. "I have to tell you, Ben," he said, "you aren't drinking wine correctly."

To be honest, I found myself without words. If anyone expressed himself to me in a bar that way, we'd be wrestlin' but I knew Peter didn't mean any harm so I waited for him to explain.

He didn't disappoint but I kinda wish he would have. "You should swirl the wine in a glass first and then take a deep whiff of the bouquet."

"Is that why I see so many people with their noses buried in the glass?" I asked. "I thought it was some sorta bubble game."

"But that's not all, Ben." he said ignoring my remark. (I knew it might get complicated now.) "You then need to take a good-sized sip and swish it around in the front of your mouth."

"How long should I do that?" I asked while whishin' I had someone to hand this conversation off to.

"Wait, Ben, there's more." he cautioned. "After you swish it around, you chomp on it a few times with your teeth and swallow it."

Then he went on to tell me how the fumes somehow went through the eyeballs and into the inner ear where they collided with the taste of the wine. Or something like that.

I was on new ground. I thought I could pull it off if I didn't think about the eyeball part and sure enough, I did. Glass after glass was placed in front of me at the dinner with a mystery dish for each one. I found out later the chef was there explainin' it all but I was so busy swooshin' and bitin' and chompin' I don't hear much else.

The food was plentiful and good as it always is at Nick's but if you asked me today what it was we ate, I'd have to plead guilty to not knowin'.

I do remember the wine was more tasty than drinkin' it the normal way but I'm familiar with the wine Peter makes so I knew it would be good.

It was late when we got back to the Heart's Desire so we went to bed and fell asleep. I think Nick's Cove is guilty of puttin' down feathers in their mattresses cause I always feel like I'm floatin' in a warm cloud when I stay there.

Soon, as you might guess, I started dreamin' about that vapor goin' through my eyeballs.

I'm thankful Peter taught me a new way to drink wine but I think I'll go back to my old method, a few sloshes, a swizzle and a gulp.

I got a good glimpse of how I looked swishin' and bitin' and chompin' when I used my mouthwash the next morning. Oh the humanity.

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