Life is a blend of good and bad, like a sweet-and-sour sauce. Usually the net effect is more to one pole or the other, and strive for the good side--sweet-and-sour sauces are very good tasting. But in cooking and in wines, the product is usually a result of blends that be quite complex, and much of the reward in consuming it is appreciating the blends of flavors and textures.

Sometimes the blends are extreme. It is said that some very exotic oriental dishes include ingredients that, taken alone, are poisonous. The rising sun was beautiful this morning, shining through the bright haze of the geoengineers' spraying. In both cases, while I may be able to detect the constituents of the whole, I'd rather there not be the poison to detect.

There are blends in my work, as there are in yours. The novel I'm working on is shaping up, but it's hard work done at the end of my "regular" job's day, when I'm not fresh. I have an "activist" story in mind (whether novel or novella; see my previous journal entry) that I much desire to do but find it hard to get to (and it will be a balance of inspiration and warning).

But the best blends are of desirable, positive ingredients, especially where there is the subtle ambiance of something special that instills a joyful inspiration to the whole--like the hint of French oak in Ca De Calle. In my work, that special hint comes from a love of storytelling and a desire for travel.

So what's the subtle flavor that lends joy to the whole in your life? What always provides a positive infusion to  your circumstances, even when they are bad? I urge you to find it. Develop the sensitivity of your palate to the point you can always detect that gentle, positive spice that flavors your life, and savor it.

Of course, sometimes we work to savor a good thing and it turns sour. That's life and we just have to carry on and do better next time. Dillon discovered that in regards to storing wine.


Dillon's Pick – Spoiled Wine

In the time since my last post, I have learned the importance of keeping your wines in a dark, cool place the hard way. I had a nice lineup of wines to taste for my education, but I kept them on my desk which is close to a window. Well, the sun streaming through the glass panes turned my wines sour. A soured wine is a terrible thing to taste. They all finished so sour that I just had to pour them out.

So don't make my mistake; you've been warned. I will be getting a wine cooler as soon as I can afford it.

Temperature is an important factor when keeping wine. For the more full-bodied reds, it is best to serve them at 60-65 degrees. For the lighter reds, like a Burgundy red, you'll want to keep them at 57-60 degrees. White wines should be kept cooler. The optimal storage for white wines will be around 50-55 degrees.

I hope this helps you avoid accidents like mine.