Thursday, February 28, 2008

What am I missing?

Terroir: It’s my word of the day. I’ll forgive it for being French. It means “how something conjures up the landscape.”

The word applies to such things as fine cheeses, wines, etc.

When I open up the little jar of Hungarian paprika that I keep in my fridge, I experience that sensation, I remember the hot summer sun beating down upon me in that gorgeous place, the bustle of Budapest and the stillness of its vast, pastoral countryside.

I can indulge this sense like any foodie in the realms of cheese, chocolate, heirloom vegetables and hot sauce. But there is one world that I have never entered, and that sometimes I wonder about: the land of libations.

My family has a history of alcoholism. So we don’t drink. On the plus side, I don’t have to worry about DUIs or doing stupid things that I will regret in the morning. But still – I have lived all my years without any idea what champagne tastes like and without the “terroir” of an English ale, a French merlot, a Southern mint julep or even a sip of Tennessee whiskey.

And sometimes I wonder. I spent such a happy time in Hungary but never sampled its legendary bikaver (bull’s blood) wine or the herbed bitter Unikum, the Magyar national drink. I did see plenty of people who did indulge a little much – and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

Closer to home, mead – honey wine – is making a comeback, according to an article I read recently. Hmm. Guess I’ll miss that fad.


Trisia said...

I don't think you're missing much, Ecd.

Some people love tasting all sorts of drinks. I like sampling books. Some enjoy both.

I could start arguing about 'superior,' intellectual pleasures and 'inferior' ones, but... nah.

You may be better off in a way.

Janice Thomson said...

I agree - you're not missing anything at all. I haven't had a drink since my youth - I never understood why people drink till they throw up.
I like to be in control of my actions and my words and a few drinks puts and end to that very quickly as I have had occasion to witness in others.

eastcoastdweller said...

Trisia, Janice, thanks for comforting me. I do have enough trouble tripping over my tongueand handling social interactions without anesthesizing my brain to make things worse.

Still, a part of me will probably always wonder ...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I can understand your choice not to partake and respect it. I take a slightly more liberal position. I do drink but I am very controlled. I don't drink often (maybe 10 times a year) and i don't drink much (never more than 2 drinks on each occasion).

I like drinking but really hate being drunk - hence the control. There are a few alcoholic drinks I like but I indulge only on holidays and special occasions.

I have tried both the Bull's Blood wine and Unikum. The first is great and the latter is supposed to be medicinal and pretty tastes like medicine...ugh!

Tell us more about your sojourn in the land of the Huns.

Ian Lidster said...

I once would have indulged in all your aformentioned potables, but not at all in the last decade. I like this way better.
Now, the item that gave me a feeling of a place was Belgian chocolate truffles, heavenly morsels best consumed in the courtyard of the 'Grand Place' in Brussels.

Lance Abel said...

I think you should try one. It wouldn't harm, and I'm sure you have the discipline not to overdo it.

Rebecca said...

I don't like to be or see others drunk. It is very sloppy! I do, however, enjoy good wine and whiskey. Since I like the GOOD stuff, it is fairly expensive, and therefore curtails my intake quite well :)