The night before last I became sick with a viral infection in my lungs and yesterday it felt like I was ripping my lungs apart every time I coughed. I have had the shivers and a small head cold also. I finally went to the doctor this morning and got a script of antibiotics for the bacterial infection that was in my lungs (in addition to the viral infection). Needless to say, I have been drained of energy, sleeping most of the time, and certainly have not had a desire to drink wine, nor the energy to write about it.
However, like most passions, I found I was really missing both (1) drinking wine, and (2) writing about it. While I have had a number of topics about which I wanted to write, I just could not get focused enough to turn out a column. Last weekend, I cranked out four blog postings of some size and complexity to have available for publication during the week. This weekend's efforts are limited to this one post.
But I found myself constantly thinking about wine, and was able to pull up memories of how different wines tasted. And that is the silver lining in the cloud! I realized that even if I am at the point health-wise where I do not have the physical ability to ever enjoy wine again, I will always have memories that I can draw upon to continue to savor the experience. And a great part of enjoying wine, is not just the tasting but sharing the experience with others!
I recently found out from one of my MW (Master of Wine) friends that we start to lose our palate around the age of 65. This greatly concerned me as I am 59 and have more wine than I can drink in the next six years! However, he assured me that the loss of capabilities is minute and really of concern more so for wine judges and 'super tasters.' For example, James Halliday, the great Australian wine critic is in his mid-70s and still able to perform his avocation at the highest level.
I plan on drinking wine regularly for the next 20 - 30 years (God willing), and hope that my taste buds are up to the task. However, if they are not, then I am still certain that I will enjoy the experience, but utilizing my memory more than my taste buds! And it might be a real blessing as I may no longer be able to discern that small, but quite noticeable difference between the 1997 Château D'Yquem (at $300 per half bottle) and the 1998 Château D'Yquem (at $180 per half bottle)!