In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!
For me, wine tasting has always had an air of mystery about it. I am something of a Francophile, and I have wine guides that give write-ups on thousands of French wines from the smallest producers to the most prestigious. Opening a guide now, I find a description of a red wine that tastes of “black fruit, spice and undergrowth.” Does anyone know what “undergrowth” tastes like? Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t spend much time crawling about in hedgerows, sampling the vegetation. On the next page of the guide is a wine that apparently has “jammy black fruit and hints of toasted pepper.” Not just pepper, note, but toasted pepper. Make sure you don’t confuse the two.
I must confess, when I used to read reviews like that, I was skeptical. When I drank wine I tasted … wine. But I wanted to believe there was more to it.