From time to time I'm asked how I got such a good nose. Being half-Jewish, I often retort that I'm confused about it, too. But we all know that a good palate, in the wine world, has nothing to do with muscles of mastication. Likewise, cartilage mass has no implication on a good or bad nose.


WHAT IT MEANS When people mention a 'good nose', what they're getting at is a two-part faculty. First, it's the ability to sense an aroma—just to recognize that there is something there. Next, it's the knack for describing it—to set down words, within a defined framework, that we can globally subscribe to.


OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING No one can deny how part-one works—there's gotta be something physiological about it. In general, women have a more adroit sense of smell than men do (a consequence of evolution). She'll notice that the dog passed gas long before the man will. We all sit somewhere along a sensory-aptitude gamut—I'm just lucky enough to sit on the highly-sensitive side.


GETTING SUBJECTIVE When sensing smells, it's a function of either on or off—either it's there or it's not. But ascribing a rationale for descriptive ability is a touch more curious. It's some sort of emotional-synaptic power; the talent to join together current sensory input with memory in order to produce a clear, consequential statement. Not only must it make sense, but it also must mean something.


I'm highly experiential; incredibly aware of sensation. I not only have a photographic memory, but seemingly an emotional memory, too. It's my attention to the subjective nature of experience that gives me my good nose.


Wine has transformative powers: when deeply connected to aromas, flavors and textures, you can't help but be transmuted among verb tenses. Your present conjures up definition from your past; present infers future. Good writing can ferry your imagination in the same matter. I suppose that's why I love to write about wine.


Here's some of my stuff:


--> LET CHANGE SWEEP OVER YOU <--
--> BIG HOUSES VS. THE LITTLE GUYS <--
--> DRINKING DOWN UNDER <--
--> A FEW GOOD BLENDS <--
--> SPAIN BRINGS BIG VALUE <--
--> PIEDMONT HEAVEN <--