Elliot Essman, James Beard Foundation Award nominee and food writer contemplate his quest for matters fine and essential.
"Wine, women and song are often mentioned in conjunction. In my own case, this is no empty cliché. I’ve been a dedicated music lover all my life, and I could write reams about song. Pick a song title—any song you know well—and see what happens to your heart and mind; you don’t even need to hum it. The song combines music and language, poetry and drama; it can evoke a place, a person, a mood, an image, a hope. A fine wine, tasted under optimal conditions, in the right company, may do the same, but songs tend to be more affordable than high-end wines, they do not suffer from cork taint, and you can store an unlimited number of them in your own brain without ever having to add extra shelving…."
Then, a nod to his favorite notebook.
"…Online dating works in my world. You write, you telephone, you meet, and usually over wine. Sometimes you can’t talk to the wine, and the woman is undrinkable. Other times things seem to be going well in both departments, only to oxidize later on. I travel nowhere without a notebook—it is in fact a Moleskine pad lined with musical staves—but only for the wine; I leave my impressions of people to my memory, or, in the alternative, to my ability to forget…."
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