Life (with wine) in Brackets

I’ve come to realize that I often try to sneak certain things into situations by including them in brackets. As an English major, I call this “style”; but probably something more is going on. For instance, before the holidays, I reminded a coworker that we ought to have a (wine) debriefing. I wanted to get together to catch up on things, but, naturally, I wanted wine to be included. Spoken or unspoken, I find I am often doing this. It’s a kind of wishful thinking.

I mean, ideally, we should not live our lives in brackets. (“Say what you mean to say….”) We need to come out and put it on the table. I won’t make this effort a (New Year’s) resolution rather it will be an ongoing consideration when it comes to words and interactions.

There is, however, one kind of bracketing that we may consider: Before the holidays, Phil was in Rouge eyeing a fine French wine. He grabbed one and put it up on the bar to seek opinions. “That’s a good one,” most agreed, but John said, “Hey, Phil, don’t just buy one, grab another. If you open that one a bit before its time, you will still have another bottle waiting in the wings for a later date.” Excellent idea, but I’ll go you one better. Good things come in threes. When photographers take a shot, they tend to bracket the photo with a couple of different aperture settings. This allows the artist to get a sense of different depths of field. May I suggest that you try the same with wine collecting. Bracket your purchases of finer wines. Buy one for your best guess, and if the wine is not quite ready, you will have two that will reward your patience as time allows. Fine wine has its own depth of field that tends to improve with age (kinda like me).

The Wine Nose (January 2009)