I was at a Scotch/food-pairing thing recently. The lovely people of The Balvenie partnered with the lovely people at PS7’s for a truly lovely evening of Scotch-inspired food and drink. (Oh, the roasted Cinderella pumpkin soup. Oh, the Fiji ice cubes and infused pear. Oh, the 21-year Portwood.) It would have been even lovelier had I not been a mobile Petri dish of swine flu. Let me be clear: I didn’t tough it out because I love Scotch so much. I just figured a little distilled beer (because that’s what Scotch is — who knew?) would kill whatever bug was infesting my being. And I think it would be fun to like Scotch. Or at least know a little about it. And dinner was provided. You get what I’m putting down here.
Anyway, Dr. Whiskey, as he likes to be called, instructed our table, which included mixed martial arts fighter named Rocky, on the topic of getting to know your Scotch. You hold it at arm’s length to understand the color; don’t get too close. You swirl it to check the legs. You pass it by your nostrils to get just a fleeting whiff (if you feel the prickle, pull away). Then I think you’re supposed to stick your nose in the glass and sip. I’m fuzzy on that part. But that’s not the point. The point is, I like the idea of the slow reveal that is the process of nosing and tasting Scotch–and how it can apply to dating as a way to avoid the prickles associated with getting to know someone a little too well a little too soon. Beholding from a distance, checking things out. Then getting a little closer. Taking your time. Savoring. Definitely not chugging the Scotch (or your date). Sometimes chugging is a necessity, in both instances, don’t get me wrong. But I’m into the idea of patiently peeling back the layers. Not rushing the feast. Reminds me of an Edwin Morgan poem. Strawberries. It’s a good one.