The dark blue plastic seal encompasses the neck of the bottle and encloses the cork. A sharp knife peels back this plastic exposing the barrier protected by the cork. My wine bottle opener lays close at hand in the cabinet drawer to my left.
Preparing to open a bottle of wine is much like how I felt when I smoked. We're talking cigarettes right now, not wacky tobaccy.
I would always buy a soft pack. Peel back the cellophane, tap the pack to pack the tobacco, then remove the foil in one corner of the pack. With a flick of a Bic, the cigarette to my lips, I fired it up and began a long inhale. I loved all the preparation to smoking. It was a ritual and one I indulged in for years.
Sometimes I watch as others follow this ritual and though I do not want a cigarette, I do want to follow through on the motions that lead to that smoke.
Opening a bottle of wine has it's own ritual and one I fully enjoy. I'm not in a hurry to get to the fruit of the vine.
Taking the wine cork remover, I insert the tip into the cork and start turning the handle until the metal tip spears deep into the cork. The arms on the cork remover are now perpendicular and placing a hand on each arm of it, I press down and watch the cork come smoothly out of the bottle. Removing the cork from the screw by twisting counter clockwise, I lay it gently on the counter.
My wine glass is stemmed. I never hold the wine glass by the bowl so as not to transfer heat to the wine.
I pour the Merlot into the glass and re cork the bottle. It's now time to aerate the wine. Around and around I twirl the glass watching the wine lap the sides of the bowl. I do not hurry this part of the wine experience. Air helps the wine to breath and releases the bouquet.
It's time to lift it to my lips. Grasping the stem, my lips on the rim, I inhale. The smell and the taste on the tongue should meld into one.
Ah, Merlot. Inhale, sip and savor.
I did offer the husband a glass. He declined. It's all MINE!