Grapes and paint

My neighbour Mike swirled the velvet-crimson liquid around in his stylish wine glass, the low lights of the wine bar twinkling behind him.

He brought the glass to his nose, inhaled sharply, and pulled a face that approximated approval.

'So this is a Nebbiolo,' he explained, 'it's an Italian wine, mostly from the Piedmont region.'

'Uh-huh,' I said, cocking an eyebrow thoughtfully. Already a bit drunk, I took an ungainly slurp from my own glass. I know nothing about wine. And it tasted like wine.

'So, with this one,' Mike went on, 'you tend to get flavours of black tea towards the front of your mouth, and bitterness along the sides of your tongue.'

I tested what I was tasting. He was absolutely right. 'The Italians like a slightly bitter taste,' he said. 'Also I think this has notes of sour cherries, juniper and dried flowers.'

Again, absolutely true. And such lovely poetry, too. A little wine-infused lightbulb clicked on above my head.

'So it's a bit like art,' I slurred. 'You might think you know nothing about it – that you're ignorant and therefore aren't invited to the 'art club'. But really, it's just about paying attention, and figuring out what you like and don't like!'

'Yep,' said Mike. 'And once you've found something you like, you can choose to learn more about it, and deepen your appreciation.'

So, there are all kinds of art. All kinds of magic.

Pearl

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