Gwendolyn Alley and I developed this exercise for our “Message in a Bottle” writing workshop last month. Half of the workshop took place at the Channel Islands Visitor Center, the other half at Old Creek Ranch Winery.
The idea is to taste a particular glass of wine and answer the questions below in the form of a poem. Take your time with the lines if they lead you somewhere. Feel free to change, discard, or add your own questions. We planned the questions to go from “logical” questions when tasting wine to more abstract.
We recommend tasting and writing it as a group (using the same wine) and then sharing the poems. And, of course, feel free to edit it into whatever you want it to be.
You can certainly do this exercise with any other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Wine is a good choice because of its complexity. If you don’t drink, try the exercise using chocolate or any other item of food that will inspire your senses.
This particular poem was inspired by the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon by Old Creek Ranch Winery. I actually loved this wine so much I bought a bottle. Get it while you can as this is the last vintage of it they plan to make!
My poem below. Gwendolyn Alley’s poem here.
What fruit/s does it taste like?
What kind of flower?
What kind of spice?
What mineral is it like?
What sound does it have?
What music is it?
What type of weather?
The End of the Bottle: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Drink me plum cherries, smoky roses, sweet spice
quartz in a quarry echoing the laughter
of children on a Sunday spree
Like Eddie Reader, that soft space between
deciding to do something and
not doing anything
The cats current pleasure is in thighs rich in memories
San Diego on the highway
Peter Gabriel convertible
The boyfriend freshman year I was proud of because
of his sexy-factor
Sunshine befell his optimistic dental career
he WAS baseball, apple pie, mother nature
light rain reflecting rainbows
happily ever after and all that
A swiftly tilting 18-year-old life
Where summer vacation meant a pause of labour
Where the routine as a melody
repeated in gold-mine futures
everything before us
the years stretched true