Wino Confidential: Is he gay?

 

Labels can be deceiving, whether it’s attached to a person or a wine bottle.

wino 3
A dame, a bottle and a story.
 

By Dinkinish O'Connor

“Is he gay?,” Danielle asked. I contemplated her question with Descartes-intensity as I devoured Cocoa Krispies and Nutella in front of her faux fireplace. Danielle had recently started seeing Robert Michael Robeson - the son of her old Oceanography professor, and she had legitimate suspicions.  I’ve hung around the couple on a few occasions, and here are some of my notes:

- Robert is really animated (Think Robin Williams in “The Birdcage”).
- Robert has really soft hands. Not only does he use Prada cream, but he gets manicures once a week, which is unusual for a self-proclaimed “Trenchtown-born Jamaican man.”
- Robert wears nipple-squeezers, you know, gripping muscle shirts in crimson red, kiwi green and sunflower yellow (even if he’s not going to the gym).
- Robert does an excellent downward dog pose and is more flexible than both Danielle and I. (Our yoga guru often uses him for demonstrations).
- Robert squealed when he saw a mouse in Danielle’s apartment.

So, when Danielle said Robert was inviting her to the Miami International Wine Fair, I admit, I was concerned.  What if her ex, a sexy wine rep, saw her with Robert on one of his nipple squeezing shirt-wearing days? That would be catastrophic as her ex-man is a red blooded, testosterone-throbbing Vin Diesel-looking brother. And he broke up with Danielle, so to bump into Vin while Robin Williams is having a butterfly-moment would be a double whammy.

But let’s not forget Robert’s good qualities:
- He’s got a tall, beautifully sculpted body.
- He calls when he says he’s going to call.
- He goes to church with his mother every Sunday.
- He’s financially and otherwise endowed.
- He understands that some 32 year old, unmarried and un-babied women want more than an orgasm.
- He brings Danielle lunch twice a week, driving from North Beach to Davie.
- He loves French wine (especially Merlot).

“But, he squeals, Dinki. And he’s just too damn bubbly and nice,” Danielle lamented.

“Oh, you prefer those depressing, broke ass dudes you normally date?”

“It’s not that. Robert’s just too gay.”

So a few days before the wine fair, Danielle broke up with Robert, citing that “they just didn’t want the same things.” 
“He sounded like he was crying,” she said. “He’s pretty down about it. He probably won’t even go to the fair.”

Generally speaking, I don’t like wine fairs. They’re flea markets - hagglers and hustlers trying to get your dough, which is fine if the sales rep knows a little about the grape, the winemaker, the region, the microclimate, the soil type, and/or the appellation (if it applies). And, trust me, if you don’t look like you own a restaurant or a house on Fisher Island, many wine reps aren’t happy to see you. Then there are the purple-teethed monsters guzzling down wine. Dude, use the spittoon (a spittoon is one of those buckets people spit in, so they don’t get high before they try a range of wines. I know it sounds nasty, but who wants to get high on a product they didn’t like anyway?)

Plus, you’re trying to force yourself through a mob of winos, so you can actually get to the damn wine table (think of a hungry babe reaching for bread in Calcutta). God forbid that table has melting, pasteurized cheese and water crackers. Manners become extinct, and you’re big toe might get chopped off by someone’s haughty heel.  Plus, you’re carrying so much wine literature, you don’t have room to hold your glass steady much less take thoughtful notes.
 
But, it had been a while, so I went this year and found some interesting surprises. Bumped into an old manager of a wine store I used to work at - Michael B. He’s a big Italian wine fan and I love his passion. We loved the Perry Moore wines from California. The 2007 Perry Moore Ovation is a blend of 88 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and the remaining 12 percent includes Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It was dark and spicy and crème brûlée delicious.    

Then, there were these gorgeous Italian ladies pimping their beautiful dessert wines. I had no idea that sweet wine could be made with Sangiovese. Their 2003 Sestosenso smelled and tasted like candied apples and dulce de leche (One of the ladies said Sestosenso means “The Sixth Sense” in Italian). The 2006 Dolcepensiero smells like Michael perfume - racy and animalistic aromas with flavors of candied ginger, rum and brown sugar. Loved it.  

The W Wine Boutique table also had gorgeous wine. Among them, the 2003 Chateau Coufran Haut-Médoc with its lovely rusty tinge, light-medium-body, aromas of prunes and braised short ribs and apple smoked bacon flavor. Discovering wines like this make the Calcutta-flea market drama more tolerable.

Finally ran into Danielle who said that she hadn’t seen her ex (Vin Diesel), but that I absolutely had to try this wine she just had. We walked over to this refreshingly gregarious French woman who represented a vast assortment of French wine from The Rhone Valley to Champagne. The 2007 La Coterie Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a lucid white wine that is slightly or perhaps, illusively sweet. It’s creamy and delicious with aromas of honey dipped bananas.

Then, Danielle and I noticed this tall, chiseled man in a chocolate linen suit standing in front of us, his rippled arm wrapped around a tiny waist that belonged to a voluptuous, dark skinned, Scarlett Johansson-esque woman. They were that couple people just find themselves staring at. Then, he turned around.

IT WAS ROBERT.

And the girl was from our yoga class.

“Hi Ladies,” he said in a voice devoid of all effeminateness. “You know Kendra.”

He kissed Danielle and I on our cheeks. And we shook Kendra’s hand. (This was one of the most awkward moments in WC history). I could see Danielle’s eyes watering.

“Hey Guys,” I chuckled embarrassingly.
“Have you tried the sparkling Merlot?,” Robert asked, a smirk on his face.
“Sparkling merlot? Really?”

“Yeah. It’s incredible,” said Kendra, pointing to the man who carried the product, her face getting prettier and prettier by the second.
“Well, see you later,” said Robert, Kendra waving her fingers in a “Boom-I-got-your-boyfriend” sort of way.

Shocked as hell, Danielle and I walked to the MT Jagged South Australia Sparkling Red NV - the sparkling merlot, which was hands down, the most tasty, unexpected treat. We both loved the barbecue smoke aromas and black cherry flavors.

“I thought that bitch was gay,” Danielle said.    

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