On today's tour stop at Carly's Book Reviews, I was asked about wine and love...
Carly: Wine and love. They go hand in hand. Both can be dry and bitter or full bodied and rich. What are your thoughts on this comparison and how does it play into your story?
Erin: I fear that I'm going to end up sounding like a pretentious wine snob if I'm not careful, but I'm going to do my level best to answer this.
Here's the thing about wine, especially so-called "big" wines, the reds that are designed to be opened after they have some age on them: they change. They grow. They evolve. They become something they don't start out as.
So do relationships, or at least the ones that are destined to last.
Think of a bright white wine as being like a summer romance. It's light and lovely, full of grass and flowers—but it's short-lived. Sauvignon Blancs, Roussannes, Viogniers and the like are meant to be enjoyed young. You make them. You bottle them. You drink them. They don't age well. They are bright, joyous, summery flings that you enjoy for one season, and then move on to the next vintage.
But a big red—a Syrah, a Cabernet, a Malbec, a Meritage blend? These wines are meant to last, to age, to develop over time. Try to drink them right after bottling and you'll have a wine that may be drinkable, but feels tight, wound up, uncomfortable in the glass and on the palate. But let it rest for a while, let nature do its thing with that wine, and in time, the wine's edgy corners will smooth out. It will mellow. It will gain subtleties and nuance that it may have only hinted at in its youth.
To savor the wine at its peak, you have to pay attention to it, and make sure to time its opening well. Left too long in the bottle, wine can be compromised by outside influences and spoil, turning the wine to vinegar.
In Sotto Voce, Greg and Tom start out feeling a bit like one of those summery white wines. There's an undeniable spark—and a date stamp on the time they have together.
And though I prefer to compare their relationship to the growing seasons in the vineyard, they are much like that big, complex red wine that's meant to improve with time. Outside influences could have soured their relationship, but it becomes clear that they have something that's meant to reveal itself over time, rather than simply unravel.
The moment they begin to pay attention to the complexities and the potential of what they have together, it becomes clear they have a relationship that's meant to get better with time.