Lesson #8 : Coq au Shiraz

A Shiraz will tarry on your tongue—even after your palate has been cleansed with water.

The only coq au vin recipe I’d known was the one so dearly hailed by Julia Child. Its origins begin in Bourgogne, and its base ingredient: a swig (or three) of Burgundy.

I buy a $5 bottle of Australian Shiraz.
First notes: chocolate, cherry, and coconut.
Second notes: vanilla, berry, and spice. It is like the pain d’épices of wine—which is as close as a wine which is not Burgundy can get to a bottle of full-bodied Burgundy.

             My heart bleeds like wine,
             although I never drink it,
             dripping blithely;
             the slow-cooked chicken
             under a smoky oven
             drunk-tender with
             pearl onions.

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Lesson #7 : How to eat chocolate

I am told that I have been eating chocolate the wrong way all my life. This is a revelation for me.

I
You need to suck on it.
Let it melt on your tongue; the sooner
the taste disappears, the cheaper
the quality of the
Chocolate.

She places a thin shaving of dark chocolate
On her already wet and salty tongue–
her eyes roll back into the
whiteness of silicone
paper.

II
It isn’t like truffles;
It has nothing to do with aroma
— Once infused
with other ingredients the
Textures melt and disintegrate
Into particles of mixed flavours.

A faint hum
of the electric mixers
resonate throughout the kitchen
and slowly fade from her
Mind
now calm, and focused on one thing:
the eating of
Chocolate.

III
Love was once described
by the Greek poet Sappho
as being sweet first,
then bitter.

The chocolate is semi-sweet:
it has hints of both
milk and cocoa.
She swallows and it
lingers in her mouth.
Moments later, there is still
Sweetness.

Sweetness, and then
Nothing.