Tasting wines is like tasting words: Both require practice and experience to help nail down the nebulous. The thing about writing that absorbs me the most is finding the right word to convey what needs conveyed. I seldom use my thesaurus to find a new word; rather, I use it to nuance a concept I already know. (Should “nuance” be used as a verb … an infinitive?) For example, in the following sentence I switched the word “pounded” for “hit” because “pounded” seems to convey the image of “striking with a fist” more clearly: “I pounded the mitt harder, loud smacks, and then it struck me that I was asking a man who I wanted dead about love—a clear case of stupid asking stupid.” And by the way, my personal favorites are numbers 1 and 7, a pinot gris and cabernet, respectively, as sampled last Friday evening at John’s Market in Multnomah Village, Oregon. John’s hosts a wine tasting every Friday from 5-7pm ($5 tasting fee). Perhaps I’ll see you there next Friday … because we all need more practice.