Between sips: An ode to the inanimate

June 28, 2020 1:30 AM

By Magandeep Singh Some of the best relationships that many of us have are with lifeless objects. But what if we had to one day share a drink with them? In my years of training with beverages, I have often told my students to liken beverages to people; that makes it easier to assign a personality […]

Celebration. People holding glasses of champagne making a toast

By Magandeep Singh

Some of the best relationships that many of us have are with lifeless objects. But what if we had to one day share a drink with them?

In my years of training with beverages, I have often told my students to liken beverages to people; that makes it easier to assign a personality to them. A Riesling can be like a race-hungry colt, whereas an aged Claret is more a retired grandfather on a leather wingback with a pipe. Same for single malts and even gins. But I had never thought of doing it the other way around, that is, till this lockdown happened.

Prolonged periods of homestay were an alien concept to me, so perhaps that is why I had never truly appreciated many things that were available to me, and inanimate as they were and remain, they always had a special place in my life, a place that I only have learnt to appreciate now, possibly because I am spending so much time with them. I will also add that some of the best relationships that many of us have are with lifeless objects, but don’t read too much into that. Instead, here is me listing some of my favourite past-times these days and what drink I would share with them if I had to, or in certain cases, what drink epitomises their persona the most.

My Dyson V11 Absolute Pro: I think few things have been as essential as my Dyson V11. Reliable, silent, powerful, I almost bought it a new filter this Father’s Day. I live with two dogs and consequently an acquired fear of all clothing that’s black, so the Dyson has been the cheapest alternative to regular counselling.

To me, if the V11 were a drink, it would be a spirited gin, all crystal-clean and youthful, very en vogue and yet packing power to make a cross-fitter jealous. A gin, in many ways, has the same ubiquitous functional efficiency in that it can work and find appeal across a wide spectrum of imbibers and leaves your breath feeling cleaner than before you had a sip, much like my V11.

Burgerama Burger: Yes, I know it’s not an object as such, but it is one of my current affections. I admit that I am fortunate to travel often enough to never miss beef. Alas, these last few months have been a period of stark starvation. Forget beef, there have been entire weeks without any meat whatsoever. Damn you, Corona, you managed what the vegans had been constantly failing at for decades. Thankfully, Burgerama came to the rescue, for not only is their meat grade-A quality, it is also cooked and compiled into a burger a la perfection! In fact, I pretty much broke my lockdown fast with a sizeable order from them and promptly paired it with a nice Bourbon and cola mix. The sweet smokiness of a Bourbon and the prickly appeal of a cola were all the nudge the T-Rex tenderloin burger needed to sound even more appealing. All in all, it was the ideal pairing for a meat sandwich of this cheesy and greasy proportions with just that smack of toast. Don’t judge me, my day begins with a 800-kcal burn of a bicycle ride almost every day, so I had pretty much earned this meal before breakfast!

Montblanc Summit 2: I had loathed the idea of smartwatches and then I smartly went and acquired this timepiece. Now, with all this time spent in webinars and video calls, having a watch that can also prompt me with my emails and messages without having to touch my phone (which is already mid-call) feels like an absolute boon. I don’t think I have ever felt so grateful for owning any other wear-tech as I do with the Summit 2. If this were a drink, to me, it would be a very classy Brunello from Italy. Part of the reason is that the leather for the strap comes from the same region, Tuscany. But more so, it is because the wine can be gentle and yet powerful, youthful yet age-worthy and versatile when paired with cuisines. Brunellos are liked by connoisseurs and the hip kids, which makes for a convergence of contrasts—much like Montblanc achieved by using the timeless art of watchmaking and applying it to this nouveau piece of technology.

Jabra Active Elite 75t Earphones: Now, with most work having practically migrated online, all day is spent juggling online meetings and calls, and one really can’t be bothered with bad audio or outside disturbances. The Jabras then have worked well because they give me the option of isolating my voice source or letting some external sounds seep in to keep me aware of my immediate surroundings. They are also sweat-proof enough to endure my workouts. And the battery can see me through half a day and then, with a little recharge, the rest of it too. In the world of drinks, such nifty practicality can only be attributed to a tall pint of a cold brew—universal in appeal and there is never really a bad time to have one! My current pick would be the local Basmati Pilsner, Yavira—it’s as light as they come and the Basmati addition makes it creamier and smoother encore. All in all, I can have one at 10 am and chase it with another post lunch and feel recharged.

So there you have it, a vacuum cleaner for a gin, a Cuba Libre with burgers, a smartwatch and Brunello, and finally, a lager akin to wireless earphones—if you think this has been an entirely demented and wasteful ponder, then you will need to spend more time in confined quarters like me till such connections start making sense. I have, therefore I am.

The writer is a sommelier

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