Wine Columns for the Week of February 7, 2007

What do you do when a doting but sadly unseemly stranger tries to get your attention by catching your eye? With Valentine's Day looming large -- and the frightful prospect of more stories pairing wine and love this Wednesday -- the only course of action is to avert your gaze. To be honest, it's difficult. There's something awfully compelling about the prose, most of which goes way beyond sappy, sounding florid enough to have been torn breathlessly from a supermarket romance novel:

To fan the flames of romance, nothing outdoes a great bottle of wine. While there are many possibilities, some wines seem to get the Valentine's Day message across with extra ardor. To that worthy end, consider the following amorous potions.

No, thanks.

Have a look instead at the quirkier stories that managed to scurry their way onto the pages. My favorite was penned by the inimitable Harold McGee in Wednesday's NYT. Who else would be audacious enough to invoke the stinkiness of his "grade-school pal’s mouse cage" in the same story as he talks about pyridines and 2-acetylpyrroline? And who but McGee would have the childlike curiousness to microwave amino acid supplements just so he could smell "mousy off-flavors" -- and then suggest you try it too?