Posted 23 August, 2013 by admin in blog

For the Love of Wine… and Romance


Many people seem to think that romance novels are all about sex. If that was the case, romance novels would be called something else (yes… the “p” word). Writing sex however, is not my forte; in fact, I don’t think of myself as a romance writer at all. Rather I’m apt to weave romance throughout adventures of supernatural suspense. The way I see it, the romance genre is about being aware of sensuality, both in one’s self, and in the world around us.

So if romance is not all about sex, what is it exactly? Candlelight, flowers and wine are a good start, albeit overused. But wait; maybe those three elements plus two wannabee lover’s are the quintessential necessities to romance. The sense of sight from the light of the candle’s flame, the scent of the flowers addresses the sense of small, taste from the wine, sound would be the conversation and touch… well, you get the idea.

While I would still appreciate the candlelight and wine, my romantic interlude would be short lived. A scene might have one character leaning across the picnic table for the salt, and another person is also reaching; their hands touch… their eyes meet. BANG! Gunshot rips through the calm; birds rush from trees in fright, guests stand in shock, a drink falls over. The moment is lost – but not forgotten.

Since this is a romance, my fictitious table will undoubtedly be laden with a Mediterranean feast of vegetables, olivesfrench_food_vineyard1 and the all important wine. This, to me, is the essence of romance… a relaxing time together with the one’s I love, and a glass of wine.

Colour me old-fashioned if you must, but my definition of romance is more about sensuality than about sex.

In a story, as in life, if and or when togetherness becomes sexual, the beginning of the end must be near. The relationship is doomed to some kind of change. Either the passion peter’s out or the marriage becomes comfortable; either way the electricity of anticipation and mutual magnetic desire to seduce each other becomes diminished. The couple will have to work harder to keep the love alive: house, kids, love of work…

To my mind, the tenuous affection of a new love is wicked magic; the  attention a lover can give makes you feel beautiful / handsome and wanted. When you feel that kind of good, you are in the state of grace they talk about in Regencies, but notice it’s all too often in a ‘don’t touch’ sort of way. The attention you crave is wrapped up in hope – hope that you will see the heartthrob again, hope for that deep, timeless eye contact again; hope you will feel beautiful and wanted again. You anticipate. You hope. You romance.

That’s why the wine is so important. Remember the wine? It was on the table with the salt, and olives.

It’s not there to quench your thirst. It’s more like a lesson in lovemaking. It makes you pay attention to it. It fills your senses with romance, delivering a bouquet of gifts from the garden, a bright red ruby to put in your hand, then it dives in for a teenager’s kiss when you take it into your mouth. If a secret love is nearby, the wine is an ice breaker. If the lover is known to you, the wine aids the eye contact in becoming a promise. Anticipation. Those intense moments of passion leading up to the act is where the romance lives.

little bit leftAnd for those who find no partner, there’s always that glass of the sublime elixir to be your tour guide to the world, pointing out the beauty and meaning of life. You fall in love with the new knowledge, and your new experiences. Somehow Mother Nature has created a love potion – a liquid lesson in appreciation.

After a sip or two of a rich Burgundy, any moon is gorgeous, a flowering tree is a marvel and the birds are speaking a language you can almost understand; your senses have been unveiled. You are in the throws of Romance.

not romantic_thumbIf you doubt me, try stargazing with a Coke Cola or an energy drink. See how magical that is. Those libations force you to pay attention, but to a different tune – because the romance is missing.

There’s that word again.

Hey, I have an idea; let’s go pour a glass of pinot and I’ll show you what I mean.


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