Hey reader friends, I’d love to welcome George O’Connor author of the Olympians series to Good Books And Good Wine today. He has a really awesome post about Rome and Wine and writing.
Greetings, oenophilic bibliophiles. My name is George O’Connor, and I will be your guest blogger today on Good Books and Good Wine. April was kind enough to allow me to guest-post here as part of my blogcrawl in support of my new book Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, the sixth volume of my graphic novel series Olympians.
For those of you making this blogcrawl alongside me, this is day #9, and at each stop I have tried to tie what I write about (because the majority of my hosts have foolhardily left it up to me to decide, and that way lays madness) to the general theme or title of the hosting blog. And given the title of this blog, well, let’s just say that it’s too bad I’m not promoting a book on Dionysos. That said, however, the story of how I came to discover the joys of wine does tie into the making of Olympians.
My girlfriend was going to be moving to Rome, Italy, to take some architecture classes and I chose to accompany her to do research for my upcoming graphic novel series, Olympians. To be honest, the books I was researching were the proto-version of Olympians—I learned so much while living in Rome about the Greek and Roman gods that my entire initial conception was jettisoned and Olympians was later born, like a Phoenix, from the ashes, but that’s a story for another day.
A lot of my research involved just wandering the city, and not just Rome, but any city in the Mediterranean that had anything of interest regarding the Greek deities. Sometimes, when my girlfriend’s studies dovetailed with my own interests, like an architectural tour of Greek or Roman ruins, I would accompany. And then one day there was a wine-tasting class.
Now, I’ve never been a huge drinker—I am known to get my first hangover about halfway through the first glass of red wine. But something about Rome, something about the amount of antioxidants or tannins or sulfites or evil gremlins being less over there, for the first time in my life I found I was able to drink wine. Which was good, because that stuff is like water over there. And I drank it accordingly—not necessarily in quantity (definitely not—I’m a lightweight) but with the same amount of… not caring about what I was drinking. Carafe of house red, please!
So I took this class. All these fancy wines were spread out and we were tasting all of them. In the middle of the day, I might add. I learned how to tell the alcohol content of a particular wine by noting the film left on the glass. I learned about the bouquet of the wine, of the different types, of letting the wine breath before sipping. I learned how to order wine in a restaurant and approve the selection without sounding like a cretin. And man, did I get tipsy doing it.
The class ended and my girlfriend had to go to an architecture lecture (ha, ha!). I excused my self, entippsened (not an actual word), and absconded to the museum, sketchbook and favorite book in hand (Roberto Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony), and drank in the beautiful images and words that surrounded me.
Upon my return, I totally get hangovers midway through a glass of wine again. Sighhh….
In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O’Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O’Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War.
O’Connor has outdone himself with this volume: the story is riveting and the artwork is beyond compare. Greek mythology has never been so vivid!