I’ve loved Whitney Houston since I was but a lad and I don’t think anything I write can properly express how much I’m going to miss her. Were I to delve into my earliest memories, I remember only four different musical talents being played in my home: Prince, Michael Bolton, Phil Collins and Whitney. Can you guess the two I loved the most?
Whitney was my earliest in musical education. I remember how my limbs moved of their own accord when she came on, how my little tiny vocal cords wanted to belt it out with her. She brought me such joy and lightness, and fuck all if I don’t want to cry my eyes out right now.
It’s often said our most powerful sense is our sense of smell. Smell is tied directly to taste, and if you consult someone more science-y than me, they’ll tell you that it is powerfully connected to memory. When I opened this bottle of Matteo Correggia earlier, having had no previous knowledge of it outside of a coworker’s suggestion, I immediately related it to today’s loss of Whitney and her voice.
Once I opened the bottle, I was hit with an amazing bouquet of floral notes. Lavender, potporri, lilacs. I knew immediately this wine was delicate, and the scent (especially the potpurri) brought me to a childlike place. Remember making dandelion necklaces during recess (if you hung out with the girls, like I did)? Well, I was transported to then, which was also a time Whitney was always on the “smooth afternoon jams” radio station (the only one my mom listened to in the car). And on the palate, this wine was nothing BUT its nose. Light, dry, delicate. Easy to drink.
And as I took my first sip, “How Will I Know” came on my Spotify. I don’t care what anyone says, “How Will I Know” has always been my favorite Whitney song. Her range, her naivete and control just hit me in the first few notes, even as a dumb little kid who wanted to jazz hands every which way. Maybe it’s because I’m single and lonely right now, but I guess I kind of miss the feeling she sings about, that eternally frustrating question of “how will I know?” Because for realzies, how do you know? YOU KNOW MY SOUL, WHITNEY. My reaction to the combination of wine and Whitney was immediate and visceral: From the top of my lungs, I sang and shimmied my way through the room. I don’t think there is any response more appropriate. Sure, it was a Saturday night, and there I was, alone in my apartment, but who cares in the end?
Say what you will about Whitney and the life she lead in the last few years. Any recording of her, in my opinion, is perfect. Every note is stunning and on point. In the same way, the Matteo hits all of the same pleasure notes the late diva did. And now, I’m happy to say, I have a new fond memory of the chanteuse, even if it’s bittersweet. She’s in a better place, and even though her talents were taken too soon, we’re all the better for having been around to experience it.
PS: Because it’s relevant to my interests, here’s a Whitney and Robyn mash-up that will liven up any and all Houston-related mournings.