Friday, August 24, 2007

Fine Wine

Last night, Jeanine and I went to an amazing restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine. We have gone at least once every summer since they opened.

The food is beyond exquisite and you know when they ask you if you want the house butter or the trio of imported butters to go with your bread you are in for a culinary delight.

We had oysters, and duck wrapped in fresh grown lettuce leaves and goat cheese tamales and wild salmon and veal tenderloin with sweetbreads.... amazing.

The best part was the wine.

I eyed two in the extensive menu that stood out. One was a big, bold, fruit bomb from California. A wine with a silky texture and amazing berries so forward it’s like Dolly Parton on heels. The other was a a delicate, older phenom Bordeaux from 1995. It is quiet and graceful, like Nancy Pearl in a library.

1995 in Bordeaux was quite a year.

When wine ages, it changes character. The French winemakers acknowledge that change by layering wine with different grapes. A Cabernet Sauvignon from California tends to be- but not always- a single grape with a big flavor. A French Bordeaux is Cabernet grapes, and Cabernet franc, and Merlot and and and... whatever the winemaker thinks will bring out the best in the predominate Cabernet grape.

It’s an art. And a very delicate balance.

The Sommelier said, Well, the Viader is a great wine, no question. But the Pinchon... it’s not going to be around much longer. Can’t find it anywhere.

She was right.

The older wine was stunning. layers of cherry and some earth and a hint of leather made the wine something thoughtful to sip. Each taste, as the wine opened, grew more complex.

It’s like a long term relationship, Jeanine said as she admired the choice. You can’t get this without waiting.

No... you get something different. Big, explosive and of the moment. I love California wine. But you’re right... when you wait, when you have patience, you get this.

Last night we had an amazing dinner. Fresh herbs, lettuces picked from the garden and a complex wine reminiscent of our own relationship.

We could both trade in for a big, fruit bomb. But we’d never know the beauty of something that’s aged over time.

What is a long term relationship suppose to look like? Jeanine asked.

I have no idea, I responded. But if we separate, we can't do this- and I motioned to the beautifully set table. And we'll never know what twenty years together looks like.

Old love is like great wine. There are years it is undrinkable. Years it becomes a shadow of it’s old self.

And years when nothing in the world has as many layers and beauty in each sip.


Anonymous vikki said...

Beautifully written...

11:01 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I've really enjoyed your writings since I discovered your site. Now, I have to say I LOVE them. You scored huge points from this librarian. The Nancy Pearl reference was were you got me...full on.

A nicely written, poignant piece.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

thank you

8:31 AM  

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