A Good Wine, Like a Friend or Lover, Has Depth and Substance.

Which bottle of wine I'm going to drink tonight or for the week's line-up is a question I ponder incessantly throughout the day.  It's not because I need something wet on the lips so badly that I cannot concentrate in other areas of my life, but  because they're like my friends, these differing potential beings. . . One might even change my life.  It's an exciting prospect.  A bottle of wine is like someone who I haven't seen in awhile, like Brunello; or someone who I miss terribly, like Barolo; and others who live right around the corner, like Rose of Pinot Noir, that are easier to call upon and not offended if you have to cut the night short.  With some friends you really want to understand who they are, where they come from -- their whole history -- what do their parents do? Do they have siblings? Did they struggle or have an easy life?

    A glass of wine can be as heart-warming as a conversation with an old friend and as disappointing as a shitty first date of which you had high expectations: the label looked good; it came from a promising family or neighborhood; it wasn't even inexpensive . . . and then you open the bottle and this wine is just sleeping, dead, boring, perhaps it's full of oak or full of shit, like someone who pretends to be something they are not, trying to mask their shallowness and insufficiencies.

    A good wine, like a friend or lover, has depth and substance.  It doesn't reveal itself completely on the first date.  It is compelling.  It evolves throughout your relationship together.  I didn't always love Barolo.  I didn't understand it in the beginning.  I thought it might be a liar.  I had always rooted for the underdog, not the king or the champion, until one day while traveling through Tuscany my husband introduced me to a 1996 Marchesi di Barolo.  It was an older wine and was much more subtle, definitely not a close talker like some can be, right in your space.  Yet it was powerful and steady . . deeply nuanced into layers that braided back and forth into and out of each other.  It was one of the wines that I shared with my husband when we first fell in love with each other and for that reason it changed my life.

    So I think about these friends of mine, who I've met and who I'd love to get to know and I plot and plan, romantic evenings, dinner with friends, moments alone, picnics under a tree because to me the simple pleasures in life are the ones that carry the most weight.