Saturday, March 24, 2007


I finished teaching my latest semester of wine classes last week, and I'm a little sorry that it's over. It's a pain, to be honest, because it actually takes a decent amount of prep before each week's class - still, I'm sad they're finished. Aside from the refresher course that I get from teaching the class, and the wine tasting of course, it's nice to stand in front of a room of people who pay to listen to me jabber on for two and a half hours every night... even my wife's eyes glaze over after five minutes, so apparently, only people who don't know me find me entertaining... strange...
Another bonus is that it usually reminds me to check on our makeshift wine cellar, which I don't do all that often (what with the two kids and all). Every time I go down there, I kick myself for not taking stock more often. There are a few things that will be ready to drink soon, and more than a few that I moved to one corner so I wouldn't forget about them before they started to go downhill... but most importantly, there are the ones that I love to see again.
The first Barolo I ever had was a 1992 Villadoria - in the back yard of our apartment in philly on a warm spring day before we were married, Sara was wearing a black tank top, we were sitting on our white plastic patio furniture & everything was carefree and perfect - and we have some of them downstairs now... a Villadoria, Viberti, Marchesi, and Giacosa to name a few. There is a '69 Grumello and a '71 Valpolicella that I lugged down a looooong hill in Orvieto along with 10 other bottles - a feat which left me sore for days (and I think might have made my right leg a little shorter). A Pine Ridge Andrus Reserve that is worth more than my life - a wine I first had while I was talking about it to a class... I recommended it to someone as something they should consider for a private wine tasting in their home because I knew it was good and this was the only chance I'd be able to taste it - they went for it, and bought me an extra bottle to boot. So there I was, describing (in detail, in front of 30 tipsy women) the wine I had never tasted, when I finally got to have my first sip, and remembered why I love doing this... black cherry, currant and chocolate. Perfect.
There are 1994 Vintage Calem and a 2003 Fonseca Ports, which will both be perfect when Sam and Lily are in college and we have a moment to ourselves, and probably even better when they have kids of their own and we can giggle at them making the same mistakes we did... and on and on it goes... Beaux Freres, Chateau Laforge, Talbot, Beychevelle... each one tagged, gathering dust and the occasional crumb of masonry from the basement wall. Each one with their own little story, waiting for just the right day to make their way upstairs.
On Friday, with a sushi-boat-to-go waiting upstairs, I found a Saisons Des Vins L'ete that I bought in California a few years ago... and even though I feel like we are light years away from that sunny, carefree backyard in philly... for a minute or two all was right with the world. Things around here seem to change faster than I can keep track of, and I don't remember all of the twists and turns that brought us to this house with a four year old artist in residence and a two year old princess... and some of the wines I don't ever remember seeing before, but I still have some of the same shoes, some of the same dreams, and little reminders of who I used to be sitting around the house. Turns out, it helps to remember and appreciate what you have, downstairs and upstairs, even if I can't remember exactly how they got there in the first place...

1 comment:

kalenowicz said...

Wonderful memories! You will have so many more fond ones as your family blossoms!!! Miss you!

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