Sunday, September 4, 2011

Looking At Life Through Wine Colored Glasses: Today

It is finally cool enough to type again. Whew…it’s been hot. Between 90F and 100F for several weeks, sometimes even hotter. But it has started to cool off again and so I can bear to sit and write. Now, where was I?

Oh yes. Why, I suppose you are asking yourself, did I take all that time telling you about my history with wine? Because you need to know where I came from in order to understand where I am now. I came from the land of beer and milk and soda pop. I am living in Italy, land of wine (and food and shoes…)

I don’t know what I expected when I came here. Maybe to have wine a couple of times a week. I mean, from my experience wine is a special occasion drink, not something you have every day. Naturally, the first few weeks I was here I assumed that we were still celebrating my arrival and that explained all that wine. By the time I realized that the time for celebrating was over and the wine was still there for every lunch and dinner it had become a habit that I enjoyed.

It’s a good thing that I enjoy it. You see, I am in love with a man who enjoys wine so much he moved from Sweden to Italy to be closer to the wine. He studied for two years to become a sommelier and did it in Italian, not Swedish.. When he isn’t cycling he is tasting and writing about Italian wines for a company exporting wines to Sweden.

In fact, our apartment doesn’t have a living room, it has a cycle room where he keeps his bikes and cycle clothes and tools, and all the reference books and maps he uses for cycle and wine trips with clients. It is also the room where we keep our personal stash of wine, not to be confused or mixed with the work wine. Those bottles that he tastes for export are kept in our refrigerator. He has generously allowed me one shelf for food. The rest of the fridge is devoted to wine.

How strange is it that someone with my background, essentially a person who drank wine only when there was absolutely no other beverage available, now finds that lunch isn’t quite the same without a glass of wine? That I can’t remember the last time I had dinner without wine? It’s Twilight Zone strange.

So far this year he has tasted over 70 wines from all over Italy and I have tried almost that many with him (they don‘t send just a glassful for him to try, you know. They send a whole bottle and I must help.) The vast majority of these are not just ok wines; they are good wines. Some are excellent. Some are so good I’m actually sad when the bottle is empty. I have no idea how much they cost…they are given to him to taste and write about so we don’t buy them. He does tell me that I have expensive taste, that the wines I like the most are usually the more expensive wines.

Every morning I ask him what to buy for dinner, because he knows what food goes with the wine we will have with dinner. And that, my friends, is the great part of this experience. It isn’t that I’m eating in Italy, although that is pretty great. It isn’t the wine and it isn’t the food. It’s eating food carefully chosen to complement the wine while watching the sky change from the bright blue of day to the neon blue of dusk to the dark velvet sky of night that make each evening special. I get to share the experience with a passionate and loving person. I am truly blessed.

He says he is spoiling me and it’s true. I am forever ruined. I can never go back to Boone‘s Farm. Here’s hoping I never have to.

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