While gratitude is, of course, a practice that’s best done on a daily basis, the Thanksgiving holiday seems like a fine time to share a few wine guy reasons to be thankful. Voilà –just a teeny, tiny few seasonally appropriate things that make me glad…
Beaujolais -- real Beaujolais. There’s nothing like it. Fresh, vibrant, nearly pulsing with exuberance, the essence of sun become sweet fruit, wrapped around a core of cool granite. An old friend who always forgives me for running off to hang out with other wines, and welcomes me back with a glass way more than half full.
Winegrowers. As in farmers, or wine people who think like farmers. Modest, down-to-earth, ordinary human types who have calluses and dirt on their hands. People like Jean-Pierre Vanel, Kay Simon and Clay Mackey, James and Poppie Mantone, the Pouillons, Herb Quady, Keith Pilgrim, Remi Pouizin, Bill Powers, Robert, Corrine and Barbara Gross at Cooper Mountain, John Morgan, Barbara House and Liam Doyle at Lost River, Tony Dollar, Phil Cline, The Gilbert Family… and a whole bunch who I’ll catch the next time around.
“Everyday” wine. These are wines that are what they are, that taste like where they came from, that aren’t all fancied up to be some sort of luxury item. Because wine is something ordinary people should do, just about every ordinary day, and it’s less expensive to make (and has more character anyway), when it doesn’t try to be some fancy pants thing for fancy people.
My nose. An essential, of course, but I’m amazed at how much it teaches me as I learn to notice more and more smells, not just in wine, but out there in the world at large. The key to all sorts of Proustian magic. The world is your oyster—and your madeleine, too.
Friends. Because, nothing tastes as good solo as it does when you share it with your peeps.
Food. Italians have this nailed. Wine needs food to really sing the high notes—and food needs wine to truly nourish our souls.
And lots of other stuff. Stay tuned, more later.
Buona festa, bonne fête, happy holidays. Amen.