The Monthly Wine Writing Challenge gauntlet has been dropped by SAHMmelier and the theme is “luck.” I ponder several concepts for this, as I find that each theme has the potential to go off on many tangents. Do I write about a great wine that I found? Do I write about a wine that I thought was over the hill, but opened it up and it was wonderful? Do I write about a wine that was opened with great anticipation and found that it was not (bad luck)? These monthly challenges are just that, a challenge to make us write an essay, which is out of our norm.
As a dyed in the wool last remnant of the Rat Pack, I guess I was born one generation too late, when I hear the word “luck” I automatically think of” Luck, be a lady tonight” and all of the wonderful songs from Guys and Dolls. “A Fugue for Tin Horns”, while a great introduction to the play doesn’t lend itself to wine, the song Luck be a Lady tonight does. I have to admit that ever since that fateful night that I met my Bride, she has been my luck, among several other complimentary words. While I may not have been George Bailey and offered to lasso the moon, that first evening I wanted to howl at the moon. My Bride is luck personified for me and my life with wine.
When we first met, she only drank white wine and preferred only fish for dinner. I corrupted my lucky Muse, and now she is a carnivore and she adores red wines. I think that Cabernet Franc is her favorite varietal, but she is always willing to have it in a Meritage as well. That is not to say that she would turn down a Merlot, a Pinot Noir or Heaven forbid a Rioja Reserva. We wish we could live a life of Nick and Nora, but alas we are not.
We have gone to Napa Valley for some serious wine tasting and buying; not to mention having some great dinners. This has been repeated many times over in the likes of Carmel and the Monterey district, Traverse City and Northern Michigan, and the Niagara Falls district of Ontario, Canada. We have had the chance to dine like royalty in some of the greatest restaurants in the North America. Three, four and five star restaurants have been some of our stops while in Manhattan, California, Nevada, Illinois, the Carolinas, Ohio, Florida and in Michigan; not to mention when we have also encountered some grand times in Canada as well. There have been many dinner parties, wine tasting affairs and numerous wine bars along the way. How many men are that lucky to have a Bride that not only encourages this activity, but wants to be part of this insanity that wine has brought to us?
Luck is even with me, when she tends to curb my insanities. If we go to a stellar restaurant, she sometimes gently reins me in from ordering that First Growth that I know would be an excellent pairing for the dinner. She can also be the one that will suggest that perhaps a “six pack” of a certain wine is more then adequate, so as not to cause the financial collapse of our domestic bliss. Luck is even with me, when she comes home from a trip with a special wine that she had without me that she loved and she wanted me to have the chance to try it as well. Then there are also the trips when she returns home with cases of wines that just kind of snuck up on her when she was out with the girls or on wine tasting tour as an adjunct to one of her business trips.
I smile when I think of how she would let me enjoy that extra glass of Latour or Mouton, though she would almost arm wrestle me for the last glass of Cain Five. How she got so excited when she discovered the secondary wine Ovation, while tasting Opus One wine at the winery. I think we may have bought a six to one ratio after that trip. I remember how she refrained from trying even a sip of Screaming Eagle wine one night after a crazy interlude with the men at the next table, claiming that I had already dazzled her palette with all of the wines that she had tried since we were together. I think of how I introduced her to sweet Champagne instead of always a Brut and how she learned to enjoy it as well. Then when she thought I had lost it, because I found a Rose wine that I enjoyed and coaxed her into trying, but she was won over when she discovered it was made from Cabernet Franc.
I have sung the praises of how lucky I am that I have a Bride that enjoys a red wine with her salmon dishes, so that I can enjoy a meat selection at a restaurant. Not to mention that she gets giddy if there is an appetizer of Foie Gras on the menu. Did I also mention that we also enjoy the chance to “trip the light fantastic” especially if we are enjoying a bottle of wine while we are doing it. If this sounds like bragging, it is about my Bride and how she has added to my enjoyment of wine that I started years before I met her, but she has made it all the better since. That is luck, and I feel that I am the luckiest man to have her by my side. So a toast is in order to my Bride.