“I like right bank Bordeaux, I think it’s the softer fruit and less tannin that I like…can you help me pick one?” a sweet faced, slightly nervous customer’s answer when I asked if he needed any help. I directed him to the 2008 Chateau Falfas Les Demoiselles Cotes de Bourg, opting to key into the flavors and texture that pleased him rather than the place. As we stood there he shared a story about being at a blind wine tasting (insert rolling eyes here) and he confessed that he got every single wine wrong. “It was just guessing the variety, not place or vintage or anything. Just guessing the grape and I got them all wrong” he told me. I could tell he was a tad embarrassed so I tried to soothe him as best I could, “I think I would get many wrong too. Plus you never really know how or why certain wines were chosen, I mean they could have slipped a Cabernet Franc from the Loire or a Sauvignon Blanc from Tuscany into the mix…that can throw off your guessing for sure” I said while watching his nervousness slither off leaving in its place a beaming, reassured dude. “Know what was funny?” he asked “My favorite wine of the night was a Cabernet Sauvignon. I always thought I didn’t like Cabernet” he grinned as we walked up to the counter. You just never know….
I used to have a friend that was very…set in her ways. She would not try new foods, talk to new people or even go out very often. This always perplexed me so one day…being the super cool friend (insert rolling eyes here) that I am, I decided to ask (read challenge) her about it. She was painfully looking over the menu at a restaurant that we had been to like a billion times before. Just woefully weighing her options, rattling off things like, “Maybe I’ll get the________ this time”. I sat there watching her, seeing the fear and mild panic set in. I laid my menu on the table, sat back in my chair and said, “You’re going to get the cheese enchiladas. You always get the cheese enchiladas. Why do you put yourself through this every time?” this moment marked the beginning of me pulling away from a “friendship” that had long since run its course.
“I like them. They are always good and what if I order something that I don’t like?!” she snapped back. “What if you order something you like better?” I said the irritation in my voice matching hers. This very uncomfortable but much needed “Ladies lunch” went from a somewhat phony (on my end) civility to me just drilling her and her lashing back at me with a flurry of “What ifs?” kind of ugly but I just didn’t get it. I let the inquisition fly, this woman was older than I was, like I said, very set in her ways and I knew even as the questions flew from my snarling lips that I would never really get an answer, never change her, (not that it is my place to do so) but I think I hoped that I would, at the very least, alert her or shine a light on what I saw as very limiting behavior. You just never know….
These thoughts we racing through my head this morning, 5:30 AM and this…this is what my mind feels like doing, ugh. I tried to trick my brain into going back to sleep but the squeezing of my eyelids wasn’t fooling, um…me. I just could not get out of my head all that I would have never tasted, the people I would have never met or love that I would have never felt if I never tired. I once met a man that would show me the most spiritual, the most overwhelming, the most frustrating…the single most powerful and beautiful love I have ever known. The situation or situations I should say, that surrounded the relationship marked it for failure from the beginning. I knew it, I’m sure on some level he knew it too but, fuck sometimes reason is no match for love and this one…well reason never stood a chance. That one year of my life would teach me so much; things that I learned to love about myself, hate about myself, an expression of sensuality and sexuality more intense than I ever thought possible…pain that at one point actually made me feel like my heart was literally going to rip from my chest just to be near him, my breath seemingly holding me hostage…refusing to leave my lungs until I let it go.
I thought of him this morning, let his smell, his touch, his laugh slip back inside me and as I felt the tears wriggle past my firmly closed lids and dangle from my earlobes I asked myself…knowing all that I know now, would I give myself over to him again? Relive the longing, the loneliness, the abandonment, that heart stopping pain? Absolutely. The answer was absolutely. It was a truly remarkable love….to experience that amazing feeling, I had to take that chance, live with what happened, all worth it.
That first terrifying trip to Europe, meeting blog readers, swallowing that first oyster, taking that glass of Alsatian wine in my “non-wine drinker’s” hand….all things that were way out of my comfort zone, things that could have had a different outcomes…but if I hadn’t tried my life would be very different now. You just never know…..
I finally gave up on sleep, slipped out of bed and walked into my dark and quiet kitchen. My reliving great love eyes red and puffy, I began gathering the week’s bottles to dump into the recycling box. My fingers laced around the empty necks of the wines that shared themselves with me. I dropped them one by one into the bin and as the labels flashed past me I saw them; Chateau Canorgue Luberon Rose, Zaca Mesa Z Gris, Piron Brouilly, Chidaine Touraine, Bebame, Joel Delaunay Touraine, Ken Volk Pinot Noir….three out of seven domestic.
“I don’t much like California wines” You just never know….