Fermented Filigree

Bottles And Bordeaux

It’s no secret from previous posts that I enjoy a glass of vino (see Drink The Wine from April 2013) and those who know me, well, they know me.  Wine often makes the perfect birthday gift, or Christmas gift, or second-Tuesday-of-any-month gift. I appreciate their thoughtfulness and their taste in tenderness. I saved the bottles as a reminder of their magnanimity. It wasn’t until the collection started to look like I hadn’t taken out the trash that it occurred to me I should scale back on the souvenirs de sauvignon. Now, just the corks continue to accumulate.

Once I was able to dwindle down my collection to a dozen, the glassware that remained reminded me of those individuals, even if they were no longer part of my present. I also kept a couple from my years abroad (see I Don’t Even Like Soccer from June 2021) and from my travels. In every apartment in which I lived, I would find a place where they could stand tall, reminding me of people, places, and pinots from my past. Of course, when it was time to move, I would also need to designate a box just to empty bottles – as if I needed one more box to tote from place to place. The time finally arrived when even my favorites needed to find their way to the recycling bin. If I didn’t keep in touch with the gift givers, did it really make sense to hang onto the gifts given?

Close, But No Chablis

One such decorative delight came from a friend’s visit to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Curiously, as much as I have traveled, I never visited Asheville. I’ve come close a couple times (see Tail Of The Dragon from August 2022), but it’s one of those pockets that I’ve chosen not to spend time just yet.  In fairness, I wasn’t overwhelmed with the contents of the bottle, but only because it’s taken years beyond its receipt to become a white wine woman.  Even the friendship faded before the flavor. My reason for retaining this work of art stemmed from the décor on the glass: a white etched image of the estate. Well, I assume it is the estate, I’ve not actually seen it.

So, why did I save this particular bottle? Did I really judge a bottle by its cover? When I buy myself a bottle of bubbly or a glass of Gewürztraminer (see Glacier Peak from May 2022), I make my selection by the appearance of the aperitif after it’s poured. This, as with the other empty vessels on the shelf, preserve memories, not the merlots versus malbecs versus moscatos. The generosity of the gesture and the decorative design added to my home. Also, enjoying an grownup refreshment reminded me that adulthood comes with a splash of shiraz whenever it suited me. As a single parent, I may have passed on the pleasures of date nights and nocturnal delights, but I valued a vintage, the image, and the effort of others to make me feel like an adult from time to time. The fact that I cannot recall if this filigree etching included pinot gris or a sauvignon blanc matters not – it’s the claret that counts.

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