Wine: Present moment perfection
By Kay Pfaltz
In late-September a friend gave me a single fig from her tree. I ate it, tasting in that moment a moment so true and pure it was better than riches… just quiet joy. Local, seasonal fruit. One sunlit moment in time. Completely ordinary, yet unaccountably beautiful. A very simple, yet very thoughtful gift, which is always the best kind.
Time being what it is, that now seems a long time ago, but the sensation remains vivid. As time rushes forward—scientists proving the earth’s velocity truly has increased, it’s not just our crazy lives—we humans rush about striving for mindfulness, single moments whose purity or beauty breaks through the chaos for seconds and leaves us without words. These moments, like the fig, fill our lives, many perfect moments becoming one beautiful whole. And yet so many of them are lost, forgotten, washed away by the afternoon tide while others stay etched in our minds over the long years ahead.
In this month’s column, I’d like to propose wine as an anchor that grounds us, connecting us to what is good and real and lasting. Wine’s history stretches back thousands of years, lending continuity and perhaps credibility, but think also about those occasions when we most imbibe: long meals with family and friends, shared laughter, tears, confessions and sometimes downright hilarity. Wine gulped without tasting, or drunk to get tipsy is not the same as wine sipped, savored and used to enhance a consciously prepared meal.
And so the moments pass, one ephemeral instance after another, constituting our lives. We may never end the constant barrage of chores, work and obligations we feel compelled to complete, so perhaps the best we can do is to go through life awake with eyes opened in reverence, grateful for this blink we’ve been given on earth.
Wines for contemplation and mindfulness:
Meditation, Vin de Pays Cité Carcassonne, 2009 – From Château Blau in the distant shadow of the Pyrenees near the walled city of Carcassonne comes this organic blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Egiodola. You knew that one, right? Egiodola is a Basque word meaning “pure blood” and the grape is a cross between Fer Servandoni and Arbouriu. The crew at Château Blau have this to say: “Organic farming is not just a matter of doing nothing and watching the weeds grow. It is also watching the weeds grow. And it is observing in order to try to understand. And acting preventively by using common sense and some simple products, sulphur, copper, herbal preparations, organic insecticides. All on a living soil, nourished by compost.” Plum-scented, fleshy and well-structured with good aging potential. $18
Valle dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria, 2008 – Wines from this Sicilian winery are made by the talented Gaetana Jacono whose family has been in the business since the nineteenth century. Gaetana uses primarily indigenous Sicilian grape varietals and all organic methods. The Cerasuolo di Vittoria is as elegant and complex as the winemaker herself; a spicy, smoky blend of Frappato for freshness, fruit and finesse with Nero d’Avola for dark fruit nuances, licorice and menthol…a marriage that works beautifully. 92 pts. Wine Advocate. $22
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