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September 21, 2006

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This is fun to think about, Dan – thanks for the memories… Here is my abridged version:

In the late Seventies, I was home from college and my high-school band had reunited to play the Bryant’s Garage Christmas Party. On one of our breaks, I grabbed a piece of baguette and a cup (plastic) of Riesling (Blue Nun, I’m guessing) – the simplest of pairings. It was the first time I realized that food and wine were star-crossed lovers.

In the late Eighties, a friend who’d been a waiter turned Hilary & me on to Chilean reds. Back then, they were a remarkable value. That was when we learned to appreciate merlots and cabs within a tight budget.

In the late Nineties, we occasionally ventured above the $10-$15 per bottle barrier. And we tried some other reds like Aussie Shirazes and Argentine Malbecs.

It must’ve been 2002 when we experienced Estancia’s 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon. It accompanied an absolutely transcendent meal at an old inn called the Willcox House on the Hood Canal in Washington State. I would never have thought that “cedar and clay” could have anything remotely favorable to do with wine, but there it was!

Not long after that, Hilary & I tried DeLille’s D2 at the Barking Frog. It was one of those “Did we really just spend thirty-something dollars on two glasses of wine?” moments, and it was also an “Oh my gosh!” moment. We happened to be at the DeLille Winery last year on our 21st Anniversary (a friend’s acapella group was gigging there, so we crashed the party). When the owner found out it was our Anniversary, and that we were devotees of D2, he uncorked a bottle for us – even though the official word was that they’d utterly sold out of it.

A recent discovery (revelation might be a better word…) was Cuneo Cellars’ Cana’s Feast Bordeaux-Style Red Mountain . Yes, it is a long name, but the wine warrants it – it’s a long and winding road of a wine! I think it was the 1998. Wow…

Lately, we’ve been tending toward Zinfandel for our “everyday wine” – it seems like there are some good values to be had these days.

Scott - thanks for the thoughtful post, and for the new wine suggestions.

Wine, like music, relates to experiences. Drinking a good wine with a spouse or friends is always memorable. And when hearing an old song, it often conjures up experiences from the past.

The Bryant's Garage Christmas part with Blue Nun in a plastic cup. Aren't you glad we evolved somewhat?


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