Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heart Unmelting

My wine passions seem to parallel my sentiments towards life. They can change at any moment, but in general they trend cyclically. As the frost from winter melted away, my desire for bold Bordeaux, extracted Napa Cabs, oaky Spanish gems, ancient Madeira, decadent Ports, warming Washingtonian Syrahs and alcoholic Aussies waned. Symbolically my heart melted to the tune of Chinon roses, Languedoc Lascaux, supple Malbecs, peppery Zins, and velvety Sauvignon Blancs (more like musque clones and old vine Gruner). Over a glass of 2000 vintage Chartogne-Taillet, immediately followed by a 2010 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc, I listened to my heart pound with nervous energy. The events of the past two years flashed before my eyes, and I reluctantly started to unwind. Solitude provides a sense of security to which I could always cling. The past four years, I welcomed solitude with open arms, just like the arrival of spring and the release of the 2009 roses, like the delicate peach-rose tinted Baudry-Dutour Cuvee Marie Justine I cracked last week over a Wisconsin Carr Cardona (snow white goat's milk rubbed with cocoa). I'd forgotten how lush rose and mouth-watering. But my seasonal wine habits opened a latched door. A passage to my denied desires, a frenzy of relentless soul chatter. An awakening to life unbridled, risky, and unknown. Solitude slumped on my stoop outside, hunched over waiting for me to change my mind, but the bottle had already been uncorked and the wine poured forth.

I survived my daughter's first year of life. Yes, me, not her. The challenges of child-rearing always present mental hurdles, especially as a single mom. I feel I can stand the test of time raising her on my own, as a certain security settles in my soul. She revolves my universe, even though I'm completely bound, trapped in the duties of motherhood, I'm still free and rhythmically attuned to her needs. No restrictive relationship, or cumbersome battles over what's best for her. I own the remote control and I sprawl between my sheets carefree. Loneliness seeps in from time to time, but nothing that cannot be abated, stomped out with busy schedules, child demands, friendly comaraderie, tasting groups, study rituals, and just good ol' "me" time over a glass of wine and cheese indulgence. Most of all, no distractions churn my thoughts in a downward spiral, no anxious doubts of "he likes me, he likes me not." No thumb twitching over anticipated texts or phonecalls. 

Really? Yes the walls were built, mounted behind a deep, wide moat while the town disposed of ropes and lumber long ago. But as the spring aromas fill the air, and my daughter's independence grows with each passing day, I can't help to notice a floundering change of sentiments. The blue Rhododendrons nourish their blooms. Irises border the drive, yellow, white and purple. My all-time favorites spring mid-June, wild and free: orange tiger-lilies. The orange petals spotted brown mark the savage dreams, the internal burning flames, the silent cries stifled deep within, passions rearing to be unleashed. Full-circle, a year gone by. Now I wonder what new philosophies should I live by? I think it's time, to share a bottle of most beloved wine with a new love. Yearning to covet a fledgling desire, the wines will turn to bubbly Champagne, sapid Italian whites, lovely Vouvrays, white Bordeaux, Gru-Vs, and chilled Beaujolais. The list of zest and thrills goes on and on, but the choices for decent companionship do not. Men do not line the dusty rows of a wine shop waiting to be plucked, and if they did, how would you know the complex layers of flavor inside from the outside label alone?

The truth be told, wine shared is more cherished. As quoted in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Jannie's heart was like the seashore, shaped and molded with each crashing wave--forever changing with each new chapter of her life. Now, for my change in the tide. What bottle dare I pick? Who dare I let inside?

2008 Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux de Languedoc J.B. Cavalier
spring garden, loaded with herbs, lavender, lilac, purple flowers. Bright red fruit, underlined with some baking spice, minerality, smooth, fine-powdered tannins. Full-bodied, huge flavor profile for the inexpensive price. find out afterwards it was a 2010 TOP 100 and mostly sold-ou

2009 Baudry-Dutour Chinon Rose
Absolutely mouth-watering, delicate, yet savoury. rose petals, dried cranberries, crisp acidity. most darling of a rose paired with cocoa cardona goats milk cheese and framani nostrano salame--very fragrant meat, but paired nicely with the cab franc rose.

2000 Chartogne-Taillet
no longer Japone-shaped cork, bit oxidized, sherry-like qualities, but the nose was so fragrant of floral and fruit, not as yeasty as I would have expected. not the best vintage for Champagne, but great experience, none-the-less. Acidity still bright with delicate mousseaux

2010 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc
musque clone leading to explosive tropical fruit of pineapple, mango, papaya, very little gooseberry or grassy, cat-pee sensations. maybe a bit of asparagus and jalapeno hints, but mostl pure fruit with amazing mouth-feel. viscous and velvety. full-bodied, delicious.