Tuesday, March 25, 2008

red burgundy table wine.


x-fact ~ a bottle of wine wrapped simply with a ribbon tied in a bow is a gift that can never go wrong. and will always be appreciated.

red burgundy table wine france 2006
paid gift...priceless
reg. @9-10

sis in the city brought this to me on easter. the bottle is so very familiar and i know i've had it before. though i cannot remember it for the life of me. regardless, it wouldn't have mattered. i was happy for the gift.

again, about bringing wine as a hostess gift, the host/ess is not required to set it out for consumption that evening. and if he or she chooses to set it aside and serve another bottle, this is not considered rude!

chances could be that there is a set wine the host/ess has chosen for the food being served, or that others before you have arrived with bottle in hand and there is more than enough, OR the bottle you are giving is of a way better quality/label than the one he or she is serving and so it is being put aside for another time.

in this case, my dear sister who is also quite hip to the art of the hostess gift and my love of wine, not only brought this bottle bedecked in a fetching and jaunty red grosgrain ribbon as a gift for me, but she also brought another bottle for sharing at the easter feast.

folks, this is a good woman. if you have friends or relatives like this, treat them well. there should be more people like this in the world. or at least a statue or wall somewhere dedicated to people like this.

i chose to save this particular bottle because we had more than enough for the feast and because i knew there would be an evening this week that it would come in "handy."

in. deed.

and it did tonight. oh, i could go on about the joys of teaching one's young son the art and madness that is borrowing and carrying in subtraction and addition, the havoc that is wreaked on one's calves after two full days of standing at stove and counter chopping and cooking and assembling for a family holiday meal, or the fact that turning on the news these days is about as much fun re-reading one hundred years of solitude or re-watching american beauty.

oh keep your tomatoes! i hated them both and nobody and nothing can make me feel different.

anyhow, where was i?

oh yes. the gift of wine. ah, there is reprieve from the longest presidential race in history and the fact that this country has perfected the art of and as a result is now offering customized one way trips to hell in a hand basket.

this is a beautiful wine. garnet colored and gorgeous in the waning light of a green and wet early spring day.

it had a very nice first sip. needs some warming, but smooth enough for the wine it is. at second and third sip whilst trying to tie up some loose ends on e-mail i didn't notice anything but how much i enjoyed sipping it.

it's got a nice light feel. easy. it doesn't try too hard to be anything other than the red table wine it is and i appreciate that immensely. this is a non-thinking wine.

as i've mentioned before, oftentimes i don't want to have to think about what i'm drinking. am i appreciating this enough? have i paid too much for this bottle? what would i say about this wine if someone asked? how come a 90210 spin-off and not dawson's creek?

oh. wait. where was i?

this is a wine for people who know and love wine, or for people who don't know wine but they like to drink it.

this wine would pair well with eating. hey, i know that sounds weird, but it's a fact that while people think of wine with food as a norm, actually there are a lot of wines i wouldn't think of drinking with food. too soft, too overpowering, too ??? to pair with food.

but not this wine. this wine is a red table wine! all purpose! made for the table! perhaps an afternoon filled with family and friends, a gang of kids, a table groaning with food.

even in this day and age the women all gathered in the kitchen kvetching, laughing, sharing, moving from table to counter to stove to fridge plating and arranging and loading the table with delicious hors d'oeuvre.

generous mushroom caps stuffed to bursting, soft cheeses and crusty baguette slices, small teacups filled with spring pea soup, cheesy olive bread hot and salty and straight from the oven.

sipping and visiting and nibbling and working this wine would pair well with the hors d'oeuvre. a perfect match to such disparate flavors. but the meal is the main event is it not? and yet, this wine, again the admirable hallmark of the red table wine, is just as good with the meal as with the starters.

and what a meal.

fresh ham slow cooked and enrobed in a brown sugar, dijon mustard, and ground clove glaze sliced hot and fresh at table, zucchini gratin artfully arranged, baby carrots steamed and served with a ginger hollandaise, creamy, cheesy, browned just right scalloped potatoes, and a home baked portuguese sweet bread complete with decorative hard cooked eggs nestled in the braid of the loaf.

in and out as the rain allows, it still being very early spring in the pacific northwest, the eggs are hidden and hunted between bouts of showers.

ah, this was easter here at the big red house. and while i kept this bottle to myself and we didn't drink it that day, the fact is it would have been perfect.

a wine like this works so very well for a meal like that. everyone bringing something to contribute, you can't fully coordinate the flavors, you want a real easy going wine to drink alongside.

and you just can't go wrong with a red table wine. going to a picnic or a barbecue or a winter drinks party and you don't know what to bring? bring a red table wine. and trust me, you. really. can't. go. wrong.

it's meant to be neutral in that it just is, and the price is generally pretty easy on any budget. what more could you ask for in a wine?

wrap that puppy in a ribbon tied in a bow and i tell you, watch a girl swoon. or a boy. however it works out in your world, you just can't go wrong.

here's a tip. you want to be a real bad ass when it's a housewarming party? pick one wine and buy two bottles. give one bottle for "drinking together to celebrate your new home tonight!" and one "for drinking on your first year in your new home anniversary!" be really great and label that bottle prettily and definitely with the 1st year anniversary date. (and your name of course)

aannnddd you're a peach! a peach who will likely get an invitation to share said bottle on said anniversary, perhaps with a meal alongside.

people do love a peach. people do love to feed a peach.

wine. the gift that just keeps on giving.

spread the joy. share the wine. be generous.

these are tough times for everyone and i tell ya, it's gonna be the little things that matter most.

so don't skimp when it comes to manners and generosity when you've been invited over to share in someone's home, someone's meal at their table, made with their hands and love. ever.

it doesn't take much, much less than you think, and goes farther than you'll ever know.

because we're all in this together.

and better yet, what you put out, you get back in spades.

better than a one way customized trip to hell in a hand basket, no?

friendship's the wine of life! lets drink of it and to it!

a votre sante!


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