Monday, November 10, 2008


x-fact ~ the first 5 years of my life were spent in mendocino county. and i love sangiovese. i may be biased.

sangiovese mendocino county 2006
paid 9.99
reg. @13

I! LOVE! THIS! WINE! and i'm not biased. i'm not. this is great wine.

the forever designated driver brought this home weeks ago. and the moment i saw it i thought of my dear friend, jeni-o, who's sipping at the great wine bar beyond. the cheerful yellow label, her signature flower, a california coast wine. plus, her birthday was coming up and i had been thinking about her a LOT lately. so, i just couldn't drink it. yet.

i put the bottle aside, where i could still see it, but didn't open it.

i even put it out at our dia de los muertos gathering. but, um, sort of in the back. sort of behind the other bottles of cider and wine. and it lasted! no one opened it! which, um, may or may not have to do with the fact that halfway through the gathering i may or may not have stuffed it behind the recycling basket.

anyway, at first sip it's juicy and jammy and fresh. it just has this really fresh taste. crisp, even. and yet it's deep. and yet, yet, bear with me here, it's really drinkable.

i don't know if it's because this wine is from possibly one of the most amazing places on earth AND it's organic (oh, did i mention it's organic? no? well, it's organic. and not only is it organic, the label says it's VEGAN. really? okay. and yes, they put it in bold on the label. VEGAN wine. huh? who knew?) or not, but there's just something so fresh picked and accessible and yet divine about this wine. like all truly good food it's at once simple and sumptuous.

and it's such a pretty wine. actually, it's an absolutely gorgeous wine. all ruby jewel tone in the glass that breaks into a million glassy pieces on the top.

and like the wine, the day was gorgeous. today was a perfect fall day. i raked leaves and dead headed the last of the lavender and some other perennials that i didn't get to before.

and as i worked i thought about my friend jeni-o and what a gardener she was. gardener, crafter, cook. good lord if she saw the space i have and how i just let it go to pot. well, not let it. busy with kids and home schooling and life. but she knew that. she always listened, she would understand my plight, she would understand the state of this yard.

and as i wheeled the leaves to the back pasture i thought about how next spring might be different. another new start. the boys older. more able to help. a group effort. a gorgeous yard.

and perhaps come next fall, a whole swath of it filled with gorgeous sunflowers reaching towards the sky on a sunny crisp autumn day. not unlike today.

later, as i headed in the house and pulled off my boots and washed my hands the promise of being in the yard began to fade with being within four walls. as it is want to do, no?

ah, who knows if next year will yield a more gorgeous with the group effort yard or not?

i do know that an afternoon of yard work on a crisp day gives one a certain satisfaction that cannot be named, the four walls be damned. it however can be celebrated with, among other things, a glass of wine.

so i retrieved the bottle from behind the recycling basket (yes, i forgot about it until just then) and poured a glass.

and as i stood there with a sweaty brow and muddy pant legs i was happy with this delicious wine. and i thought about the day and the effort. and the more i sipped the more i warmed to the idea that yes, maybe, just maybe, next year will be different. that by next fall my yard will be weed free and gorgeous and awash in sunflowers.

it's possible. sip sip, indeed.

and then, again, i thought of my friend, jeni-o. how much she would have loved this wine, and how she would have probably picked up this very bottle in the store based on the label alone. and i thought about how much she would have loved this day. despite the lack of sunflowers, unruly yard, prolific weeds, and all. she would just bask in the beauty of fall and appreciate all it had to offer.

so here's to you, jeni-o.

i raise my glass in your honor tonight. you left us far too soon, my friend, and yet you are never far from the squishiest parts of my heart. especially so when i see a sunflower, each of which i believe blooms in your very name.