(Author’s Note: This French Country Travel Life Pie – Part Five will (I think) be the final installment in this wine-soaked saga. Catching up on the previous scribblings – they being parts One, Two, Three, and Four could enthrall, inform, entertain, or depress. Depending on your mood, bein sur.)
DA BG’S moment of “Wine Glory at the Vigneron’s tasting, like most moments where the “big G” is involved, was a total suprise to everyone. Particularly me.
Here’s how it went down: That evening’s theme was : “The wines of Spain.” Now, while I did live there for almost two years, know all the words to via condios, read Lorca in Spanish and adore Serrano ham, I don’t “know” any more about Spanish wine than your average campesino. But, as you might have guessed, I do know what I like. And lucky for me. Because (suprise,suprise) one of the wines selected on this here evening, was a favorite of mine.
As I inhaled the familiar aroma and took a nostalgia sip, mass frustration reigned among my wino expert table mates. They couldn’t find a label to describe the main “note” or principal sensory characteristic of the wine. (translating) “It’s..it’s….like…..almost ..bermamot….” “Yes,..yes…close, of course…but not quite…” “For me….I have an image of cinnamon and cloves…….but…very faint…..”Yes, yes…certaintly…but, as you say…more like….like…”Fortunately, during all this “palate scratching” all eyes were not on me. Noting their befuddlement, I again sniffed my familiar fav., then innocently blurted out: “Caramel.”
Suddenly – all eyes were upon me. “Yes, yes, of course…Caramel!! -the assembled multitude chimed in. At the other end of the table, Jean was beaming like a Papa seeing his new born for the first time. I don’t remember if he said anything. But I wouldn’t have heard anyway, with all the harp playing angels circling my golden wine halo.
All too soon our Indian Summer, and the grape pickers of all Nations were gone. Jean’s grapes were now juice in his vats. And I had juiced up my artistic creations to a respectable degree. Jean’s, and future proprietor Maroussia’s work now was to stuff the van with last year’s vintages, and head out onto the “wine salon” circuit. Bringing their tasty juice directly to da people.
Which meant,sniff,sniff, there was nothing more their Artist- In- Residence to contribute. Another factor not to be sneezed at – Winter was definitely on it’s way. And, as you are well aware dear reader Californian’s do not “DO” Winter. (Hint: that’s why there’s San Diego)
And here in France, that’s why there is a “South of France.” I went there. To a tiny village ringed by vineyards. Virtual inches from the Spanish border.
I don’t see Jean and his family as much as I’d like to these days. But isn’t that always the way?
THROW ME A BONE HERE,PEOPLE
What are ya thinkin’?