Sunday, November 9, 2014

No sommelier? No problem.

I don't usually drink alone. Unless you count the bath tub, and even then, I'm usually fortunate to have at least one visitor inquiring as to whether I need anything. So it's not really a solitary occasion.

But sometimes, I feel like wine and my favorite sommelier, AKA the Captain, isn't around to ponder what vintage would serve me/us best. Choosing the wine is kind of his thing, so I don't often venture into our wine cellar. 

It's a cellar only in the sense that it's in the basement. We have a wine rack tucked into a closet in the coolest, darkest corner of the house. We have it because one year I was desperate for a "good" gift for Jeff for Christmas and decided he should stop piling up bottles in the corner. (This was far better received than the year I thought he'd love a hat rack.)

The same year I bought him the wine rack, I bought him a leather-bound wine journal so he could jot down all the research he does on his wines. But he's a Renaissance man and keeps his wine data in a Dropbox document so he can always pull it up no matter where he is.

I knew all this. But sometimes I get all full of myself and decide I can pick my own damn bottle. So I went to what I thought was an OK shelf on the wine rack. Some bottles I know are there for the long haul. (His digital wine journal says so.) Others are expensive (for us) and for special occasions. But there are some rows just fine for a Tuesday night, and I was pretty sure I had the right one.

Lemme tell ya, the wine I chose was spectacular for a Tuesday.  That''s because the 2006 Chateau Fleur Cardinale Saint-Emilion Grand Cru was a fine wine. According to the Dropbox wine diary, one wine critic, upon its birth, opined that it would be perfectly lovely. Between 2018 and 2023.  

Jeff swallowed hard when he saw the open bottle on the counter top. When I told him I was really enjoying it, he just said, "I'm very glad to hear that."

I DID take me several days to finish it, and I shared the last of it with my good friend Kirsten Jasheway. So while it may have been decanted a bit early, it was celebrated and fussed over as it should have been.

In other news, we ARE still married and mostly happily so. Alison ended her basketball career (perhaps forever) this afternoon with, sadly, a loss. But, there were cupcakes, she scored a free-throw, had a few rebounds and somehow escaped a foul call when she hip-checked an opponent.

We had a busy weekend with Helen Mansfield as our guest. We haven't had Helen overnight for a long time so it was fun to have her in the house. The girls baked cupcakes -- chocolate with fresh raspberry filling -- and generally cavorted about when they weren't busy with their own activities. 

Jeff was on his annual trek to West Lafayette with his buddies where they again went to a place with three Xs in the name that they swear is all about hamburgers. 

With basketball and a Tastefully Simple party at Aunt La's already on the calendar, Ali informed me this morning that she needed to paint a couple of paintings for a presentation due tomorrow at school. She's been studying Vincent Van Gogh and claims she'd mentioned the need to pick up canvass and paint. The wine might have dulled my memory of this, but regardless, we had last-minute homework to do.

So after Lyn's party, we flew to Michael's to get the goods. Helen had her own homework and needed to get home and I'm hoping she got to it OK. It was a FUN weekend. I'd totally forgot to cover homework duties.

Alison went straight to painting when we got home and Helen left soon after. If we're lucky the paintings will dry by morning. Yes, there's more than one, and that was by design. Alison had a vision of copying Van Gogh's  Crows in Wheat Field" painting as art critics saw it as well as a sloppier version to symbolize how his fellow villagers saw it. Turns out his friends and family never saw the brilliance of his work. It took out-of-towners to see it.

And, even better, the field is the location where the artist chose to off himself. So it's a perfect image for her presentation about the artists' life, work, self-worth and death. 

Given the short time span, I'd tried to talk her into a less ambitious presentation but she struck to her guns. (No pun intended, Vincent.) They're turning out really well and I'm proud of her for coming up with the concept and getting it done. Even if it did seem a bit last-minute. (Thanks, Helen, for finding the smaller canvasses. Key move.)

Heck. The paintings are even kind of good! But that might be the wine talking...


Jaime Weir said...

To save Jeff, there is a burger joint on Purdue campus called XXX...One of the teachers that I work with has a son that goes there, and his girlfriend works at the restaurant. So, Jeff is safe (at least this trip)

Caroline DECOSTER said...

Dear Cheryl,

So delighted to read that you enjoyed our wine, Fleur Cardinale 2006.
You've definitely had reason to open this bottle just for yourself: I do exactly the same thing at home / the Chateau!

Best regards,
Caroline Decoster
Ch√Ęteau Fleur Cardinale