Thursday, May 27, 2010

Have You Hugged Your Wine Today?

It had been a long and demanding day that began with an 8:00am meeting and then continued to gather momentum like the freight train I was watching, waiting to pass. After a stressful evening volunteering at Our House, the AIDS facility I work at each Wednesday night, I was finally making my way home. The hour was late; my head was pounding, my body aching, my stomach doing anything and everything to try and get my attention and I was stuck there, watching those blinking lights staring back at me, yelling at me to stop with their flashing red eyes. The cars were beginning to back up behind me through the next block and yet the train rolled on, car after car after car.

Practically hypnotized by the railroad crossing sign, wondering if it was ever going to end, like a slap across the face, my attention quickly came back to focus as the couple in front of me got out of their car and proceeded to dance around it, doing a little doe-see-doe at both the front and back. It was like a Chinese Fire Drill, only so much better. At first I was mildly entertained by their antics, speculating about how much they had to drink. As I continued to observe the scene, they seemed completely oblivious to anyone’s judgment, utterly wrapped up in each other and in this random moment of freedom and pleasure. I found myself suddenly affected… emotionally moved by their sense of spontaneity, their open minds, their playful nature. Like a voyeur observing this private, impulsive gesture, I watched them laugh and bear hug each other before getting back in their little car and I wondered what other spontaneous moments lay in store for them down the road.

The journeys we take on the road of life often have a tendency to be so planned out, we often lose sight of how it’s the detours and those impromptu dances in front of a train that really keep things interesting. I stopped off at my neighborhood grocery store, Barbur World Foods for a bottle of vino therapy and scanned the shelves looking at my choices; I typically select something from Oregon or Washington. So, where’s my spontaneity? While I’m completely caught on the whole “Buy Local” thing hook, line and sinker, it just didn’t sound very fun, playful or open-minded tonight and that’s what I was in the mood for. I decided an import would be best, but it had to be from someplace really obscure, someplace I’d never think to buy wine from. Barbur World Foods has a Middle Eastern/Arabic influence, selling traditional ethnic products (like fresh fava beans, dolmas in a can and homemade baklava) in addition to the staples—it’s the bomb. They also have a pretty darn good selection of wine and the wine steward really knows his stuff, which makes it a dangerous combination and fabulous for impulse shopping—could there have been a better place for me to wander into? It was like divine intervention.

Being as I’m in a Middle Eastern market and feeling oh so spontaneous, I gravitated towards the Lebanese wines when this one practically jumped into my arms. Wait a minute, Lebanese wine? Really? I don’t think I’ve ever bought Lebanese wine, well, except Maysara, does that count? Do you think it could be any good? No… don’t question it, go with it, be spontaneous, be open-minded, be in the moment, no regrets.

Honestly, I can’t say as I’ve ever been quite so excited about a bottle of wine, in fact, I could hardly wait to get it home. I was wishing I had a little corkscrew/bottle opener key chain like I did in high school so I could open it in my car. Instead, I set that baby down in the seat next to me and smiled a sly little smile at her and then I just had to do it. I didn’t care what anyone thought; I gave that bottle of Lebanese wine a big bear hug and then the two of us drove off down the road as I wondered what other spontaneous moments might possibly lie ahead. Until we sip again…



Portland Charcuterie Project said...

One of the worlds greatest wines is made in the Bakka Valley of Lebanon, Chateau Musar.

Check it out and search out a bottle.. I have one or two in my cellar... you'll be very glad you did.

On a second note.. Mo and his family are Persian, not Lebanese... HUGE distinction.

Sounds like you need a break from all this not working you've been doing :-) How about bringing the fam over for a bbq this weekend?

Sip with Me! said...

Hey Todd, thanks for the comments. The wine was not Chateau Musar but quite good.

Thanks for the clarification about Mo and his family, I knew that. Brain fart, temporarilly confused them with Mayassa, so I guess that doesn't count then.

Ok, re: BBQ, would totally love to! I'm working this weekend, lots of smaller wineries to visit, but would love to come by in the evening, if the invitation still stands. I'll call you tomorrow.