Giving Thanks

So here I sit, with daughter Cynthia playing with her longtime friend Sarah Cathryne beside me, and I sip on an Albarino that I used to drink a long time ago.

This Albarino made from the producer Lagar de Cervera, is one I used to be familiar with a long time ago, when I tasted many Albarinos a week and bought wine for big restaurants and hotels.

Now, my meetings with Albarino are much less frequent.  In fact, I only taste Albarino when I buy it for myself, and since I work for a small restaurant in eastern North Carolina where Albarino is a much harder sell than in lower Manhattan, we rarely have more than one in stock at a time.

Of course, many of you know I am in high gear studying for the Master Sommelier Exam, and Albarino is fair game when it comes to blind tasting.

In the past two weeks, I have traveled west to Raleigh to taste with the sommelier at Fearrington Village and east to Wilmington to taste with someone who is also studying to be a Master Sommelier.  In both tastings, I misjudged Albarino.

In Raleigh, I called Sancerre Albarino, and in Wilmington, I called the wine Gruner Veltiner, but I had Albarino in my initial conclusion.

What is it about this illustrious grape that keeps me at arms’ length when I taste?

It’s floral and beautiful and pure and deceptive.  It’s pretty sexy, if I do say so myself.

Today,  I read an article in the Wall Street Journal (that one of my favorite people emailed me…you know who you are…you love French Fries as much as I do).

The jest of the article was people who are grateful are much happier and more successful than those who aren’t appreciative.

The article is fascinating, so fascinating I am attaching the link in this blog:

Thank You, No Thank You

Anyway, I started thinking about my frustration with not being able to nail a wine like Albarino, and I started thinking about how different my wine life is.

Ten years ago, I wined and dined and wined some more.  Wine was life, and I tasted more than 99% of the world.

Today, life is quite different.

I get home from work at 3:30 p.m., and I start raking leaves into black garbage bags.  I drive to Dairy Queen at 7:30, order 2 dips and a blizzard and pay with a check because I left my wallet at home.  There are no dinners at Daniel or Jean Georges or Blue Hill, but my sweet husband makes me Eggplant in his awesome marinara.

We open a bottle of Albarino from a producer we haven’t tried in a long time, and I try to memorize this taste, this texture, this feeling so that when I sit for my blind tasting I know exactly what I’m tasting.

Life is different, most definitely.

In fact, sometimes I believe life is harder than it used to be.

However, life is also much better in a lot of ways.  And tonight, I give thanks.

I give thanks for Albarino.  It takes me back, but it also keeps me where I am.

And I am very thankful for that.

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  • Sandra Livesay

    Inie– I’m grateful for you!! Your words are poetry to my heart.