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:
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.