Wine Treasures

Tomorrow is December 1st, and I feel as if Christmas Eve is going to come out of nowhere, tackling me in its largest embrace.

I’m not going to lie.  I absolutely adore Christmastime.  Everything about it makes me happy:  the lights, the music, the joy, the excitement of children, the whole shibang.  I feel energy from the energy of the air around me, and when the season gets going, I am right there with it, crazy about every single moment.

My children and I traveled to Ace Hardware yesterday to select an eight foot tree to stand in our living room.  I have to give a major shout out to my friends at Ace who not only fitted the tree into its stand, but also delivered it to our front door.

Cynthia, Stephen and I woke up this morning, made our hot chocolate, turned on the holiday music channel and started decorating with a roaring vengeance.  Big Stephen quietly hung on the couch, looking up every now and then to examine an ornament or hear a story.

My daughter shares my love of ornaments, and the two of us have spent over half of her life finding little keepsakes that mean something to hang on our tree.

Whether it’s a black bear reminiscent of our time at Pop Pop’s in New York State where we watched a mama bear and her cubs out of his kitchen window or a Tiny Tim ornament saying “God Bless Us Everyone” reminding us of Cynthia playing the little tyke in our community theater, we have ornaments symbolizing many life events.

The observant child Cynthia is, she commented to me this morning that we sure did have a lot of wine ornaments.  From a silver wine glass to a porcelain champagne bottle to a ceramic Bordeaux and quite a few others, there is a whole lot of wine flowing all over our trimmed tree.

Cynthia and Stephen both love a story.  Whether it’s about my youth or their moments as babies or even a good ole’ restaurant story, the kids can sit quietly for hours listening to my recollections.

Today when Cynthia started talking about the wine ornaments, I immediately started talking about who gave them to us as gifts and where we were living or working when we received them.

Cynthia looked up at me and said, “The ornaments are the best part of Christmas because they each make us remember someone or something special.”

The irony of it is that wine often does the same thing.

I remember the bottle of Franciacorta I drank at Babbo when Stephen and I became engaged in 2002.

I remember the bottle of Iron Horse “Wedding Cuvee” that we drank the day after we were married in south Jersey.

I remember the Triennes Rose we drank at a friend’s apartment in Chelsea at three o’clock in the morning.

And I remember the bottle of Washington State Chardonnay that made me fall in love with wine at the ripe age of 21.

There is no price tag on a memory.  For the good ones, we would pay dearly just to remember every last detail of the moment.

For the bad ones, we would do anything to make it go away forever.

Memories are our treasures, and when wine triggers a beautiful memory, I consider that a true treasure as well.

4 comments… add one

  • You’re right! There’s no price tag on a memory. In “Secrets of the Wine Whisperer” I write about a bottle my wife and I shared at sunset on a patio overlooking a vineyard in Tuscany. Bought it from a guy down the road who made it (literally) in his garage. No label, no cork, no nothing. Best bottle we ever had. It cost two dollars.
    Cheers!

  • Janie

    Beautiful words. Beautiful family. Beautiful memories. Beautiful Inie!

  • Jim Sessoms

    About 10 yrs ago, wife and traveled from Fayetteville, GA to California to do the “Wine Country Tour”. Late one afternoon, in Mendocino, we stopped at a local Taco take-out place, got two HUGE tacos, stopped in a wine shop, bought a bottle of Pinot Noir (they loaned us a corkscrew), drove over to a sea-side view and, with the sun going down over the Pacific, here we were , eating tacos off the hood of our rental car and washing them down with Pinot Noir! Surely a memorable moment!

  • Alice

    You are an awesome storyteller. I could sit quietly and listen to your recollections for hours, too…

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