When asked to write about a first love, Hugh Krezel thought about the love that transcends, his love of wine.
I thought of writing about first loves, then I scratched out a few lines on failed love, and soon I was not thinking about love at all.
There is the emotional roller-coaster of youth, followed by the painful hurt feelings when things go wrong; the emotional high of the first date, and finally the momentous “I do!” But for many it begins a slow and inevitable descent towards “I don’t” and then a deciding which partner gets the Dean Martin LPs.
But messy human emotions aside, there is a love that has stitched all my adult decades together; it is WINE!
Lush flavours, soft textures, sometimes intense aromatics, wine rewards with infrequent disappointment. No angst, no argument, but worship and praise for the families who have toiled to raise their daughter, the grape, to such heights.
You say hello when you want to, and you choose—with some care—the time, the glass, the mood. Candles or no, there can be a fireplace, soft lighting, or a lingering conversation with what is poured. Silence too can be the agenda. There is no jealousy if you select to spend an evening with a frivolous Californian over a racy Riesling or more elegant Italian. No one gets bruised, and there are no words of recrimination. In fact I can elect to bow to the spirit of St. Valentine’s and choose champagne.
I sound a bit misanthropic, but I can assure you this glorious grape has also bonded my relationships. With girlfriend I trekked from Niagara to Napa, with fiancée we together found Pacific North West Pinot, passion in Paso and now—some 24 years into marriage—discover amour in Amador. Our last adventure returned us to wineries we have always loved. There is a romance in the rows and rows of vines; a sense of hope and hopefulness. The dark skinned beauties hold promise of moments of rapture.
Corkscrew in hand my wife and I extract and recall the purchase, the feel of radiating heat on the patio, the coolness of the cellar, the anticipation. If wine is an analog for love then together we have found nirvana.
Go open a bottle with the love of your life.