It all began with an e-mail in the mid-November from one of Pete’s sisters. She had drawn Pete’s name in our family Christmas gift exchange and wanted to run an idea by me. “Would he enjoy a copy of Randall Grahm’s book Been Doon So Long? I can get an autographed copy.”
It was either the book or a puppy. The puppy being a long-standing joke between Alice and myself. Pete is a dog lover, but prefers to love them from a distance. I, on the other hand, always had a dog before I had a husband. Pete welcomed not only me into his life, but also Tess, my ancient and affectionate German Shorthair Pointer. When Tess left this world, we did not replace her. I am happy now to have only a husband.
So, of course my response to Alice was “Yes, he would love that!” Done. On Christmas Day, when Pete opened his gift from Alice he was so pleased to have received the book. Everyone in the wine world knows Randall Grahm’s name. We had heard his keynote address at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Portland last year. That was our first introduction to his unique point of view. As Pete leafed through the book he became eager to begin reading it.
Pete began reading “Been Doon So Long” that evening after we arrived home. He has been reading a bit every few evenings since. He often reads particularly interesting or funny passages to me. I love when he does that.
One evening Pete asked me what I thought about ordering a few bottles of Le Cigare Volant. He explained it is a Bonny Doon Vineyard red wine composed of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. We are both fans of Grenache and enjoy Southern Rhone wines. So, I said “Yeah, let’s give it a try.” A few days later three bottles of 2007 Le Cigare Volant arrived at our front door. Magic!
Last Monday night we opened the first bottle with dinner. I had prepared turkey meatballs with garlic and basil in a tomato basil sauce over linguini. We had steamed carrots and broccoli on the side.
The wine had a youthful ruby-violet color in the glass. Scents of violets and tobacco followed with flavors of strawberries, black pepper and earth. The tannins were significant, but well integrated. The wine was light in the mouth and complex. It paired well with dinner.
We look forward to the two remaining bottles in our cellar. We will hold them for a while. We like to do that. This wine has a screw-top closure, so it may not change much. We will find out.