For some people wine is just fermented grape juice, no more exciting or magical than a bottle of soda. It is much more than that, however. It is the proper accompaniment for any number of occasions: celebrations, milestones, and, as in yesterday, goodbyes.
Rebecca left this morning for her three-week cross-country journey through which she will be exploring America and relocating to Alaska, where she’ll be clerking at the state intermediate appellate court. We spent yesterday in Philadelphia, stopping first at Metropolitan Bakery for pastries (she had a chocolate croissant and I had a slice of a delicious prune log) at Rittenhouse Square. We grabbed a quick bite at Tria wine bar (we shared poached black Mission figs with gorgonzola and prosciutto di parma, and an absolutely wonderful cold duck salad with spinach, strawberries, and pistachios in a citrus-mint vinaigrette), browsed perhaps the best Italian market ever, and ended the evening in Philly at Marathon on the Square where we had amazing fried calamari and she had shrimp and crab pasta and I had a beef brisket quesadilla. (We also took a detour to Anthropologie and then to Fishtown, which was not well-advised.)
But afterwards, back in Wilmington we uncorked a bottle to accompany us into the night.
The 2007 Ridge “Paso Robles” Zinfandel. 100% Zinfandel. I had had a bottle of the ’06 Paso Robles and loved it. We opened it and drank it as the night slipped away and the morning, with its prospect of her leaving, edged ever closer. The Ridge was a light color, with very pronounced acidity but good firm tannins. It was zippy, with cranberry and bright red fruits underlined by darker notes of prune. A hint of menthol and pepper.
I don’t know when I’ll see her next, but I do know that when I do, there will be a bottle of wine.