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09.30.2007

When Wine Tastes the Best

Wine carries with it so much baggage that it can be hard to forget how to really enjoy it. Not that most wine lovers ever don't enjoy their wine, but when you love the stuff so much, it's hard to avoid having the wine be the focus of your attention. The fact that wine carries with it so much ceremony (cut the foil, pop the cork, smell it, taste it, pour) and so much information (the vintage, the producer, the vineyard, the region, the alcohol level, the grape variety, and everything else we know about the wine), makes it pretty difficult for the wine lover to enjoy wine the way that most wine consumers do -- without paying attention to the wine at all.

I've heard this condition likened to the situation of the movie critic or filmmaker who always finds it difficult to just "watch" a movie. But that's really what we wine lovers need to do, at least sometimes. We need to just drink wine without paying attention to the wine at all.

Because, as we all know, life is not about wine (unless we make wine for a living) instead, wine is about life.

I was reminded of this over the weekend, when I took an (unfortunately rare these days) jaunt away from civilization to go fly-fishing for a couple of days in the Sierras with my dad, who has recently recovered from a heart operation. I threw few bottles of wine in the cooler before I left, tossed in a bag of ice, my wading boots (yes, in the cooler, to keep the bottles from banging around) and headed out to the mountains.

After spending an afternoon fishing in the sunshine, catching several four-pound rainbow trout from a small private stream, and experiencing the first snowstorm of the season (replete with thunder and lightning) all within the space of four hours, we retreated upstream to the cabin that we rented and watched the snow continue to fall. When our boots were off and our hands were warmed up enough to operate again, I pulled a bottle out of the cooler, the label wet and slipping off, and poured some wine into porcelain coffee mugs which we sipped as we watched the snow fall on a moonlit meadow and a bunch of confused cows.

And that's why the wine tasted so damn good.

For a little while, no one cared what they we were drinking out of those mismatched coffee cups, it was just fantastic, and the right thing to have in hand while enjoying each other's company and while shaking our heads in bemusement at the beauty and unpredictability of nature at her finest.

And then the fishing guide asked what vintage it was, and I was back into wine geek mode.

But I didn't mind. I know the recipe for the best tasting wine in the world, it just takes a little work to get it right.

Comments (36)

abdrury wrote:
10.01.07 at 5:05 AM

Very, very nice. Suffice to say this piece is enlightening and liberating!

Good day sir

ali wrote:
10.01.07 at 5:35 AM

Thanks for sharing Alder - A great way to start the week - ALI

razmaspaz wrote:
10.01.07 at 9:05 AM

I don't know if I should be more impressed by "the best wine in the world", or the 4 lb rainbows. This weekend for me it was "the best scotch in the world" and 8" brook trout.

Wine Scamp wrote:
10.01.07 at 11:23 AM

What a great story! It's funny how one's attention to the juice can get in the way of one's simple enjoyment of the juice. Thanks for describing a perfect wine moment.

Doc wrote:
10.01.07 at 12:00 PM

Having just returned from a similar journey along the Snake through Id, Mt,& WY with my daughter, enjoying the fruits of my cellar, it is refreshing that someone else also enjoys the content as opposed to the vessel.

Geoff Smith wrote:
10.01.07 at 2:19 PM

Alder,

Have you read any of the various writings of Jim Harrison?

Geoff

Alder wrote:
10.01.07 at 2:51 PM

Geoff,

He appears occasionally in Kermit Lynch's newsletters I know, but haven't read much more than that. Got any recommendations?

10.01.07 at 3:28 PM

What a delightful story! The "experience" has as much to do with the wine as the chemistry or art of the winemaker.

greg wrote:
10.01.07 at 7:09 PM

I never enjoy wine as much at tastings as I do at home over dinner or in a restaurant. The context is very important for me.

Marco wrote:
10.01.07 at 10:31 PM

I can share a similar feeling:

I realized that having dinner with friends that are not wine experts makes me focus more on the pleasure of drinking a good bottle of wine than on the wine itself.

10.02.07 at 2:23 PM

I couldn't agree more, Alder.

Always great to read your musings . . .

Arthur wrote:
10.02.07 at 3:29 PM

Very tenderly written, Alder. It shows a soft side. I like it.

Rusty Eddy wrote:
10.02.07 at 3:31 PM

Thanks, Alder, for a great wine and fishing memory that mirrors my own of my dad, who died last year. He was a martini guy, but also knew that a crisp white wine (he didn't care where it was from or which son bottled it) was the best thing with fresh trout.

Rusty

Jeff B wrote:
10.02.07 at 4:28 PM

Alder-

Re: Harrison: "The Raw and the Cooked" and "Braided Creek: A conversation in poetry (with Ted Hooser)" are both tremendous books, and are highly recommended... best enjoyed with a bottle of some obscure Loire red from Kermit, I think.

Regards,

Jeff

Zach wrote:
10.02.07 at 5:37 PM

Great story Alder. You got me nodding and smiling in agreement.

See you Friday.

Matthew wrote:
10.03.07 at 11:01 AM

I enjoyed this post - and read it probably more closely than I read other posts; indeed, this is my first time I've been moved to comment.

elsbeth wrote:
10.03.07 at 12:21 PM

Wow, Alder, this is lovely. I'll sit out under the stars tonight and toast to you! Thanks for a great post!

lagramiere wrote:
10.03.07 at 10:14 PM

The Sierras, snow, wine from a mug! As those images played through my mind I was green with envy!!!!!!

Ulla Greenberg wrote:
10.08.07 at 10:03 AM

i'll drink to that!!!!!!!!!

Ron wrote:
10.15.07 at 8:37 AM

Great Blog, great heart felt story. True life is always the best blog. Alder, we call those times "moments". Here is a blog we did sorta like yours the first of the year...Monday, January 15th, 2007

Can the “Moment” change how a wine tastes?

Have ever had wine sitting next to a camp fire, outdoor fire pit or fireplace? And then; did you notice how good that wine taste? Maybe it was a first date, a boat ride on Lake Tahoe, the Grand Canyon or your 1st or 25th wedding anniversary. It could have been a sumptuous meal at a restaurant along the coast over looking the bay or harbor. It could have been before a “night to remember”. Maybe it was in the Alps, Hawaii, Europe, Asia or the Caribbean islands. Maybe it was the music, the song, the mood or what he or she was wearing. It could have even been the label on the bottle or the smell coming from the kitchen. Everyone can recall a wonderful event that was so special time almost stopped. You know one of those days or evening that you don’t want to end.
I believe the atmosphere, the view, the location, the celebration, the room, the special occasion can drastically change how a wine tastes. Here is the kicker, have you ever purchased that magical wine expecting the same results and been a little disappointed. Were your expectations so high that the wine could not live up to that “moment”? I know we have all done this and then looked at each other and said “it’s just not the same”. The reason it is not the same is because sometimes it is hard to replicate that exact “Moment” in time. It’s as if the stars were all lined up just for you that night. The moon was brighter, the night warmer or colder. The smells were better, the food taste amazing, the view fantastic and your company looked great.
You see; that’s the joy of opening another bottle of wine, it takes us away from our day to day grind, especially if you enjoy each sip as if it’s your last. Was it the wine, I want to believe so. This is why there are so may venues dedicated to wine and wine tasting. We all can attest to how much wine can make our daily lives just a little better. Even if you can not create that exact moment with that wine there is always another bottle to help create another memorable time. Happy “Moment” hunting!
Can’t wait for you to tell us what you think??

Aloha

Ron

11.21.14 at 11:57 AM

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11.22.14 at 4:05 AM

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11.22.14 at 5:08 AM

I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

11.22.14 at 6:22 AM

Its layout allows for carrying plenty of components like snow shoes, a wind
breaker or other hotter jackets and has a neat fleece lined
goggle pocket which prevents the goggle from fogging up.
The fleece shields the lens from scratches especially through tumbles and falls.
It also has a helmet pocket which tends to make carrying the helmet close to pretty trouble no cost.


I located these truffles awful, I permit them stand for 4hrs it did not business up
effectively. I set them in the refrigerator for 2hrs they firmed up somewhat, but not
sufficient to roll. I place them in the freezer until the following working
day. For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, complete egg, sugar,
butter, and buttermilk. Incorporate somewhere around two cups
of the flour together with the yeast and salt whisk right until moistened and mixed.
Eliminate the whisk attachment and substitute with a dough hook.

Leather skirts are as common as they have ever been. And the
cause is almost certainly due to the fact they are a functional item of clothing.

For case in point, they fluctuate in duration from micro to mini
to just over the knee to underneath the knee. In a range
of conditions, the software of leather-based was even extended to
trousers and accessories as well. Leather trousers have been then regarded to be scorching and women were also instant to go by this improvement.
Black leather-based trousers with belts that experienced whopping shiny buckles
grew to become a trend assertion particularly with the youth..


There is no cause whatsoever for Lois Lane, who
admittedly confirmed up for 5 days of school, to count on to be remembered
as a scholar there. Positive, Lois was a military brat, so
she grabs on to the Smallville Superior part of her life and probably romanticizes it for extra than it was,
but I know the intelligent Lois Lane would never ever count on a
team of young grown ups who understood each individual
other for the initial eighteen decades of their life to keep in mind substantially if
just about anything about the five days they might or might not
have viewed some new chick wandering the halls.

I know this is likely to sound nit picky to some
of you, but it information like this that bug the living Blue Kryptonite out of me.

11.22.14 at 7:20 AM

Its layout will allow for carrying tons of accessories like snow shoes, a
wind breaker or other hotter jackets and has a neat fleece lined
goggle pocket which stops the goggle from fogging up.
The fleece protects the lens from scratches specially through tumbles and falls.

It also has a helmet pocket which makes carrying the helmet all-around
pretty headache absolutely free.

I discovered these truffles terrible, I let them stand for 4hrs it did not company up adequately.
I set them in the refrigerator for 2hrs they firmed up a bit, but not enough to roll.

I set them in the freezer until the upcoming working day.
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the
egg yolks, entire egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Incorporate roughly two cups of the flour alongside with the yeast and salt whisk right up until moistened and combined.

Get rid of the whisk attachment and switch with a dough hook.


Leather skirts are as common as they have ever been. And the
rationale is in all probability simply because
they are a versatile product of outfits. For example,
they fluctuate in size from micro to mini to just earlier mentioned
the knee to underneath the knee. In a selection of cases, the software of leather
was even extended to pants and add-ons as effectively.
Leather-based pants had been then thought of to be sizzling and
women ended up also instant to go by this advancement.
Black leather pants with belts that experienced whopping shiny buckles turned a fashion statement specifically with the youth..


There is no motive whatsoever for Lois Lane, who admittedly confirmed up for 5 times of
school, to expect to be remembered as a pupil there.
Sure, Lois was a armed forces brat, so she grabs on to the Smallville Substantial section of her lifetime and perhaps romanticizes it for extra
than it was, but I know the intelligent Lois Lane would
in no way anticipate a group of youthful older people who understood every single other for the
very first 18 many years of their lives to recall significantly if something about the 5 times they may or might not have seen some new chick
wandering the halls. I know this is going to sound
nit picky to some of you, but it aspects
like this that bug the residing Blue Kryptonite out of me.

11.22.14 at 7:26 AM

Its layout lets for carrying tons of accessories like snow shoes, a wind
breaker or other warmer jackets and has a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which helps prevent the goggle from fogging up.

The fleece shields the lens from scratches particularly through tumbles and falls.
It also has a helmet pocket which will make carrying the helmet about really headache totally
free.

I uncovered these truffles horrible, I let them stand for 4hrs
it did not agency up adequately. I set them in the fridge for 2hrs they firmed up slightly,
but not enough to roll. I place them in the freezer until the next working day.

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, total egg, sugar,
butter, and buttermilk. Include approximately two cups of the flour alongside with the yeast and
salt whisk right until moistened and put together.
Take away the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook.


Leather skirts are as popular as they have at any time been. And the rationale is
probably for the reason that they are a multipurpose
product of garments. For instance, they fluctuate in duration from micro to mini to just earlier mentioned the knee
to below the knee. In a selection of scenarios, the application of leather-based was even extended to pants and equipment as
well. Leather-based pants were being then considered to
be incredibly hot and ladies were also prompt to go by this progress.

Black leather-based trousers with belts that had whopping shiny
buckles turned a vogue assertion in particular with the youth..


There is no reason in anyway for Lois Lane, who admittedly confirmed up for 5 days
of college, to be expecting to be remembered as a
pupil there. Absolutely sure, Lois was a military brat, so
she grabs on to the Smallville Significant part of her lifestyle and maybe
romanticizes it for additional than it was, but
I know the sensible Lois Lane would by no means hope
a team of youthful grown ups who understood just about every other for the 1st eighteen many years
of their life to recall significantly if just about anything about the 5 days they may or may perhaps not have noticed some new
chick wandering the halls. I know this is going to sound nit
picky to some of you, but it information like this that bug the dwelling Blue Kryptonite
out of me.

11.22.14 at 7:48 AM

Its style makes it possible for for carrying lots of components like
snow shoes, a wind breaker or other warmer
jackets and has a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which helps prevent the
goggle from fogging up. The fleece shields the lens from scratches particularly throughout tumbles and falls.
It also has a helmet pocket which will make carrying the
helmet all over very stress totally free.

I located these truffles awful, I let them stand for 4hrs it
did not organization up appropriately. I set them in the refrigerator
for 2hrs they firmed up somewhat, but not sufficient
to roll. I place them in the freezer until the following working day.
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with
the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, total egg, sugar, butter,
and buttermilk. Incorporate close to 2 cups of the
flour along with the yeast and salt whisk until eventually moistened and put together.

Get rid of the whisk attachment and substitute with a dough hook.

Leather-based skirts are as well known as they have ever been. And the cause is likely for the reason that they are
a flexible product of clothing. For illustration, they differ in size from micro to mini to just higher than the knee to
beneath the knee. In a quantity of circumstances, the
software of leather-based was even prolonged to trousers and extras as
nicely. Leather-based trousers were being then regarded to be warm and girls had been also instantaneous to go
by this enhancement. Black leather-based trousers with belts that experienced whopping shiny buckles turned a manner statement primarily with the youth..


There is no rationale in any way for Lois Lane, who admittedly showed up for five times of university,
to assume to be remembered as a college student there.

Guaranteed, Lois was a military brat, so she grabs on to
the Smallville Higher section of her lifestyle and maybe romanticizes it for
a lot more than it was, but I know the smart Lois Lane would never expect a team of younger adults
who realized just about every other for the first eighteen a long time of their lives to try to remember
considerably if everything about the five days they may or
may perhaps not have observed some new chick wandering the halls.
I know this is likely to seem nit picky to some of you, but it aspects like this
that bug the residing Blue Kryptonite out of me.

Its structure enables for carrying a lot of extras like snow footwear, a wind breaker or other hotter jackets and
has a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which helps prevent the goggle from fogging up.
The fleece safeguards the lens from scratches especially in the course of tumbles and falls.
It also has a helmet pocket which can make carrying the helmet close to quite trouble free.


I located these truffles horrible, I permit them stand for 4hrs it did not agency up adequately.
I put them in the fridge for 2hrs they firmed up a little, but not
more than enough to roll. I put them in the freezer until the next working day.
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, complete egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
Insert roughly 2 cups of the flour alongside with
the yeast and salt whisk until finally moistened and blended.
Eliminate the whisk attachment and switch with a dough hook.

Leather skirts are as common as they have ever been. And the motive is possibly since they are a functional item
of clothes. For example, they fluctuate in length from micro to mini to just
previously mentioned the knee to underneath the knee.
In a quantity of cases, the software of leather was even prolonged to pants and equipment
as effectively. Leather pants were then viewed as to be very hot and females
ended up also instant to go by this advancement.
Black leather-based trousers with belts that had whopping shiny
buckles grew to become a trend assertion specifically with the youth..


There is no motive whatsoever for Lois Lane, who admittedly showed up
for 5 times of school, to count on to be remembered as a college student there.

Confident, Lois was a army brat, so she grabs on to the Smallville Significant section of her lifetime and most likely romanticizes it for far more than it was, but I know the clever Lois Lane would hardly ever be expecting a group of younger grown ups who realized just about every other for the initial eighteen many years of their lives to keep in mind much
if just about anything about the 5 times they could or may well not have seen some new chick wandering the halls.
I know this is likely to audio nit picky to some of you, but it information like this that bug the residing Blue Kryptonite out of
me.

11.22.14 at 9:29 AM

Its design enables for carrying a lot of components like snow shoes,
a wind breaker or other hotter jackets and has
a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which helps prevent the
goggle from fogging up. The fleece shields the lens from scratches especially all through tumbles and falls.
It also has a helmet pocket which helps make carrying
the helmet all around very problem cost-free.

I found these truffles horrible, I permit them stand
for 4hrs it did not agency up appropriately. I place them in the fridge for 2hrs they firmed up
slightly, but not plenty of to roll. I put them in the freezer
until the subsequent working day. For the dough: in the bowl of a
stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, entire
egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Incorporate somewhere around
2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and
salt whisk till moistened and merged. Eliminate the whisk attachment and
substitute with a dough hook.

Leather skirts are as common as they have at any time been.
And the cause is most likely mainly because they are a
multipurpose merchandise of garments. For instance, they range
in duration from micro to mini to just earlier mentioned the knee to down below the knee.
In a selection of situations, the application of leather-based was even extended to trousers and equipment as
very well. Leather-based trousers had been then deemed to be scorching and women were being also
instantaneous to go by this improvement.
Black leather trousers with belts that experienced whopping shiny buckles became a manner statement in particular with the youth..

There is no reason in anyway for Lois Lane, who admittedly confirmed up for five times of college, to be expecting to be remembered as a pupil
there. Confident, Lois was a navy brat, so she grabs on to
the Smallville Superior component of her life and maybe romanticizes
it for far more than it was, but I know the wise Lois Lane would never hope a team of youthful older people who realized each individual other for
the 1st 18 years of their life to bear in mind significantly
if anything about the 5 times they may or may possibly not have noticed some new chick
wandering the halls. I know this is heading to seem nit picky to some of you,
but it facts like this that bug the living Blue Kryptonite out of
me.

11.22.14 at 9:46 AM

Its structure will allow for carrying loads of accessories like snow shoes, a wind breaker
or other hotter jackets and has a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which helps prevent
the goggle from fogging up. The fleece shields the lens from scratches specifically during tumbles
and falls. It also has a helmet pocket which will make carrying the helmet all around fairly stress
free.

I found these truffles awful, I allow them stand
for 4hrs it did not agency up effectively. I place them
in the refrigerator for 2hrs they firmed up a bit, but not plenty of to roll.
I place them in the freezer till the future day. For the dough:
in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment,
whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
Include around two cups of the flour together with the yeast and
salt whisk till moistened and merged. Take out
the whisk attachment and substitute with a
dough hook.

Leather skirts are as preferred as they have ever been. And the cause
is probably for the reason that they are a flexible item of outfits.
For instance, they range in duration from micro to mini to just
over the knee to below the knee. In a amount of situations, the software
of leather was even extended to pants and equipment as nicely.
Leather-based pants were being then deemed to be incredibly hot
and ladies had been also prompt to go by this growth. Black leather-based trousers with belts that had whopping shiny buckles became
a vogue statement in particular with the youth..


There is no purpose by any means for Lois Lane, who admittedly confirmed up for five times
of school, to be expecting to be remembered as a scholar there.
Positive, Lois was a armed service brat,
so she grabs on to the Smallville Higher portion of her life and potentially romanticizes it for extra than it was, but I know the good Lois Lane
would in no way anticipate a group of young grown ups
who understood each and every other for the first
eighteen many years of their lives to bear in mind considerably if something about the five times they may well
or might not have found some new chick wandering the halls.
I know this is likely to audio nit picky to some of you, but it particulars like this that bug
the dwelling Blue Kryptonite out of me.

11.22.14 at 5:44 PM

What's up, yeah this ?ost is genuinely pleasant and I h?ve learned lot
oof things from it onn the topic of blogging. thanks.

11.22.14 at 6:59 PM

What's up all, here every person is sharing these kinds of familiarity, thus it's good to read this blog, and I used to visit this blog all the time.

11.22.14 at 7:19 PM

I don't know if it's just me or if everyone else encountering probleks with your blog.

It seems like some of the text on your content are running off
the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too?
This might be a problem with my browser because I've had this happen previously.
Kudos

11.22.14 at 8:07 PM

Good ost but I was wanting to knw if you could write a litte
more on this subject? I'd bee very thankful if yyou
could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

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