Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pay it Forward



Humble appreciation is a tricky thing. It can cause even the most secure bloke to question his worthiness. Gratitude- in the mind of one who has benefitted handsomely from the generosity of others- is often not enough. A creeping desire to return the favor causes neurosis... at least when you're neurotic like me.

This week has undoubtedly marked one of the most remarkable in my career. I say "career" not to insinuate that this blog is any sort of bell cow, but I felt it most appropriate to not even bring the birth of my daughter, the marriage to my wife, or the day that Quantum Leap came out on DVD into the mix. So, from a food and wine perspective, the past week has been phenomenal.


Folks opened their cellars and let me take a drink, asking nothing in return. I enjoyed magnums of Grand Cru White Burgundy (that will make your toes curl and kick the "anything but Chardonnay" crowd in the groin), Riesling-based Eiswein that outdated me by 8 years, and Red Burgundy double that spread. There was aged Hermitage and Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape and some of the finest, hardest-to-find wines from California. They even shared wines they made themselves... microscopic-production stuff tasting of their own foot-treading and an honest desire to create something great. Something to share with friends.


In 4 days, I tasted through a lineup many will never experience. But I don't say any of this to brag. I'm simply pointing to the fact that I can't bring game like this to the table yet. I've only been buying wine- really buying wine- for a few years. Even my oldest, best stuff is too young. Yet the real rub lies in the fact that these venerable bottlings go for two, three, four hundred bucks a pop. This guy's got to buy socks without holes in them first.

So, I'm stuck with the aforementioned humble appreciation, and a sneaking suspicion that those who offered up their best could receive no better payback than seeing others enjoy. Be this the case, the only courses of action left are to be thankful and to pay it forward.

This week have been an epiphany of sorts, and I can't wait to pop some dusty corks for my friends and family. That is, as soon as they get some dust on them.

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