How fortunate we are to be sitting outside in Corbières on a gorgeous balmy night, relaxing as we sip our favorite regional wine. I reach for a pear and get a glimpse of the sky. I am enthralled. The scenery is more than divine. My mind is quiet and my body peaceful. We sit and watch the light grow dark, changing the landscape dramatically. You can’t imagine this region unless you see it for yourself: the sandy beaches and the gorgeous deep blue sky. The air is crisp and clear. The vineyards are more than picturesque and form the backdrop of our outdoor meals. There is always wine. This area in France is known for its superior production and there are many choices. I feel like celebrating every day that I am lucky to be here.
Sitting on the patio with friends is a luxury available in this area. We have met many people who love the wine as much as we do. A shared meal is the best way to bond and get to know one another. We discuss some of the special reds and vow to go to a wine tasting tomorrow. We have been to many, but each one is different. There are new people and a variety of snacks to accompany the wine of the day—cheeses, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, olives, honey, and jam. Talk is easy and breezy as we listen to the strains of a classical violin playing over the outdoor speakers. While I always noticed the music, I didn’t notice the speakers until now. Suddenly, they are right here, pumping out the perfect selections for sipping wine and eating fruit. What a great idea. I guess I thought that the music was magic. Well, I do know that this vineyard is beyond earthly.
Being a wine gourmet is a special privilege. Wherever you go in the world, you have your favorite beverage. There is so much to learn about the grapes, the soil, the weather, and the oak barrels. I want to understand aging and why different wines have various undertones. They can be fruity as in apple, melon or pear, have an herbaceous aroma, taste like citrus or honey. Wine has “body”—from light to rich. There is no end to the words used to describe the distinct taste. Wine can be aromatic or floral as well, also spicy or earthy. These tastes come the unique grapes and the soil in which they are grown. Hence, the importance of the region—California, France, Spain, or Italy. Being a wine lover means constantly expanding your palate and learning new ways to savor a red or a white. You may call my husband and I wine enthusiasts. I love this fancy designation. Wine buffs is okay too. Pairing wine with cheese is an entirely different dimension. It adds immensely to the experience. Learning about cheese takes as much effort as discovering the essence of wine.,