Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Old Wine

TWENTY YEARS OR SO ago I needed to have a sixty-gallon oak winebarrel fixed up a bit. In those days there was still a cooperage on one of those narrow streets parallel to Mission, just north of the freeway ramp from the Bay Bridge. The place looked like it had been there since the 19th century.

In a couple of weeks I returned to pick up the repaired barrel. The guy who'd repaired it asked me if I ever cooked with wine. Sure, I told him. White wine? Yes; we often cook with white wine, especially when we're making a risotto.

Because I have some white wine someone gave me and I think it's too old to drink and I can't use it. Would you like to have it?

So he gave me a case of Chablis, a 1970 vintage. It was indeed maderized a bit, not very nice in the glass. But I made a risotto with it, and the result was delicious. From that day until last week there's almost always been a bottle of this wine in the icebox. Fridge, I mean; sorry.

Last week, alas, Lindsey used the last of it. It's gone, all of it. I will miss it forever, and remember the fellow who gave it to us forever.

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