“Fantasy Football, GoT, and a Two-Year-Old’s Birthday.” The Week in Wine, September 4-10, 2017.

This was a very full week, packed with terrific things that made the happiness and smiles around our household ubiquitous. A rewarding week of work was followed up Thursday night with an unexpected Chiefs victory over the Patriots in New England, an omen that, at least to me, suggested far more good things might be in store for the weekend. On Saturday, four of our runners medaled at the meet, while one set the school record and another dozen plus earned a personal best. Fantasy football started up, a tradition (read: time suck) that I love, and which helps distract me from things like the Huskers debacle of a loss on Saturday to Oregon.  That, of course, came only after Titus’s second birthday, which brought most of the family and many great friends to our home to help celebrate our darling little boy. By Sunday night, it was time to start re-watching Game of Thrones, and joined by several friends, we began again with season one, episode one. This is going to take all year.

I suppose that in a different light, these things would seem quite normal to some people. To me, however, this weekend was a celebration of people, people whom I deeply love, and spending time with such folk is something I never grow tired of. Below are the wines that accompanied this week, and all of the wonderful people who were part of it, and who shared each glass with us. The image featured in the banner is that of a glass of “on tap” prosecco, which I paired with brunch with my parents on Sunday before they headed home.


I love Oliver wines, and most of my opportunities to try them come from our neighbors next door. “B” did his Ph.D. at Indiana, very near to this winery, and he and his husband “T” have a healthy stash of their wines which they regularly share with us when they come over. This Vignoles had some real age on it, which isn’t always ideal, but it held up well, boasting beautiful caramelized flavors and some serious body. I always like Oliver, and this wine was no exception.


This one Sonja and I picked up at the winery back in 2016, and we shared it this week in celebration of… well… life. L’Chaim! We have a lot of nights packed with me teaching night class or her dug deep into multiple loads of laundry, me grading, her editing photographs, and many other things, so on those nights when we both can sit down and share time together, well, we love to do just that, and my preference is to do it over a bottle of wine, such as this wonderful, quintessential Napa Valley Zinfandel from one of my favorite boutique producers.


A friend of mine used to make the wine at Newton, and while he’s no longer there, I still enjoy their wines a great deal. This Claret, a Merlot-based monster, is complex and flavorful. I tried it at Corkscrew this week when I stopped in to see Zach. It was an added bonus to getting to see my friend.


A few days later, Sunday afternoon, I found myself back at Corkscrew. This time, I was grading papers. What I hoped would take an hour took four, as I committed myself to providing useful, invested feedback to my students on their journals. Fortunately, I had a lovely glass of this very dry, Alsacian-style Oregon Riesling to help four hours glide smoothly by. Notes of plastic and petrol, white fruits and floral notes, this was a delight, and paired well with grading papers on a Sunday afternoon.


Sunday night rolled around, and as I mentioned, a few friends came over for Game of Thrones. This Chilean Cab was our second bottle, with notes of green pepper held daintily in between lush purple fruits and velvety mouthfeel that reminded me more of Merlot than Cabernet. It paired well with the murder of two crows, the execution of a third, the murder of the hand of the king, and the attempted murder of Bran Stark. Sheesh. What a bloody show. (No wonder we love it.)

So that was my week. A week full of wonderful people, pleasant experiences, and a few nice wines to pair with them. Until next week, which I suppose began already, stay thirsty my friends!



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