Outside our home, through the lead-crossed windows, each spring I watch the lone, scraggly tree in my neighbor’s yard blossom into an explosion of gorgeous lavender-purple. The neighbors in that house have changed once since we moved in, and two nights ago, when I asked Titus what he was thankful for before dinner, he replied “Emus, rhinoceros, and…” he pondered for a moment, as is his way, “Larry an’ Jen.” Fortuitously, Larry and Jen, the neighbors next door, joined us for dinner the following night.
I had picked up some “Husker chops” at Wohlner’s the week before, one-inch thick, one-pound monsters of pork chops that I love to grill, and last night I grabbed some Gates Barbecue Sauce from KC and went to work on them while Larry and Jen provided salads and Sonja made rice. It was a fun, easy, and collaborative communal sort of a dinner effort, and I lamented that it doesn’t happen nearly often enough.
I’ve been on a hard core Washington wine kick lately, and of course this one intrigues the heck out of me. Notorious Napa Valley vintner Dave Phinney of Orin Swift and The Prisoner fame with Washington State fruit? Dave reportedly said once that “If I was twenty-one, single, and could make wine anywhere in the world, it would be Washington.” And while we can’t turn back the clock, it’s neat that he got his hands on some Washington fruit — he did a great job with it.
Without sounding too artsy, this wine feels like velvet and tastes like the color blue. This is true of many Washington wines to an extend, but with the Locations WA5 you can expect Phinney’s usual hyperbole. 15% ABV, formidable structure, and unbalanced in favor of fruit and intense flavors of cassis and blueberry, blackberry, and earthy notes, it’s an intense wine that mellows in the glass. It paired well with our smorgasbord, and for $20, it’s a solid buy.
Titus isn’t the only one thankful for our great neighbors, and we know we need to have them over for dinner more often. The look in my wife’s eyes in the photograph above pairs perfectly with what she said to me when I took this picture, which was essentially “stop taking pictures of people at dinner,” to which I replied “you’re part of the story, and when I stop telling stories people will stop giving us free wine.” Thanks for reading my stories.
Cheers to stories, and to the people who let us tell stories about them,