Our friends Tylr and Sabrina and their two boys are in town to visit this weekend. We’ve been looking forward to their for about six months now. They arrived late Friday night, and we stayed up talking for a bit. Then yesterday, everyone got up early, got their kids ready, and after a waffle bar and the usual headless chicken exercises of parenthood, we loaded our collective offspring into vehicles and headed for the Henry Doorly Zoo.
Titus, of course, needed to see the ‘Raffs, and was excited for a few other things we saw — the tigers, the lions, the rhinoceros (rhinoceri?), although the highlight for all three boys I’d have to think was having a massive gorilla walk over, sit down, and then wave at them.
Our friends, who live significantly more than a ten minute drive from the zoo, stayed far longer than we did; Sonja and I rushed Titus and Zooey home for naps and lunch around noon. Then I worked on preparing to leave the country and Sonja took a short nap, followed by some work of her own. When everyone had once again converged upon Casa Gudgel, I fired up the grill, pulled a cork from a bottle of wine, and got dinner going for a group of tired, hungry people and a rambunctious heard of little ones.
I chose the wine in part to pair with grilled fare, and at Tylr’s suggestion when he said that Sabrina often favors Zinfandels. As that varietal goes, I’ve been enjoying more restrained, less aggressive takes on it lately, and the 2015 Louvau Vineyard Zinfandel from Meadowcroft is a great example of what I’m talking about. Undeniably smooth and sans that “jammy” character that has come to define a lot of Zinfandels, it is a more elegant and nuanced take on the wine. 14.5% ABV doesn’t feel hot at all, and persistent notes of bing cherry, black cherry, and plum dominate, while subtler spices and earthy notes — maybe a touch of coffee, are layered underneath. It was terrific food to pair with our burgers and dogs, and everyone enjoyed it. Tylr immediately commented on how smooth it is. Tom Meadowcroft makes great wines.
After dinner we cleaned up and chatted for a while, then put the kids down for bed. At that point, I was eager to pounce on an opportunity. I’ve known Tylr for about 36 years, and we find each other funny. No chance I was going to miss an opportunity to play Cards Against Humanity. My reluctant wife humored me at last, and we spent the night belly-laughing to the point of exhaustion. It was terrific. If I could offer you some advice to live by, it would be this: Play Cards Against Humanity (or Apples to Apples depending on your sense of humor) with old friends as often as you can. A second piece of advice I might share, born last night during our game, reads something like this:
Once I regained my composure and wiped the tears from my eyes, I interpreted that to mean “Carpe diem,” more or less. Now I’m going to cartwheel my way downstairs, get a cup of coffee, and go fishing with my old friend.
Cheers to old friends, great days, and shared senses of humor,