It’s snowed twice here in Omaha since summer finally bid us all adieu, once back in October, the thick, wet, stuff of snowmen, and again yesterday in furious flurries that rendered the interstates useless and the side streets dangerous. Twenty of my colleagues did not make it to work, several due to accidents along the way, and my classes were populated by only about half of their respective rosters. It was a peaceful day, watching the snow fall through the tall windows of my classroom, and by noon we had enough sun that we felt more comfortable with the idea of driving home.
The transition between summer and winter is always a strange one in Nebraska, marked in my life most notably by the raking of leaves which I dislike and football season which brings me great joy. It’s difficult otherwise to determine precisely where the weather in which we walk around the parks and go for runs and fish the ponds in ends, and where that which keeps us bundled up inside begins. Last night, we ate a warm dinner, pork roast, and then the kids took a warm bath. Going outside for an after-dinner walk, which is our custom in other parts of the year, was not entertained. After the kids went to bed, Sonja lit a fire in the fireplace for the first time since we purchased the house nearly four years ago, and we sat in front of it together. Seemingly everything we did was in pursuit of warmth. Official calendars be damned, winter is clearly upon us in Nebraska.
The wine I opened with dinner was, in a word, extraordinary, and we sipped at it while the kids bathed and afterward as we put them to bed as well. Later, we finished it in front of the fire, and it was so good that the thought of drinking something else afterward seemed fool hearty.
The Goldschmidt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Yoeman Vineyard in Alexander Valley is a truly exemplary wine. We had the 2014 vintage, though in my experience everything Goldschmidt makes is excellent and I wouldn’t shy away from other vintages. To me, a wine like this speaks to the very nature of the Alexander Valley and why we hold that location and its terroir in such high regard. The fruit was dark, dense, and black with hints of blue and purple on the edges — blackberry preserves, black cherry, black currant, and more. An earthiness, subtle but undeniable, persisted throughout. A mark of Goldschmidt wines is the nose — the incredible, inviting fragrance of black fruits and perhaps a touch of dark chocolate sucked me in immediately. Elegant, the tannins are fine and unimposing, leaving the wine smooth yet so well structured that I suspect this wine will live longer than I do if left to its own devices. I’ve been to the winery where this wine is made and know the sort of care it was given. I couldn’t speak to the oak regiment, but if this particular wine didn’t spend quite a bit of time on new French oak then you’re free to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, as those telltale notes were, to me, undeniable and ever-present. Every sip of this exceptional wine by the fire sent additional warmth and comfort through my tired body on a frigid night. This was, in short, one of the best Cabs I’ve had in a long time, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough, especially as winter closes in.
Though our gas fire would have burnt forever, Sonja and I grew tired quickly, the long week behind us having sapped us of our energy. We retired fairly fast, curling up in our warm bed and crashing, knowing that the coming weekend was going to keep us plenty busy.
This morning, I’m sitting in my armchair in the living room, next to the quiet fireplace, watching a vibrant pink begin to spread through the barren trees that stand just beside and behind my neighbors’ house to the east. Smoke falls from their chimney, as I sip at my steamy mug of coffee and type. I am grateful for warmth.
Cheers to warmth in the winter, and the rest of the year as well,