“A Christening”

It was only a few months ago that I came home to Sonja, sobbing in the kitchen. She had wrecked my car earlier that day while I drove the team tent around in her larger vehicle, though in a hideous twist of fate that was only the second worst thing she was unhappily waiting to report upon my return home. The still worse news was that when she attempted to hose off the front porch, she discovered a leak — something akin to a chasm, leading from the front porch directly into the wine cellar and, as it so happened, onto my small collection of older Bordeaux wines.

Fast forward only a short amount of time, and we were getting bids to redo and waterproof the porch and also the ceiling of the wine cellar, picking out tile, and bracing ourselves for yet another large expense. The folk we hired — Old World Craftsmen, were excellent, and if you’re in the area and looking for a contractor I’d recommend them. Last night, the night before I am to leave for a week in Colorado with my cross country team, we hauled the patio furniture back up out of the garage and decided to christen the front porch with a bottle of wine.

Sonja briefly considered breaking a bottle on the porch, but I talked her into drinking it instead. On our last trip to wine country, we’d visited one of our favorite Sonoma spots, Meadowcroft, and picked up a bottle of Tom Meadowcroft’s incredible sparkling wine to share on a special occasion. Having a new waterproof lid on the wine cellar seemed like an appropriate time to pop that cork.


I played Stan Getz on my phone and we sat around and talked as the evening light retreated and the fireflies emerged, looking down regularly to admire the new surface upon which we rested. As we did, we sipped at Tom Meadowcroft’s incredible Blanc de Blancs. Excited bubble and a pale straw color heralded a classic Champagne-style nose of bready, yeasty notes. On the palate, tart green apple with subtle hints of brie were emboldened by — could it be Malolactic fermentation? The almost buttery, toffee-like flavors made me think so, and the fact that the wine was crafted by a French-trained classicist of a winemaker caused me to suspect that it was mostly if not entirely Chardonnay. I mused on this for a bit, came to my own conclusion, then texted Tom to ask. He informed me that one barrel had been aged on the lees for two years, which explained the creamy texture as well as the rich flavors.  What an amazing bottle of wine — it was perfect for breaking in the new front porch.

Today, I leave for Colorado with the team, but I get to do so with a new memory in my back pocket and the knowledge that when I return both my wife and our new front porch will be waiting for me. This knowledge will allow me to have more fun while I’m away, and I’m thankful to Sonja for always being so supportive of my countless wandersome adventures. Downstairs, I hear the craftsmen banging around in my cellar. Perhaps when I get home, we’ll have to christen that as well.

Cheers to christenings,


One response to ““A Christening”

  1. Pingback: The Wine Cellar Chronicles, Part VIII: “Raise the Roof!” | itheewine·

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