2007 Cellier du Rhone Chateuneuf du Pape
When I poured the 2007 Cellier du Rhone Chateuneuf du Pape, I noticed that the color was an orange-red. It was starting to show its age. On the nose was a yeasty cherry odor, and I could almost smell the heat. That didn’t bode well for me. But this little wine had a spicy cherry flavor with a good balance of acidity that made it vibrant and fun in the glass. At the same time, the Syrah had enough anise in the flavor and tannins on the back of the mouth that it really anchored my meal nicely.
Last week-end I spent some time with one of my best friends when I made a trip to my hometown in central Ohio. I have known Nancy since we were kids. We met in 8th grade home room. When she got married, I was her maid of honor. When I got married, she didn’t want to be referred to as the ‘matron’ of honor. It sounded so …well, matronly. So, I listed her as the ‘Best Woman.’ She thought I was kidding about that until she saw the program.
We haven’t lived in the same town in over 24 years, but we have been dear friends for over 36 years. Spending time with her this past week-end was easy. The conversation flowed from the comfort and playfulness of a lifetime of inside jokes, to the serious business of raising our teenagers and caring for our aging parents; those things that anchor us to life.
“I’ve written a novel,” I told her.
“What’s it about?” she asked.
“When I was in the third grade, I remember sitting next to slightly overweight boy named Kevin who often came to school with greasy hair and a distinct odor. One day he needed to ask me a question, so he leaned over and whispered in my ear. I could feel his warm breath and smell his unclean scent. I shuddered at the repulsive intimacy of it. That’s what my writing is like; repulsively intimate.”
She stamped her foot with frustration. “I thought you were going to tell me what the novel is about. Well, as long as you don’t use the pen name, Lacy B. Glenn.”
“I won’t,” I said recognizing the reference immediately. “That’s one of the main characters.”
Lacy B. Glenn was a pen name that Nancy came up with in middle school. She was planning on using it for the novel that she’s writing.
“Oh, God. I’m not in your novel, am I?”
“Don’t worry. You’re hilarious.”
Like the Chateuneuf du Pape, our friendship is showing its age. With time it has become richer, with enough depth to anchor us, yet, like the wine it is just acidic enough to remain vibrant and playful.