Tonight I am in Arizona on vacation. The papers had predicted, along with triple digit heat, a few thunderstorms. I was hoping for the latter. We hardly ever get thunderstorms in the high desert, so they’re a treat to watch. It’s Thursday. Our vacation is almost over, and still no thunderstorm.
When we got here last week-end, the first thing we did was buy groceries and stock up the fridge. At the local supermarket I was thrilled to find Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz. The flavors are berry and anise, with great anchoring tannins and a gentle finish. I had just poured myself a glass and was sitting down to watch the news when my husband called me out to the balcony. There in the far distance was an enourmous yellow cloud that stretched from one side of the horizon to the other. At this point it was sweltering hot, at least 106. We sat on the balcony for the better part of an hour as the enormous yellow sand cloud slowly obscured more and more of our vista. After a few minutes, the wind picked up and the temperatures dropped by about 20 degrees. I put my hand over my Shiraz and turned my head away to protect my eyes. We were in the middle of a sandstorm. It was dramatic and beautiful, and something I have never experienced before.
Sometimes what you plan or hope for just isn’t as good as the unexpected. A good Shiraz goes great with grilled burgers. It also goes really well with an unexpected sandstorm.