There is More to Bread than Bread

Ferrari Carano Siena

Ferrari Carano Siena

‘Why are you bringing her a meal? What good will that do?’ my daughter was asking me as I put the stew in a travel container. As people often do in this situation, we were taking food over to a neighbor, who had recently lost her husband. My daughter had a point. Looking at it from her perspective, my bowl of stew seemed a futile consolation and of little consequence. It is human nature, though, to feel as if we are doing something worthwhile, helping in some way. If nothing else, the meal would let her know we were thinking of her.

Just off the picturesque Dry Creek Road outside of Healdsburg is a winery that is the pride of Reno. Don and Rhonda Carano are both from Reno with continued vested interest in the city as owners of the Eldorado Hotel. They are also the founders of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery.

Ferrari Carano Winery

Ferrari Carano Winery

Rhonda’s love for gardens is manifested as a warm and stunning welcome to visitors. The paths through the gardens are irresistable and make the first glimpse of the Chateau on the hill worth the delayed anticipation. Ferrari-Carano is one of the most spectacular wineries in Sonoma County in both landscape and architecture. The experience can only be outdone by a visit to the Loire Valley. But rather than Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, the varietals are more Bordeaux, Burgundian and Tuscan.

The Classic tasting includes a Sauvignon Blanc as a Fumé, that is, oaked. Its aromas are tart apple and green grass with hints of vanilla. The Merlot is lush with woody, cherry-berry aromas. The Pinot Grigio is both earthy and minerally. The Siena is a beautiful blend of 65% Sangiovese with some Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is well-integrated with aromas of earth, oak and tangy cherries. They make a popular dessert wine that is a chocolate-infused Zinfandel. It really does taste like a chocolate covered cherry with a dusting of cocoa.

Ferrari Carano Winery

Ferrari Carano Winery

Just like a nice glass of wine, or a peaceful walk through a garden, a good meal can do more than sustain us. It can remind us sentiently of the bounty and beauty, the simple pleasure of life. For someone who is in mourning, a few minutes of pleasure that a good meal can provide can offer a small escape from the darkness of sorrow, and a gentle reminder of the pleasures of life.

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This entry was posted in wine.

8 comments on “There is More to Bread than Bread

  1. I also believe it is not just the short moment of pleasure that this gesture contains, it is also the feeling of community (even if eating alone, but it was prepared by a friend) and the feeling of being cared for if someone provides you with food. It triggers two emotion points that we desperately need when we mourn.

    I’m wishing your neighbor all the strength she’ll need in the coming months and years…

  2. At times like that, I NEED someone else to plan and prepare the food, or I nearly starve to death. If the food shows up by magic, I’ll eat it. But on my own, it would not occur to me to eat. At all.

    I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. How sad for your neighbor; how compassionate of you to do for her.

    • foxress says:

      I think you’re right, Tracy. Mourning makes the necessities seem secondary, and yet, it is often the basics that keep us tethered in difficult times. Thank you for reading. I always appreciate your comments.

  3. renobarb says:

    Beautifully said. Your post was quite timely for me. Just this morning, my kitchen sinks were overflowing with pans and bowls as I prepared baked rigatoni to bring to a recently widowed friend. When I brought the dinner to her home, we hugged and talked about yesterday’s memorial service. The comforts of shared food and of touch bring healing to both the giver and recipient. It’s how we connect as humans.
    And the Ferrari- Carani fume blanc is a perennial favorite in our home, to be savored and shared. Just like a hug.

  4. Duff's Wines says:

    The post reminded me of returning to my small home town upon the death of my mother. My brother and I stayed in my parents house alone and then a knock on the door. There stood a good friend of my mom’s with a casserole. I guess casseroles were the comfort food of that generation. Although my big brother and i had a running joke on mom’s casseroles, we dug in. A nourishing evening in spirit and body. And, a lasting memory for me of the charity and care of others.

    • foxress says:

      Bill, thank you for sharing that touching story. As Barb commented, it was probably as healing and comforting for your mother’s friend as it was for you and your brother. The giver and receiver are both receivers.

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