Don’t just swirl your wine, roll it. Hold the glass at an 85 degree angle and roll the stem, so the wine circles around the whole bowl of the glass. As you’re rolling the wine, look at the meniscus, that is, the edge of the wine. Notice the color difference? There’s a lot of information in that color difference. An orange meniscus means the red wine is acidic, a brown meniscus implies an aging wine. Purple at the edge tells you it is a young wine. Now, hold the wine glass upright and plunge your nose into it. Inhale deeply. The aromas should be plentiful after rolling the wine in this way.
As I sit on my deck, the sky is transforming itself from the light bright blue of a summer day to a deep, pearly blue of evening. The birds, that had a minute ago been chirping riotously, as if warning all the world that night was imminent, are now, suddenly and definitively silent, hushed at once by the darkening sky, settling down along with the sun.
My deep, red wine with its orange meniscus looks darker at dusk. The garden in front of me is as still as the birds, still and lush, a remarkable teeming of life brought about by the artificial and extremely convenient drip system, a necessary life-support here in the desert. No blooms, yet, the plants are rich and lovely in their dark green, ebullient leaves.
As I sip my wine, I go over in my mind all I need to do in the next few weeks to get my son ready for high school graduation and then the big step off to college. Sad and proud and all that goes with that, I will miss him, but am excited for him as he sets off into adulthood.
On the edge of transitions, from day to night, from spring to summer, from mother of a boy to mother of an adult, this is the place I love most. Not my deck, not my garden, but the edge of transition, the meniscus of life. It is where I feel most alive and alert; most sentient to the world around me and all that it brings.