Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Nice Visit With New Land Pinot Noir 1998 and My Sister

So it's Thanksgiving, which finds me and the wife and kids in New Jersey, ready to entertain the family for turkey day. However, it is bittersweet. This might in fact be our last Thanksgiving at the house, and the double wammy is that my youngest sister, now thirty, has her own family obligations, and will not be joinging us for Thanksgiving (she's going over her in-laws - an arrangement her and my mother have come to).

I am especially crushed by this since she was born when I was a freshman at Notre Dame High School during Mr. WIlliam "Bill" Romano's World Geography Class, back in 1978. I changed many diapers when she was small.

She has sat right next to me for everything Thanksgiving for more than a decade. It will be strange not to have her by my side.

Last night she and her beau Bill came by to have pizza and hang out. I was especially happy to see her since she will be absent tomorrow. I wanted to open a bottle or two for her visit. Some pizza and spinach with garlic. A simple meal. Fresh baked apple pie for desert.

So I tramped on down to the cellar to see what I could find. I search and searched, and then Dominique pulled out a dust covered bottle, and asked, "What is this?" There was some disdain in he voice. Indeed, it was a bottle of 1998 Pinot noir from New Land Vineyards, now known as Nagy's New Land Vineyards.

I wasn't sure if the wine would stand up to time, so we picked another bottle for back up, and we returned upstairs.

I opened the bottle and beautiful aromas of vanilla and cherry wafted through the kitchen air. I poured the fist glass. The nose was even better. And then I looked at the wine. It was still a bright red at the center, but it had browned at the edges. Dominique was not sure. I rolled it around the glass and took sip.

Heaven. Another year and it would have made the turn to sherry. e it had stood up to 10 years againg, and the flavours were still bright, the acid perfect, and the fruit still forward, but the ending dry and smooth. and incedible experience.

What a nice surprise to offer my sister.

She came and we all sat down and chatted. Life. Children. Dogs. A long way from Bill Romano's World Geography Class, and I was both proud and sad. And I love her.

We all liked the wine and life was, if only for a moment, slowed down to just idle chit-chat and laughter. And a glass of classic, perfect, aged Pinot Noir. As it should be.