This Wine is For The Winemaker’s Wife

— Based on a tasting of Pezzi King wines at Gibson’s Restaurant in Chicago, May 2011

Her answer always trumps the rest – the ace of responses to the tired inquiry, “What does your husband do?”. Hands down, for many, the coolest occupation ever – a welcome daydream for tortured souls who wear business casual, languish in cubicles, and sing to themselves in rush hour traffic (the corporate lullaby).

She realizes this and never minds – after all, it is pretty cool, and they don’t need to grasp the harsh reality. Often she imagines their surprise in finding that he suffers in the familiar ways, tossing and turning, grinding his teeth, lashing out at the kids when they interrupt his work, then quickly scooping them up. As he kisses their cheeks and holds them close, his gaze drifts to the window, the sky, the wonder if the chill in the breeze is signaling frost. Will he sleep that night, despite that menacing thought now planted firmly in his mind? She is well versed in the ancient concerns…

The sun is high and golden, splashing her world with light, and she moves around the tables, pouring the chardonnay. This is a wine for the afternoon – his homage to the backyard barbecue, the in-law visit, the annual neighborhood bocce tournament. The chardonnay coaxes the day to its relieved conclusion, fueling the chase of children across lawns and the hunt for the extra serving dish.

When the plates are cleared and the kids relegated to their beds, the chardonnay has done its duty. Now it is time for her favorite of wines: the ’07 zin. This is the wine of the night, of flickering shadows cast against candlelight, of layered clothing and hushed conversation, the guilty indulgence that makes her forget that an early alarm has been set, the vintage that makes her recall the reasons she first fell for her winemaker.

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