This Wine Is For Our Favorite Shirt

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Vincent Red
Washington

Producer: Mark Ryan Winery
Importer: n/a
Year: 2010
Price: $20

At some point — 1996, to be exact — he bought it in a small shop in Barcelona, while on vacation with his mother.

Ten years later, it became mine.

Or rather, I suppose, it became ours — like the books on the shelves and the pictures in the frames, the art on the walls and the crystal in the hutch. One of many things that make up our world — like the lamp in the corner and the barbecue grill.

Some time ago, it held only his memories, but now every moment is shared. Like this wine, it is a well-balanced blend with a long finish — a souvenir from a life lived together.

This Wine is For Jenga

Murphy’s Law Riesling
Columbia Valley

Producer: Local Wine Company
Importer: n/a
Year: 2009
Price: $10.99

Dinner is done, the sorbet has been savored, but nobody is leaving the table any time soon. Conversation, like this wine, is flowing, and the evening sparkles as sweetly. Upon the suggestion of a game, the tower appears, standing solidly in its central place, strong and impenetrable like the friendships surrounding it.

Game on.

This wine inspires some to take risks they would never otherwise consider; a brazen assault on the foundation, perhaps, or a selection from the player’s far side. For others, it calms their overworked nerves; a confident acknowledgement that in Jenga, as in life, things fall apart. For all, it moves the healthy competition along to its foregone conclusion. As the tower topples, the room becomes bright and warm, the smiles grow wider, the laughter louder, and the contented world enjoys its wobble.

This Wine Hopes You Didn’t Make A Fuss

Rusty Boar Red Wine
Washington State

Producer: Rusty Boar Wine Company
Importer: N/A
Year: 2007
Price: $15.99

Bottled with the label Rusty Boar, it pours more like a fluffy puppy, licking your face and wagging its tail in an effort to win your affection. It is an innocent introduction to a more sinister wine lurking in your cabinet. While most reds arrive with ceremony, accompanied by a posse of bling-flashing flavors, this one knocks timidly on the door before noticing it is half open, and steps inside with an apology for not calling ahead. It is enjoyable and without immediate harm. Like screening your blind date on Facebook before he picks you up on Friday night. Like starting the next chapter in the story despite an early morning alarm. Like most things in life, before you infuse them with your incessant, tedious melodrama.