For some reason this has been a component of the measure of my pleasure during these past few days. All around is hot and miserable, so hot, even the wine is sweating. And outside of my little world, fires are burning more fiercely than the nightmares that dot my dream world from time to time. Is this the beginning of World War III?
An Italian saying goes, Non ce' rosa senza spina, there is no gathering the rose without being pricked by the thorns.
It seems a surreal time again, like so many times in the past.
My lady friend, writing about the love of her life, noted that my gas grill was pathetic. I don’t know what caused her to strike out like that, perhaps she didn’t have enough of that wonderful pineapple cake my sister-in-law baked for my birthday.
A dinner from the Browning era, a cool cucumber soup, more cool salads and a little chicken sesame entree that was new, yet reminded me of something in time that had been lost. But the pineapple cake, that was the irresistible force of nature set before me on a plate. With it, a rose' wine, not too dry and not to red.
Something about red wine seems unnatural in this heat. Maybe it's the headache from the tannins, maybe it's the 13%+ alcohol. Maybe I just like rose' wine. Yes, I'm guilty. Are you or have you ever been a rose' wine lover?
Ask any wine lover, not the Parker toting wineabee types, but the real wine lovers. Like Parker or Kermit Lynch or Guy Stout or Paul Roberts..these folks bow to the alter of the rose wine. And so do I.
Anyway, while said lady friend flew away towards the nation’s capital, on her secret mission, I set about rebuilding my gas grill and her faith in my manly man-ness.
With sweat and drills and white lightning grease remover, I set to re-incarnate that pitiful hearth. To celebrate, my son and I inaugurated the new and improved grill with a set of Angus T-bones. And more Rose' wine, this time a Coteaux du Languedoc '05.
Many years ago, I took a drive from Firenze up to Fiesole up in the hills. It was July and hot down in the city. Fiesole was a bit cooler. At the Villa San Michele, I sat in at a dinner on the portico. The server, one of the the best I had ever seen, brought a rustic soup with beans and bread. And with it, a rosato of Sangiovese, I remember it like it was last week. The pale hint of embarrassment at being a rose', this Sangiovese didn’t make the cut to go on to Chianti Classico. Not in the cards. But the life of that wine left a legacy that has lived on to this day, many Chianti’s having passed this way and gone on to obscure corners of my memory. But the rose'...
Rose' and pineapple cake, rosato with rustic bean soup, rose' with grilled T-bone steak. Yes, this summer is hell, but I'm not letting it get me down.
You can't have the rose without the thorn. So when I came upon the fork in the road, I took the cake.