On Thanksgiving Day, he bottled the blush wine bucketed away in a fire brigade from the Tempranillo juice immediately after crush with no added sulfites. The pink wine had notes of apples, light citrus, brambles – a descriptor Jayne would appreciate – and was as delightful and addictive as wine could ever be. Once opened, a bottle never survived until dawn, and often not the next hour, an obstacle to productivity and gateway to Saturday afternoon siestas. It was fresh, fun, and good.
Paul thought of Jayne as he bottled and admired the photo of her in Central Park surrounded by flowers inspiring the name for this batch. Upon a bottle he affixed a print of the photo and wrote with metallic ink in flowing cursive letters:
As for a second bottle to fill the two-shipper case, he searched his cellar and found a case of Petit Verdot hidden in a corner – the fragrant wine that brought them together. He wrote on that bottle:
To the one who understands Petit Verdot
To the one who understands me
Enjoy the wine that changed our lives forever
He opened a bottle of Petit Verdot to taste how it had aged. The initial aroma was musty, perhaps a bit of mildew from the South in summer, with barnyard overtones, so uncharacteristic of the aromatic, floral wine this was supposed to be. Then, he tasted, and, oh, the taste was there. If you get by the smell, you’ve got it licked. I hope she likes a bit of earthiness in her wine. She’s a wholesome, earthy woman. She’ll get it.
He wrote her a note and slipped it into the box:
I found a case of Petit Verdot! From the same vintage as the first bottle I gave you you described as fragrant as dew on a honeysuckle midsummer morning. The wine has changed in the years since our first encounter and I suppose we have too. A little earthier now, a bit more mature, a bit mellower, and the taste is still delicious.
About the blush wine … it’s made from the ripest Tempranillo grapes separated from the dark skins leaving behind a light, pink elixir, the color of the unicorn of your dreams. I call it Jayne’s Roses, as fresh and as vibrant and as innocent and as fun as the first time we met. After you sip it, I think you’ll want more. This is how I felt the first time I met you and every time we meet… I want more …to see you again, more. Again and again. Merry Christmas!
Jayne replied with an email December 26th, Boxing Day:
Thank you, thank you, thank you. The rosé label makes me laugh, cry, and rejoice. This is so special. I am beyond grateful. The Petit Verdot is spectacular. I almost feel guilty about how good it is, and that I get to experience it again, one of the last bottles. It takes me back to my grandma’s raspberry patch, sun-ripened fruit next to grandpa’s rhubarb and tobacco. Then, I journey down the rabbit hole into a bootlegger’s speakeasy – the air is smoky and alluring. The most special aroma in this bottle is a faint hint of creosote. That resilient desert brush that reminds me of walking with you on Paris sidewalks when it rains. That note is so special. I am beyond grateful. We have to meet again soon – but it will be different next time. Like going down the rabbit hole to other worlds. More and more. Curious and curiouser. And all the more magical. Can’t wait to see you more in the New Year.
- Excerpt from About That Wine I Gave You (C) Copyright, All Rights Reserved