Been spending a serious chunk of time contemplating big life changes as of late, the way they shift you, change your priorities and how we adjust, recover, learn to live with, or without. Change is easier for some folks than it is for others, I tend to think of myself as being resistant to change but once forced, able to adjust and roll with the onslaught of punches, knocks and eventual moving forward for better or for worse. I’m lucky that way I guess but after talking to a dear friend that is toe-to-toe with the kind of life change that comes with a complete overhaul, as in starting all over again, well it got my noggin churning for sure. While scrolling through Facebook this morning I stumbled on link connected to an aging 80s pop star’s list of 5 things he wouldn’t want to live without. A stupid list really but it did two things, one is I now have one of his songs so violently stuck in my head I think I might have to have it surgically removed and second, it triggered my simple brain to come up with my own list….
In the past few months I’ve been forced to give up and struggle with the living without two things I would have never assumed I’d have to, one far easier than I thought, the other far worse and I’m hoping somewhere in the middle I will come out unscathed, changed but hopefully for the better….or at the very least, smarter. When I began thinking about my list it was all the big things, the too big things that I haven’t the strength or fortitude to even think of living without so, as is often the case, this silly brain of my turned to my most beloved of beverages, wine, and what 5 wines I wouldn’t want to live without. Way harder than I thought. Might have been easier had I just made broad strokes as in, “Pinot Noir” but in an effort to challenge myself a wee bit, and step away from the shit that has been consuming my thoughts, I sat down and actually came up with tighter more specific list of wines that are so important to me and my happiness or pleasure that I would be truly devastated to live without. I’m sure both of you are dying to know and I am all for covering that last piece of shit post so here you go!
Wines I Can’t or Shan’t Live Without:
Pinot Noir based Grower Champagne- Shocking I know! I was going to try and just slip Grower Champagne in here but I figured I should be a tad more specific. I adore the many styles of my little grower bubbles but when seriously thinking, “I wouldn’t want to live in a world without” Camille Saves came bouncing to mind. Upon further contemplation and recollection I added H. Billiot and R.H. Coutier, all wines with higher percentages of Pinot Noir. I adore Blanc de Blancs, the Agraparts and Jose Dhonts but it is the junk in the truck having, curvy body sporting, palate staining wines from Bouzy and Ambonnay that truly get me off and I need them in my life.
Gevrey-Chambertin- Much like above I had to force myself to narrow the scope a bit here. Funnel it down from Red Burgundy to one village that drives me utterly stupid with desire and I had to go with the exquisitely sensual wines from Gevrey-Chambertin. Great producers are able to coax this sexy as fuck sort of stone fruit, almost peach-like, aromas from the grapes grown in this village and paired with the right amount of roasted coffee, smoked meat, bursting red cherries, rose petals and all with a sumptuous mouthfeel and a blast of fine tannin and balancing acidity? I’m in…all in.
Sancerre- Sauvignon Blanc is probably the varietal I drink the most often. I love piercing acidity, tart flavors are better suited to the way I eat at home and when it comes to price you can always find a brilliant Sauvignon Blanc for $15.00 and under. So Sauvignon Blanc, most often from the Loire, are the wines that grace my table on a regular basis, I’ve not grown tired of them and the diversity, even within the Loire, is enough to keep me interested and coming back for more. That being said, it’s Sancerre I crave the most often and that particular flavor is one all its own. The intermingle of citrus, limestone, flint, oyster shells and at times a topicality…well I can’t imagine my life without that.
Provencal Rose- These crisp, mouth filling but racy wines just edged out Bourgueil for my number 4 spot. In fact I scribbled it out and put it back on the list three times before committing. Just seeing the new vintages of the delightful Roses from Provence can make me happy, walking past stack after stack of them warms my heart and watching my customers excitedly purchasing mixed case after mixed case gives me a thrill. I love Rose season, adore the foods of Spring and Summer that they go with and I will gorge on Provencal Rose until I nearly burst. It’s true love, without question.
Sherry- Cheating!! I know, I know. I just figured since I drink more Sherry than most folks I know, and more in one sitting than I should at times, that I could get away with one fairly broad category here….like it’s a public service or something seeing as all both of you are going to run out and buy loads of Sherry because I like it. (Sigh) If held at gunpoint and made to pick only one style, while I would miss my worshiped Fino I think I’d have to say Oloroso would be my desert island Sherry. Something in the complexity and texture, the richness of warmed nuts and the savory stock cube like flavors…pairing a glass with some shaved sheep’s milk cheese and cured pork, fuck. Does me in each and every time.
There you have it kids, my must haves and can’t live withouts. Thrilling no? Oh, and if given 5 more spots, I’d have picked; Chablis, Bourgueil, Madeira, Alsatian Pinot Gris and Northern Italian whites. I think. I showed you mine now....