domaine ilarria, irouleguy, 2008

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it was my first winter in Boston. I had a studio in the south end (not as chic as it sounds, it was a basement with centipedes as long as my little finger, but charming nonetheless), I had a steady job and little spending money. winter was long and I would spend the cold dark nights at the little round table by the light in a corner of the room. yellow lamp, red table cloth, reading art forum, some existential novel, or wine stuff. the wine stuff was nice. it gave me information without asking me to question it. I was able to trust what I read, within reason, and use it to expand my knowledge. I only use these sources as guidelines anyway- for me wine is like studying French and I suck at it in the classroom. it’s all about intuition, so it’s a balance between what you’ve read and what you feel.

anyway, I went to a cheese shop a couple blocks down, feeling psyched about getting my paycheck and wanting to get warm in the late November. they couldn’t suade me, for some reason I had my eyes set on this bottle. I brought it home, briskly unwrapped the paper and opened it, committing the night to my first fully conscious exploration of what I was drinking. bartending aside, it’s still something you have to really focus on, because it’s for yourself rather than other people.

i can’t even remember the wine. maybe that it was funkier, riper and older at the same time. that it was from a place I knew next to nothing about, and that I liked it. what it did for me was more than itself- it delivered the pang and the reason, for which I am grateful.

I’m no traitor. I had many bottles before it, and many after, as i will continue to. but I haven’t tasted this wine since that night. I’ve avoided it for some reason, and im pretty sure it’s because I know when I taste it next, I’ll be jammed back into that night of unprecedented determination and angst.

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