So we did something the other night that we really enjoy: not only bringing together two cool couples who didn’t know each other, but also having an incredibly smart guy from the wine trade and a couple who were mere wine enthusiasts.
That’s a good way to avoid having wine talk dominate the night “” and it worked, as we discussed art, perfection, novels and all manner of stuff. But the wine novices also asked very interesting questions about our favorite beverage. So I checked in with my friend Denny to see whether he had learned anything interesting about wine. His response:
“I learned that old wines can get too old, and a wine can get too old faster than I had thought. [We had two 1990 Champagnes and a Montlouis from the same year; they ranged from oxidated to quite good.] So drink what you have!
“I learned about the Merry of Merry Edwards [they had brought the ever-delicious Merry Edwards sauv blanc].
“I learned, again, that everyone loves Champagne. Ice cream, chocolate, Champagne. Everyone loves ’em.
“I learned that if people could talk politics the way we talked about wine, peace would reign. You can share, disagree, listen, hold forth, communicate every which way, without having to be ‘right.’ Maybe Congress should drink more, or maybe they should move the capital to Napa.
“I learned wine needs food more than any other kind of drinking. You can drink beer and hard liquor alone, but wine? Something about good food and good wine, it takes two to tango. Good food and good beer? Not really necessarily. Good food and good bourbon? Not really necessarily. Good wine and a good meal (and good cheese selected by the Wards!)? Absolutely.
“We learned about the family with the holdings under the streets of Beaune, that I would love to see.
“I learned how fast you can change a label. Small point, yes. But really interesting.
“I learned about carbon exchanges and how [our other male guest, the wine pro] Larry really cares about what he does and how he does it, A to Z. Impressive.
“I learned that real wine people only talk about good wines; they don’t waste their time talking about bad wine. Something very positive about the whole experience. The way serious writers talk about the books they love, and don’t waste time on bad literature. They’re positive critics, if there is such a thing.
“[My wife] learned that if you drink too much on Saturday, you lose a Sunday. (She drank on an empty stomach, she hadn’t eaten a thing that day.)”
Good lessons, one and all, from a wise man who’s always striving for more wisdom.