Friday, July 8, 2011

Red, Red Wine and Rainbows

Current read: "The House of Mondavi" (yes, still)
Best song randomly heard: "That's Some Dream" by Good Old War/2010

After being threatened with an impending thunderstorm by the Beach Patrol, we got a few drops, some darkened skies and all of a sudden, a sparkling rainbow curved over the ocean's horizon.

It was so colorful, so perfectly arched over the end of the water as to be a cartoon rainbow on a My Little Pony lunchbox.

But I'd never seen a rainbow on the horizon, so I sat on the porch and admired it until it faded away.

By then it was happy hour, so I pulled out a birthday gift from last year of a 2008 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bali Haut, a red blend with big, meaty tannins and a lovely cherry nose.

I'd been holding on to it since last year because it was recommended to be best drunk between 2010 and 2014. There's no substitute for time when it comes to some things.

2011 from the porch of a beach house seemed practically ideal and, once it opened up a bit, suited my guest and me to a "T."

And you have to admire a winemaker who uses Braille on his labels for the benefit of his blind wine lovers.

Thanks to BR, the good friend who gifted me with this beautiful wine in the first place. FYI, we raised glasses to you and your generosity.

But big red wine only got us so far before we headed to the neighborhood wine bar for a bite to eat. The very Southern couple who ceded their stools to us did so with the most drawn-out vowels you ever heard.

We switched from France to Lebanon with the Chateau Muser "Jeune" Rouge, a wine we've enjoyed previously at Secco.

The bar staff seemed seriously challenged tonight, so everything moved slowly and required reminders. It didn't matter to us because we had nowhere else to be and loads to talk about.

I loved the variety of ingredients in the Seven Lettuce salad: field greens, toasted pistachios, goat cheese, red onions, caramelized red grapes, Indian curry oil and a creamy pistachio dressing.

Just as savory was the N.C. BBQ Skillet, a melange with North Carolina-style pulled pork barbecue, housemade bread and butter pickles (a personal favorite), slaw, sweet apple jam and cornbread. The salty pig complemented each of the other flavors beautifully.

The couple next to us provided a romantic tableau, with him touching her face, tracing her lips and the two of them talking from about six inches apart. Ah, love.

At the far end of the bar, a shaggy surfer dude type did his shallow best to impress the girls near him, with frequent checking of his phone in case they didn't pan out. Ah, lust.

When it came time for dessert, we were lucky enough to score the last dish of the chocolate-covered peanut chocolate ice cream.

Ocean Boulevard is known for their homemade ice creams and sorbets and this creamy, high fat chocolate version was loaded with the dipped nuts.

It finished us off and we rolled the short distance home in the warm, humid night air.

My friend arrived back at the cottage to find an unexpected message from her main squeeze who only days ago left on a three-month cross-country motorcycle trip.

Him calling might have given her even more pleasure than the ocean rainbow.

With no such luck (or main squeeze) on my part, I'm going to have to go with the rainbow as today's surprise highlight.

But tomorrow, who knows what the universe might drop in my lap? I'm as open as a My Little Pony lunchbox during lunch period.

There's no substitute for time when it comes to the surprising things.

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