How is it that a simple medium such as wine draws people together?
Tracy and I celebrated our 36th anniversary on Oct 25. We have been so busy both with our jobs and projects at home, we did not make any plans to celebrate. After 36 years, that is a crime.
The weekend before our anniversary, we were enjoying the fine music of Aja at Valencia Wine Company when two good friends of ours, Larry and Gloria Stahly, showed up. Finding out we had no plans to celebrate our 36th anniversary, they invited us over for a BBQ and wine.
We arrived at the Stahly house not only to be surprised by other close friends there, but also with a multi course meal to a level that is beyond most high end restaurants. Gloria had laid out a gorgeous table setting complete with diamond ring napkin rings and place cards.
Gloria and Larry had brought in two chefs and friends, Terri Kelly and Eileen Wright of Market Place Catering-Cafe (661-476-5463), to put together a spectacular six course gourmet meal. Below are just 3 of the many delectable creations that Terri and Eileen served us.
Gloria also painstakingly put together a wine pairing with the chefs for all of the dishes served to make sure the pairings complemented each other. Joining us for the celebration besides our host and hostess were Derrick and Maureen McKaughan and Robert Schwemmer.
Other than just being great friends, what is the common bond and interest that seems to be the center of our relationships? It’s wine. All of us at our celebration met as the result of wine events. We all dug into our wine stashes to bring wines to share and enjoy together. This is not only traditional, but a ritual with the wine crowd. If you don’t believe me, go to Valencia Wine Company, The Cellar or Wine 661 on a Friday or Saturday night and notice the groups that are together. You will see multiple bottles opened and being shared among the group. I have even poured samples of wines that I am drinking with patrons at the wine event to introduce their palates to a new wine. I get more enjoyment opening special or unique bottles of wine from my collection with friends that I know will enjoy them. It is also interesting that after spending time with these special friends, you begin to know their likes and dislikes with different wines.
Though we are often referred to as wine snobs, I think that we all have two things in common. First is good wine, it is this single product that brings us together. The second is devout friendship. I am truly blessed and honored to have friends like those that helped us celebrate this milestone in our life. Tracy and I will never be able to thank Larry or Gloria enough for putting this event together.
For us that are active members of the wine cult, keep doing what we do best and bring more friends into our circle. One of my favorite quotes from Ernest Hemingway is, ” Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.” Wine drinkers are civilized and friendly, this is what makes us special.