Tonight, as part of my 30 Days of Tasting, David and I went to a wine tasting at a wonderful local restaurant, Zest. We sampled wines from France, Portugal, South Africa and Argentina. The most memorable was a wine from Rhone, France whose bouquet swelled with ancient, earthy aromas that took time to appreciate. I think it's called an “acquired taste.”
What really struck me about the whole experience has less to do with tasting and wine and more to do with the people we met. Doug, Jeannie, Jenny and Mary Kaye—complete strangers when the night began—gathered around the same standing table as we sampled wine and shared our responses.
The conversation was casual yet remarkable, in a way. Here we were, perfectly unfamiliar with one another and yet because of our shared experience of tasting, we crossed normal social barriers and extended ourselves in cordial conversation with one another. (Doug commented that one of the things he enjoys most about his hobby of wine tasting is the interesting people he meets along the way.)
The wine tasting provided far more than the experience of exceptional wine and food. It set a table for strangers to gather and taste the pleasure of a shared meal. I am thoughtful tonight about the social dimension of tasting--how it brought me together with others. I sampled wines from around the world with people from all across town.