Wine and Women

winetasting

Last week I attended a wine-tasting party. I’m new in the neighborhood and Brenda and Jeanne, two women down the block, have been warmly welcoming. Brenda was walking her white poodle when she knocked on my door and invited me. “It’s a group of really nice women. We talk, drink wine, have cheese and chocolates.” There would be someone to instruct us on the nuances of Cabernet.

That night there were about a dozen women in Brenda’s dining room – ranging in age from late thirties to early sixties. We were professional women and moms. Two of us were writers. One woman was a farmer and came to the wine-tasting right off the combine (she looked pretty good, too!). One woman was looking to start her own vineyard. Another had a home business. I sat next to the wife of a football coach who had recently moved to our college town. I confessed that in all the time I lived here, I had never attended a football game. She had a charming southern accent. “That’s all right,” she assured me. “You probably have something better to do with your time.”

We were women – the same and different.

What struck me -- a realization that I’ve come to many times, whether at luncheons, book groups, bridge parties or where ever women are apt to meet in groups – is how intimate the talk gets, even among women who have never met. What we shared that evening, along with the wine, was ourselves. A few of us had lost someone we loved. Some of us had had cancer. Or ex-husbands. All of us were survivors of something. All of us were able to laugh.

The next few days the emails were sent out, thanking the hostess and all of us said how much fun we had. Perhaps Brenda said it best. She wrote: What's better than wine, women and laughs for great therapy? It amazes me how much we share in common when we get around a table.

Wine trivia: Cabernet Sauvignon one of the most widely recognized red wines, grown in nearly every wine producing country, including of course France and California’s Napa Valley Cabs. Cabs range from medium-bodied to full-bodied and are characterized by their high tannin content and delicious rich fruit characteristics.

Wine Trivia:  On the average it takes 600 grapes to make a bottle of wine.

Wine Trivia: common wisdom is to serve red wine at room temperature, but of course that depends on the temperature of your room! Cabs can be served a little cooler than most rooms. About 65 degrees. Be sure to open the bottle about twenty minutes before you serve to let the wine breathe.

Wine Trivia: Swirl wine by the stem of the glass, not the bowl.

Wine Trivia: Tannins are astringent and give the mouth a dry and puckery feeling. Tannins play an important role in the aging of wine.

Wine Trivia: A full-flavored cabernet will be a deeper red than a pinot-noir.

Wine Trivia: a lover or connoisseur of wine of is called an oenophile.

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