Lodi, California. A great wine area for big and bold red wines. Although spring has arrived, my palette is still craving red wines. It’s hot in Louisiana and I find myself sitting on the porch at dusk, sipping my wine, reading a book, and Gary Clark, Jr.’s live album on repeat. It’s become my end of the day ritual. It’s how I transition from the workday until evening. Rituals. Wine to me is such.
My family didn’t drink when I was growing up. My dad had the occasional beer, but I saw wine when we went out to dinner. It wasn’t until my twenties that to me I saw wine’s lifestyle possibilities. Years ago when I was training and running marathons (never again) I had a Friday night ritual. I would pick up spicy shrimp and spinach fettuccine from Café Express, grab a bottle of wine at Spec’s, and catch up on a week’s worth of Oprah via VHS. The wine would be something different every week. I wrote them in my journal and made notes. I didn’t stick to the rules: white with seafood and reds with hearty meats. I noticed regions, producers, and trusted my palette. After a few years, I was able to identify various wine destinations in California.
Last year I was able to visit Lodi as part of the Wine Bloggers Conference. I fell in love with many of their wines. Now, when I see Lodi wines I know I am going to be happy. This is the case when I found the 2012 Michael David Winery Earthquake Cabernet. Recently, I was craving an old school Sunday supper. The kind of meal that reminds me of home, family, of place, and rituals. A beef roast with potatoes, carrots, onions, and homemade gravy. This was the kind of meal my grandmother would have made. In this house and in this kitchen. Now, it was my turn. The wine on the finish with its peppery notes balanced the meat and my heart. The meal was divine and the company even better. I may not be running marathons, but the supper rituals never get old.