“I bought him the most adorable Phoenix Suns shirt,” my friend said, as he calmly stirred his coffee. I hadn’t seen him in fifteen years and I couldn’t believe my ears. This coming from the guy I partied my way through Europe with. This coming from the guy who squandered most of his twenties with me as a ski bum in the Bavarian Alps. Coming from his mouth, it couldn’t have been more at odds with how I remembered him than if he started the conversation with, “Ya know, the great thing about cancer is…”
This guy had been the human equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. He was the guy you invited to your party to help get it going but then secretly hoped would leave before he set your closet on fire and convinced all the other party goers to dance around the blaze while beating on your pots and pans. He was the guy whose exuberance, mirth, zeal, and outright madness could not be contained in a simple name, and had to go by a nickname. And now, fifteen years later, there he sat, The Whip, right across from me, tame, and talking about his child. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, I mused as his little boy turned a bag of sugar upside-down on the kitchen floor.
“Did I tell you I nearly wept with joy the first time I got to change his diaper?” He said.
I had to confess, I liked this version of The Whip. He was more refined, more laid back, and calmer. I didn’t fear we would end up running from a back-alley card game in Tijuana simply because we started the evening with “just one beer.” Yes, a little time, and a little age was good for him.
So my tie-in back to wine is probably obvious. What? Oh, you thought I was going to say something about time and age being good for wine too? Yeah, I suppose that’s pretty good. But no, what I meant to say was more like don’t wait fifteen years before your next glass of wine. You don’t want to miss any of the good times.
This week’s recommendation:
Talbott 2007, Logan Chardonnay ($16.99): Take a pitcher of fresh spring water, add a squeeze of lemon, drop in a handful of hay, and drink while smelling a bucket of buttered popcorn. Now you have an idea of the complexities this wine brings.