28august - almost fall
I felt meterological whispers in the air this morning. The tendrils of autumn that have been sneaking into the atmosphere triggered something in me that caught me off guard. Every year around this time, if the weather is right, I respond viscerally to the timing, I suppose. A personal calender or, perhaps, something genetic. Some different gear into which we shift when we are reminded that we should be hunting in order to have furs and smoked, dried meat for our bellies in the coming winter.
But my visceral response has been ‘caution’ for years. I always assumed it was school related when I was matriculating but in my adult years my wariness has survived. Maybe it isn’t the leeriness of a cold winter as much as it is the unpredictability of football season on the business and/or the social obligations that loom at the tail end of the calendar.
With this concern, as with many, I have found the pleasures of the palate to mitigate anxiety. Autumnal and winter eating is of comfort to me, with its richness and starchiness. Around this time we’ll occasionally be adding acorn squash to our mussaman curry, a bonus that I rather enjoy. More dark beers will reënter our vernacular as we bid sad farewell to the lighter styles. Some of my precious rosés will hibernate until next spring (though I’ll always have one by the glass and several lying about for those in the know) and we’ll begin exploring those bigger reds that our summer wine list has eschewed (to some backlash, might I add.)
I will still tend to avoid the red monsters. I do not care for these sasquatches that trod so insistently on the palate and our food but there is plenty of room for the elegant strongman. The brute that can wear a suit well. We’ve played a lot with Rhone blends for this purpose but this year we may broaden out of the French countryside and into some different places. Today I intend to re-interview a South African cape blend that has been well-received and that I found paired nicely with a lot of our cuisine. We may look at Hawkes Bay in New Zealand again for some Bordeaux varietals and maybe a brawny, funky carmenere from South America.
So while the weather might be fiddling with my anxieties I can at least look forward to the tasting and learning and sharing of a new batch of wines and beers.
Talk about a big man who can wear a suit…