I’m pretty sure I figured out I was different when I was in the 4th grade. I remember telling the mom of a close childhood friend that my parents let me drink wine with them at the dinner table. The look, that that mom gave me, was slightly frightening and at the time I had no clue what the issue was. Wasn’t that normal? Didn’t every kid have wine with dinner? Of course, now I realize..oh. most parents don’t give their kids wine at dinner before the age of 21.
Well my parents aren’t most parents. I’m, of course, a bit bias but I think my folks are the coolest. Straight off the boat (literally) from the Netherlands, my folks immigrated here in the 70s. Finding themselves first settling in Iowa for two years, where they grew weed in the front yard (this was normal and legal) and my mom puked her way to a size zero from heat stroke during the summertime…they hated it. So when a headhunter came after my dad with a job opportunity in Eugene, Oregon they obviously jumped at the chance to build a new life in a cooler, more temperate climate. Settling on the outskirts of town, they were a stones throw from the rolling hills of wine country and the first fledgling wine efforts of Hinman Vineyards and King Estate. Then in the 80s I entered the scene.
Growing up that close to the vineyards, and having a family that resided entirely in Europe, definitely kept the wine at our dinner table pretty quality; there was no Carlo Rossi in our glasses. So you can see where my passion for wine and my endless pursuit of the perfect vintage began..and you can probably even understand why subsequently my dating life became an interesting challenge.
I annoyed the men I dated. Seriously. When they wanted to go out for a hike, I wanted to wine taste or read a book about wine. When they wanted to go have beers at a sports bar and catch a game, I brought my own bottle of Oregon Pinot. When they would plan romantic dinner dates, I would make us late because I spent too much time trying to pick out a bottle of wine to go with dinner. When they would want to discuss an article they read or something funny they heard, I wanted to discuss a particular bottle of wine, a new winery that I discovered or even a different wine region I wanted to visit. It was endless. Birthdays? Wine tasting. Anniversaries? Wine tasting. Special occasions? Wine tasting. You get the picture. I was annoying!
When I met my husband, there was no question ever in my mind that he was the one for me. He lived and breathed, yep you guessed it. WINE. Our first date? We went wine tasting. Second date? Dinner at a rooftop restaurant complete with a bottle of wine he brought. Third date? A picnic, with bubbles on a south facing slope, among the grapevines. Check. Mate. This guy understood me. This guy wanted to talk to me about how wine was made, what soil types were better for Pinots, why different glasses can change the way wine tastes. This guy was perfect. And I totally married him.
Flash forward a few years and we have now almost been married three years. THREE! Three, travel-filled, wine-forward, grape-engrossed years where we stuffed every spare inch of our home with wine, our brains with wine facts and our memories with wine experiences. <sigh> it feels good to at least have found someone that actually understands my number one passion in life. We have a commonality and it’s something we can obsess about and enjoy together. I guess next up will be how to get Nick (our fur-child) on board with all of this. Currently, the wine thing just annoys him.