The Good Life

Some days end so pleasantly that you feel light and completely content. As I write this, I realize that it is the simplest things that make me happy. Connecting completely with my senses makes me feel like this.
Living in the moment: taking off your shoes and walking barefoot through the grass. Strolling through the garden and seeing tiny green spouts working their way up through the red Virginia dirt: the first signs of life from your labor. Savoring a simple supper outside in the spring sunshine, a light breeze blowing. Sipping a cold, fruity, clean-finish chardonnay; enjoying hot French bread right out of the oven. Savoring the velvety smoothness of a gouda and goat cheese blend and enjoying the biting pepperiness of Italian sausage.

enjoy some of the good life

enjoy some of the good life

Food (and Wine) = Love: Adventures in a Wine Shop

Fewer things in life make me happier than bread, cheese and (good)wine. Friday, the day that begins my weekly gluttony fest that runs from Friday night through Sunday evening, I decided to make a trip to an incredible wine shop downtown, Vinosity.  It’s quietly nestled in a deceivingly large storefront facing the main thoroughfare of Culpeper’s bustling downtown section.  Walking in, you’re greeted with original wood floors, tall ceilings and warm lighting.  Wines from all over the world are nestled in wracks and line the entire left wall of the shop. It’s a bit like heaven and the few times that I’ve ventured into the shop, I’ve gotten carried away and spent far too much money (but all in the name of research…yea, I’m researching the world’s vineyards and their bounties).

It was a rare and shining achievement that I was able to find a parking spot just across the street from the shop. I decided to take it as a fortuitous omen for my wine buying trip.  I was greeted and offered a tasting of an incredibly earthy Chilean Carménère (Santa Digna) with rich and peppery finish while I perused the shelves in search of something Italian or French to help me enjoy my night (that I planned to spend curled up on the couch enjoying my scary ghost shows. I know I live a really exciting life).  The very helpful store clerk offered several suggestions, two of which I decided to bring home and begin a wonderful friendship: Perrin Nature Côtes du Rhône & Château de Gaudou Cahors (a Merlot, Malbec &  Tannat blend).  I knew that Vinosity was also a purveyor of various cheeses and breads, so after tasting a remarkably velvety, bleu veined Cambozola that melted the moment it hit my tongue, my brain screamed. That’s right, it actually screamed,  “Take that home!” Naturally, I listened to my screaming brain, and added a very large baguette to my order, paid and was on my merry way home.

Having tasted the robust Carménère at the shop, I decided to crack open the bottle of Côtes du Rhône.I feel a bit of a traitor to my long-time favorite vino, Tomassi’s  Puggio al Tuffo Cabernet Sauvignon when I say this: I am in love with this wine. It’s is so smooth and so rich, with minimal acidity and a clean finish that make it quite easy to drink. I paired the Côtes du Rhône  with a simple margherita pizza (because nothing goes better with pizza than red wine…or a cold beer).

I still had a glass left of my new favorite beverage left over on Saturday, so I chose to engage in the most intense love affair I’ve had in a while: I created a delightful and quite possibly the most perfect of summer suppers: warm, crusty yet chewy baguette, opulent Cambozola and ripe, juicy garden tomatoes paired with the remaining Perrin. And, to finish the meal, I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (using my favorite of all the chocolates: Ghirardelli) to create chewy, melty, hot chocolate chip cookies that are the best anyone will ever taste and make you want to slap your momma.  After my meal, I was incredibly satisfied with a full belly of decadent flavors.

Isn’t it funny how simple, full-flavored foods and wines can create the perfect ending to a lazy Saturday?  Now, my advice: Run, do not walk to your nearest wine shop and buy all three bottles of the above mentioned wines and enjoy!