Wine isn’t only about appearance, aroma and flavor—it’s about the experience.
The bottle of wine that sat on the table — a 2011 Tabor Hill Lake Michigan Shore Riesling — was flanked by my dad’s homemade rye bread.
The last bits of daylight were fading away from the sliding glass door, so my mom flicked the kitchen light on and the ceiling fan and light combo churned to life and spread a comforting orange glow through the room.
My parents and our wine-making friend, Richard, were seated around the kitchen table. My dad poured each of us a glass of the Tabor Hill Riesling.
“Na zdrowie!” He exclaimed. The sound of our glasses clinking was a symphony.
I raised my glass toward the light of the ceiling fan to examine the color. In fact, the most striking aspect of this wine was its color: the vibrant yellow was perfectly Riesling and built my expectation.
I was the last at the table to swirl my glass, but I usually am.
I stuck my nose deep into the wine glass—you don’t have to be afraid of the wine, it won’t bite—and breathed deeply. I was surprised to find only a hidden floral aroma, which wasn’t as brilliant as the color of the wine suggested.
I took a swig of the Riesling and was greeted with a crisp green apple flavor both in the mid-palate and in the finish.
A bit of wine dribbled out of the glass and down my chin.
“Whoa, he’s had enough. Cut him off, Barb!” Richard said to my mom.
The kitchen echoed with laughter.
I took another sip of wine to see what I could discover. The wine finished round and soft like a cloud on my tongue, slightly out of balance of acid and sugar. However, the wine wasn’t overpoweringly sweet: a three on a 10-point scale, with a Demi-Sec being a five and a Port being a 10.
The more I drank of the wine the more I was reminded of late-summer afternoons in the orchard where I would pluck an apple from one of our fruit trees and chew lazily in the sun dappled shade.
I grabbed a slice of bread from the plate on the table. My dad poured the rest of the wine into our glasses and our conversation and laughter continued well beyond the last drop.