Cooking Connection: Wine Without Laws

Goodlifer: Cooking Connection: Wine Without Laws

The kid’s been screaming for about thirty minutes. I know because I keep glancing covertly at my wrist watch, wondering “God will he just shut up.” The restaurant is so loud, no one really seems upset. “The hummus is supposed to be fantastic,” I try to yell over their son, but no one responds.

Finally Edgar, my friend and favorite coworker, bargains for his son Will’s silence by promising to talk to him while “the grown-ups talk”.

“So your office is next to Edgar’s, is that right?” This is my first conversation with his wife Karen.

“Yeah, we’re on the trouble-makers side of the building.” I say laughing, my wife sits erect with awkward tension.

“Well that doesn’t surprise me, Edgar’s always been a shit disturber.” She turns to exchange glances with him, but his back is to her as he whispers in their son’s ear.

“So I love Turkish food,” Karen smiles uncomfortably.

“Oh me too!” My wife tries to sound supportive.

“Yeah, we office next to each other,” Edgar jumps in.

“Yeah, I know honey.” Karen smiles, uncomfortably.

Edgar’s food goes cold, untouched. Will chokes and pukes up his Kebab and I loose my appetite. On the car ride home my wife will remark, “Jesus, I don’t have the energy for kids.”

This is the last time Edgar and I will try to meet outside of work. Our family lives just aren’t compatible. But for the next week whenever anyone tries to pressure me to explain why my wife and I don’t have kids, I’ll think of Will barfing up a Kebab and say “Well we’re just not ready.” But don’t think that will satisfy anyone. It won’t!

“You don’t want to wait too long!”

“Well what does your wife have to say about THAT?!”

“Well I understand, you need to get a house first. The schools in your neighborhood are terrible! When are you guys gonna start looking? You know my wife’s sister’s a real estate agent.”

Being in your thirties isn’t easy. If you believe University of Chicago research, all of us thirty-somethings are basically on an uninterrupted path to our peak depression at forty-four. Not exactly uplifting news. But it makes sense. At no other point in our lives have people competed so much for influence over our decisions. When my wife and I bought an Impreza, I received at least three lectures from coworkers or family members who were terribly disappointed by my indifference to the future safety of my wife or our unborn children. Clearly, we should have bought a Ford Escape or at least a CRV.

Last week at work, I remarked to Edgar that my wife and I had an interest in a condo downtown instead of a nice suburban home. The reaction was swift and abrupt. The woman in the office down the hall from me dropped to her knees, cried out “Dear God! Why hath they sinned!” and gnashed her teeth as thunderbolts appeared from the florescent lighting.

Okay, so maybe the reaction wasn’t that extreme, but the subtle pressure, the quiet disapproval was nevertheless present. Yeah, yeah, yeah! We get it, right? People try to tell us what to do and make us have kids before we’re ready. What does any of this have to do with food? Or, for that matter, the reason why thirty and forty-somethings are unhappy?

I’m a firm believer that we can learn as much as we enjoy from food and what happens in the world of food. Yesterday, a dear friend of mine sent me a handsome package containing a single bottle of wine—Ludovicus 2005. The winemaker Juanjo Galcera, of Vinos Piñol winery, brings a beautiful, unconventional blend with smooth, fruity flavors. The wine, which can be easily found for around twelve dollars, is an outstanding value and a great complement to grilled fish or a plate of pickled vegetables.

Ludovico 2005 & wine maker

A bottle of Ludovico 2005 & Vinos Piñol’s wine maker Juanjo Galcera .

Ludovicus 2005, is a vinos sin-ley, which literally means “wine without laws”. Most wines imported under this category are produced by respected winemakers who develop these special bottles as personal projects — works of passion. The wine, in fact, draws its greatness from it’s surprising ability to live outside the established categories that we know. After tasting this great wine, my wife and I have committed to keeping at least one bottle around the apartment at all times. Not only does it have a delightful taste, but it’s also a reminder that life, like wine, is sometimes best without laws, without the rules set in place by others.

About author
Alexander Hogan occupies his days teaching and conducting research as a professor of political science. Like many of us, he searches for the balance and peace in a hectic, materialistic world. He is a passionate home chef and foodie who resides with his wife and impressive house plant collection in Houston, Texas.
1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. this is just great alexander. the parallels you’ve made between wine and life are a delicious analogy that i’d like to swish around in my head. thanks for the reminder of a “life without laws.”

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