Wine and food and the passion for great combinations

Wine and food and the passion for great combinations

The perfect date, the perfect kiss, a great meal, a great conversation. Food and wine are a valuable and essential experience that really touches all of your senses. Think about it, there are only a few of these rare happenings that include so much pleasure and satisfaction.

I recall a while back when one of my cousins visited from Italy, he was here on vacation however I had work to do on one of the days and he agreed to come along on a hectic day of appointments, bank visits, errands and the like. At about 1pm, actually at exactly 1pm, he looked at me and said "Chee Fame", he was hungry. Pressed for time and thinking about all the other errands on the agenda I told him we would get an American treat.

As we drove up to the drive in window at the local cheesesteak place he began to look at me with despair and even fear. He said in broken English, we are ordering from the car? Yes I said, he began rubbing his temples and mumbling. Then he said are we going to eat in the car? Yes I said. He let out a long stressed filled sigh. I knew this was trouble. He was hungry, a little tired, probably hung over, under caffeinated (as he could not find a decent espresso anywhere, his words), and of course hungry.

As the young lady handed me the food in less (which the entire ordering and receiving process took less than 2 minutes) and I simultaneously handed her money he could not hold his tongue. Geeooo, My name is Joe but the way he says is sounds more like "geeooo". He proceeds, how can I eat in the car? How could they cook meat in less than 2 minutes? (Good Question). You're supposed to enjoy your meal, where's the linen, the silverware, the wine. How about dessert will we drive through another negozio (store) to buy dessert? (Another good question). Then I suppose we could get a drive through coffee and perhaps later we could drive through a movie too! And this slop! Are you kidding this meat smells like dead animal on side of road! How can you enjoy your meal or talk or experience anything if you're driving 90 miles an hour down a road! (I think he has a point). That's it let me out he said.

Later that night at dinner (at his family's estate that looks like it is set in the hills of Tuscany, but is actually situated in upstate New York, appointed with all brick and stone, and a full terra cotta roof, endless grape vines fig trees, and even Italian Cypress, he said to me we need to talk serious about family, food, wine and the dining experience! Now sit down and relax. We sat at a rustic old wooden table and chairs outside in his courtyard, He began to speak and he poured me a glass of red wine, then he proceeded to tell me about how food and wine are the fabric that weaves family, friends, communities and whole countries together. Then he asked me one simple question. At the end of a perfect day what if you had no meal, they just gave you a shot of minerals, calories and vitamins and sent you off to bed, no human interaction either? Would that be a great day?

This kid may have something here. We talked and agreed and disagreed and argued and ate, and drank wine and laughed and really it was truly a fulfilling experience. I would tell you exactly what we ate, simply prepared pasta Primavera, roasted rabbit with vegetables and herbs, and exactly the year of the wine in was a 1994 bottle of medium grade chianti, I could even tell you what we spoke about, movies, sports, women, wine and food. Specifically Italian women, food, wine, sports and movies; Not the western garbage, his words not mine.

It was the total experience and for the first time in my life I realized this connection. Now it was not an instant change on my behalf but from then on through a series of learning experiences wine and food and the dining experience, including the social interaction became my true passion and goal.

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