Just like wine

From time to time, it’s important recognize the value of things around us.  Please enjoy a simple toast I put together for friend who was kind enough to open his cellar and wallet wide enough to treat 12 close friends to a gourmet meal on a special night.  We sipped grand cru wines from France and savored wizardry from chef owner Robert Del Grande at his namesake restaurant.  If you don’t know RDG, then you are missing out.

Dr. Paul Graf

…from a toast on 10/8/11

Paul,  thanks for the personal reference in your toast and for this wonderful meal at RDG.  The wine and food pairings are amazing. Your words no doubt stir emotions in each of us and I cannot help be inspired to scribble a few thoughts of my own.  Since we found ourselves in the territory of wine and we are in the midst of celebrating your 60th birthday, let me offer a few observations of my own. Here’s to Paul.  Please raise your glasses.

Paul is just like wine in so many ways.  And we ought to evaluate our relationship with him in the same way we savor what’s in the glass.  First off is structure. This typically describes the relative depth of flavor: simple and flat; or with new ones appearing just as others fade. With Paul, as it is tonight, we have structure in it’s highest form. Who else could arrange such a diverse set of complex individuals in such a short time as Paul could. Impeccable to say the least.

Next we have color.  As you tip the glass, you can see the intensity as is it moves to the center of the glass.  With youth it’s vibrant and grapey.  With age it becomes silkier, more like polished leather.

On the order of viscosity let’s consider the following thought.  The mouth-feel counts for the chewiness.  Scientists refer to glycerin here.  It reminds me of the old saying that blood is thicker than water.  And Paul’s loyalty is thicker still.

Ahh, aroma comes next.  Never more a powerful trigger for memory than smell.  When I quaff deeply in tonight’s selection I’m whisked back to the starry night three stories above Lake Como where Paul and I were toasting glasses from window to window with no balcony to support us.  Let’s just say that with Paul, you are sure to be memory rich.  And enlightened as well.  Did you know that he taught me the value of turning on the shower while taking a bath at 4 star hotel properties?  Or that it’s completely manly to drink pink champagne while rooting for the burnt orange?

The last and best part is how wine changes perception.  It enriches the view and provides new insights.  And yes, changes life for the better.  Are you sure we are not just talking about Paul?

Best part of all…wine makes you feel:

Warm to the gut
Lightness to the head
and a quietness in the heart…


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