Can wine save a first date?
Do all great love stories start with long walks on the beach or rides into the sunset? Certainly not.
It's no surprise that for Varinder and I, it started with great wine. Years ago we met for a low-committal brunch date. You know that date, right? It’s the one you set up with someone that allows you an “easy out” if it’s not working out. Where did we meet? Well, I exercised my home field advantage and made him drive the three plus hours from Indianapolis to Chicago. This is the city of my birth. I grew up here, studied here, made all my first mistakes here and got my first real job here. After an 8-year stint in New York working at world-renowned restaurants, I was back where I started. The restaurant I chose had an impressive dining room and a focus on seasonal, local ingredients. The Kitchen American Bistro sat right off of the Chicago River in the heart of the city's bustling River North district. I felt pretty confident in my ability to shine during a first meeting in this cozy, sun-drenched room. I wore my nice boots that made me stand 6 feet tall, perhaps in an attempt to test his confidence. Only a little bit of annoyance came to the surface when he arrived late, perhaps to test my patience or the lack thereof.
In our three brief conversations before this initial meeting, we both agreed to "take it slow" and "keep it simple." Brunch was simple, wasn't it? It's just French press coffee, Quiche Lorraines, a little light conversation and nothing more. Despite this collective decision, or hope rather, for casualness and simplicty, it didn't feel very "simple." I was looking at Varinder, a very sharply dressed Varinder, proceed to motor mouth his way through the first fifteen minutes of the date. I think I was able to say, "Hi, it's so nice to meet you," before he started responding to imaginary interview questions. Part of me was concerned. The other part was thoroughly amused at his nervous behavior. I'm actually a trained journalist, so I very well could have interviewed him. In a way, this was so easy, you know, not actually having to ask any questions. Finally, there was break in the conversation. "Maybe he ran out of breath," I thought. Varinder excused himself to the restroom, presumably to slap himself silent. I laughed out loud at the palpable awkwardness, motioned for our server and promptly ordered glasses of rosé!
"Quiche is nice," I remember thinking, "But this date needs wine."
He came back refreshed after his one-on-one conversation with the bathroom mirror. Then, he started to ask me some questions! It appeared it was my turn to chatter nervously. The rosé was from Provence - a delightful blend that was mostly Grenache and we were enjoying it. The nerves faded and something amazing was happening. Neither one of us wanted the conversation to end. That wine, dancing with its delicate pink hue and fresh berries on the palate, was all but telling us, "Hey, don't take it all so seriously. Have fun." That wine, in that moment, transformed what could have been a one hour first meeting, into a 12-hour first date. And we're still talking about that day and all the others that followed.
I'd like to salute all you lovers out there this Valentine's Day. However your story together started, I'm hoping you're relishing the funny moments and that somewhere in that journey, there was a little wine.
Cheers to more wine,
less awkward first dates,
and that eventual walk on the beach,
2019 COPIA VINEYARDS ROSE
Rosé is more than an afterthought for us, it is something to celebrate a year’s worth of hard work. We start by selecting and tending premium vineyard sites and end with gorgeous juice from all the vineyards in your glass. Tangy raspberry aromas abound and dance with a light floral nose. An underlying savory note of white pepper finishes with a watermelon-like refreshing palate. A vibrant and food-friendly wine to share with your special love.
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