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According to Robert: A new lover

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By ROBERT WOODSON/for The Herald  —  It started in March about a year ago, and like so many love affairs, a routine activity took on subtle changes.  First of all, there was greater time devoted to procurement, preparation and the activity itself.  For years, procurement required one location only on Eugene’s West side and about an hour shopping each week.  But now you will routinely find me on the north side for quantity, mid-town for organic and specialty items, the south side for maximum gluten and a beer at Whole Foods to keep the spirit soaring.

A serious lover spares no expense on procurement and preparation.  And paraphernalia abounds.  Cost is of no concern when totally smitten.  As you lovers know so well, preparation is not to be rushed.  There must be discipline, follow some tried and true methods, of course, but spontaneity and creativity will also be rewarded.  A gentle caress, a modest kiss, open the wine, light the candles, it is time to begin.

Two hours, at least, are devoted to foreplay.  Slowly pour the 2012 Sokol Blosser, Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir.  Rather full bodied for a Pinot and dry at 14.5 % ALC by VOL.   Gently take the glass in both hands, swirl while moving it under your educated olfactory receptors.  Take a normal inhalation.  Give it a moment to reach that analytical part of your central processing unit.  Then AAAAAHHHHHH – exhale.

Now for the kiss – French method.  Close your eyes, a small sip, hold it in your mouth, again inhale, hold that breath – swallow.  Another AAAAHHHHH comes with the exhalation.  Meditate for a moment on the journey this wine has taken: first, are the delicate Pinot grapes from vines covering the rolling hills west of McMinnville.  Not at all tolerant of too much heat, this area of Oregon at 45 degrees 15’ North Latitude and aided by its proximity to the Pacific, has the perfect climate.  The highly skilled wine makers of this region are constantly monitoring the fruit from early spring.

Perhaps a little brie with bread, and another sip.  How about a little pate’ and another sip?  Each time the wine seems perfectly paired with the food.  Have there ever been other love affairs with this perfect harmony?  Well, there was that …………… never mind.  The cost has always been far greater with those affairs than this $85 bottle of Pinot, the $30 pound of brie, the $8 Hide Away Bakery Pan due Provence and $40 in groceries.

Let’s not think about the emotional cost that has gone before with those other affairs — stop weeping and go check on that rich dish of sprouts and cheese in the oven.  Maybe a wee bit more Stichelton blue cheese on the Brussel sprouts.  And pieces of pan covered in finely grated aged Parmesan are pulled from the oven, filling the kitchen with that earthy aroma that says LOVE.  This calls for a refill on the Pinot.  The Pinot and I linger over the sprouts for at least 40 minutes while the Oxtail and onion Stew bubbles away in the Dutch oven adding the fragrance of bay leaves and Dijon to the love fest.  The stew pairs well with New Season potatoes with pancetta, walnut oil, and sherry vinegar — and another sip or two of the wine.

I know what you are thinking.  After four hours of making love, this old geezer will be tootling off to bed.  But what we elders lack in youthful vigor, we make up for in stamina.  So how about an espresso with a nice slice of that carrot cake topped by frosting of mascarpone and orange.

Well, OK a wee dram of that brandy to aid digestion.  Let’s pass it over the flame a couple of times.

You guessed it — after a number of failed affairs with the opposite sex, I have turned to food.  Spending six weeks eating my way through Provence a couple of summers ago, where lunch is an art form, I have come close to perfecting the four-hour lunch.  Seems the French were always splitting a bottle, or two, with a charming companion.  Yes, my lunch routine would be greatly improved with that addition.  Comment dit-on en français? ——Let’s do lunch.

Next time: Robert’s theory on how the French stay so thin and we don’t.

Ever seeking the truth



Robert Woodson is a retired engineer living in Westfir. He’s well known locally as a superb woodcrafter. Robert is also a writer/contributor to The Herald.

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