I bring you this blog as a result of an epiphany I experienced on one of my last dinner dates with Tom Joe – aka “The Husband”.
It was a very difficult week for me at work. My loving husband was fully aware, and wanting to make the end of my weekend shift as nice and relaxing as possible, as I ran from the place at exactly 3:01 PM on Sunday afternoon, he knew he could accomplish this by asking me if I would like to go to the Waterfront Grill. “Uh…..YES!” (perhaps with a few expletives thrown in).
The Waterfront Grill is one of our favorite places to dine in Tulsa, but is a bit pricey so we don’t go often. The food is amazing (my favorites are their sushi rolls or their Seared Ahi Tuna Salad…so delicious!) and their wine list, although not huge, is quite nice. We love sitting at the bar, finding exactly the right glass of wine through small samplings, enjoying the food, wine and each others company, including that of the bartender whom my husband loves to give a hard time (remember, Bartender, lighten up…it’s all in fun!).
Two weeks ago Sunday, we find ourselves sitting in this exact spot, me trying to wipe the week’s work out of my mind. As I was perusing and sampling the wine list I noticed a glass of wine for $33. It was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Silver Oaks. Of course, I made a comment to the bartender, who by this time probably thought we were a bit snooty with regards to wine, saying that “Wow! $33. Was this available to taste and how much would a taste cost?” I fully expected that there would be a charge, but maybe it was just my lucky day – FREE. Now, kudos to the bartender on this because the tasting pour was the smallest sip I had ever seen. So small I couldn’t even share with Tom Joe. But that’s okay. Understandable and expected.
Swirl, sniff, see, swirl, sniff, taste, wait….wait some more. Okay. WHO PRICED THIS AT $33 A GLASS?!?!! Because it was really NOTHING special as far as I was concerned. The nose was nice, full, very aromatic, but the palate was so smooth, almost nondescript in a way. I was just about to tell Tom Joe my opinion and then……Voila! The Light Comes On! Right about that time, I realize that the finish is still there. We’re talking really, really long, maybe a minute or so. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized what I had actually tasted was not a smooth and non-descript wine, but rather a fully matured, balanced, layered wine that takes a moment to appreciate. Up to this point, I have really enjoyed the big, bold, in your face reds that really knock your socks off when you taste them. This was that but in a totally different way. I believe I am still to much of a novice to be able to detect what was truly awaiting me, however, am obviously starting to mature in my wine journey as this awakening moment demonstrates.
I was so taken with this Silver Oaks 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and expressed my impressions to Tom Joe, that the wonderful husband-of-the-year gave me permission to call around and see if we could purchase a bottle. I did find it on my first call (very surprised, I might add, but if looking for an unusual or great bottle of wine, or even simply knowledgeable wine advice in the Tulsa area, call Tulsa Hills Wine Cellar). They had two bottles priced at $71 and some change. Remember that husband-of-the-year? He told me to go buy both bottles! I did.
The very next week, we shared this treasure with our best friends and business partners, Elizabeth and Brian, on our hotel patio (we were in town to see the REO Speedwagon and Chicago concert). I wanted this wine to show all that it had so I made sure to chill, decant and let breath and brought nice, clean glasses from home. Hey, it’s not every day that WE spend $71 on ONE bottle of wine.
Once again, Silver Oaks 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was amazing.
At the same table and same time, Brian and I signed up for the Level 1 WSET in Colorado Springs, Colorado for October 2014. Time to get edumacated! (READ PREVIOUS BLOG ABOUT WINE CERTIFICATION)
If you would like to read more about my ongoing wine journey and/or our adventures of wine trailing through The Vineyard Trail
Miki “This is the Life” Winer