Fattoria dei Barbi

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Rod Steward wrote a song about how “every picture tells a story.”  For me the same is true about every bottle of wine, they each have a story too.  This week’s wine is a tale of love.
 
The story begins almost 12 years ago when a friend of mine got word that he was going to be a father.  Now, some dad’s buy cigars, but my buddy bought a bottle of wine.  Specifically, he bought this bottle of Fattoria dei Barbi Morellino di Scansano.
 
The day came and my buddy was blessed with a beautiful baby girl.  The bottle went back on the shelf. Four years later the stork visited again with another little angel of a girl.  The bottle remained un-opened.
 
Recently we got together.  The girls taught me songs and a dance, I’m sure it’s on YouTube and soon I will be bigger than Gangnam Style.  We told stories, ate pasta, that’s what we do!   My friend takes me outside and plops down the bottle of Barbi on the table.  He looks at me with sad eyes and says, “what do you think?”  I looked at the age and knew what this bottle meant to him, so I said, “it’s getting long in the tooth!”  “WE ALL ARE” was his response, and he pulled out a corkscrew.
 
The wine Morellino di Scansano is a beautiful red wine from southern Tuscany.  85% Sangiovese and 15% merlot, this wine is one of the best kept secrets of Italy; if you have not tried this wine stop reading now and go get a bottle, it’s that good!  Just don’t forget to come back. 
 
 Locally the wine is called just “Morellino,” or “Brown,” because of it’s rusty garnet color.  The nose is an aroma that makes reminds me why I signed up to be a wine drinker, intense and clear, I just love it.  The flavor is liquid velvet, and the two blend to give you a fantastic sensory ride you’ll remember for a long time.  Everything fits perfectly right into a wonderful finish.
 
We drank almost in silence, enjoying the wine to be sure, but more we were caught up in understanding and appreciating the significance of the moment.  When he opened that bottle, my friend was saying good-bye to a dream, a very deep desire for a son.  This was a moment of passage, where one door closed and we walked through another.  It was perfect that we marked this passage with a great wine.  They have been making this wine since 1352, the very roots in the vineyard are history.
 
The bottle passed slowly and with great dignity.  It felt like the wine was a proud man passing it’s knowledge, it’s dreams and desire and surrendering to the reality of what is.  When it was gone he looked at the bottle and said, “What do I do with this?”  “Keep it” I said, “put it somewhere you can see if every day and remember that, though that one dream might be gone, the reality of here and now is pretty damn good.”
 
The next day I went out and bought two new bottles of the same wine and dropped them off.  “What are these for,” he said.  “The weddings,” I replied.  He laughed and said “you’ll most likely drink most of these too.” You had better believe it!
 
I don’t know why we prefer to mark our lives’ journeys with wine.  Maybe it has something to do the sacredness of wine, I don’t know.  New Years, Birthdays, Weddings, Graduations, new life’s victories and defeats are all celebrated with wine.
 
Wine can be liquid music, and music paints pictures and often tells stories all of them magical and all of them true, and the stories, the pictures, the music and yes the wine, tells the story of YOU.
 
So this Sunday get a good bottle of wine and go see your dad, or someone you think of as dad,  remember it’s the heart that makes a father, not the blood.  Wine reminds us to take our time, to consider the color, to slow down and savior the aromas, to slip, slurp and swallow, not gulp and move on.  Go ahead buy the one you really want to drink, think about it, you’re not going to be able to afford it tomorrow either, so might as well buy it now!  If you ask life to give you many blessings it will!
 
The life lesson here is buy your wine, make your dreams but remember wine and dreams don’t last forever.  Take them off the shelf and drink them, enjoy both to the fullest and remember them, then go buy new wine and make new dreams!
 
Happy Father’s Day!
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