I was chair in a local Wine Group this past year and it was delightful. We’ve been going for ten years with twelve members maximum. An old friend told me years ago that we should have friends who are older and younger, and this group hits the spot. Each month one couple hosts the evening, having done deep research on their topic. The unwritten rule is no blind tasting, so nobody is set up to fail. In the last year we explored Gascony, The Sherry Triangle, New York State, Campania, visited Burgundy, invited guest speakers.
We are friends who enjoy wine and indirectly look out for each other. I often reflect that when children live at a distance, friends become the immediate support. As a group we have fun, tease and debate, appreciate our diverse views.
Our monthly sub is a decent budget for wines we wouldn’t buy as individuals. We finish the evening with everyone’s contribution to the food table. It’s an inexpensive social evening.
Learning and curiosity are perfect bedfellows, and there’s the cross-over with poetry. Poets as friends learning and sharing is no different to friends sampling wine with a keen interest in grape, producer and terroir. And as much fun. I’m no expert but I’ve certainly improved my knowledge on both fronts. So raise a glass to a cross-over poem, Ben Jonson’s “Song to Celia.”
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.