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Friday, June 12, 2009

Heavenly Lightning

Lovely Friday to you. Yesterday was a much better day for me, and I anticipate a good weekend ahead. I'm supposed to go to the Nashville Sounds game tonight with my Mom and Dad, unless it rains. I really want to eat a hot dog and see the post-game fireworks. And I'd love some pool time tomorrow, followed-up by Hadley's birthday party at Arrington Vineyards.

It stormed a big one last night, with tons of rain and lightning. I love storms. I know they're dangerous and frighten most, but I really do love them. It occurred to me this morning that I'd like for God to host lightning shows when I get to Heaven. It's obvious from the Bible that lightning is a tool of the Lord, and that He holds it in ultimate control. Can you imagine the Creator of the Universe putting on a show like that?

I didn't anticipate this blog post moving in this direction, but... What would you like to see in Heaven? My pastor, Mike Glenn, commented the other night about the Bible's description of Heaven, and how we sell it short. For instance, when we think of the pearly gates, we think of hundreds of pearls, all linked together. Instead, the Bible says that each gate is a single pearl, the (forgive the pun) mother of all pearls. And streets of gold conjure up images of the yellow brick road. But no, the gold is so pure that it's as transparent as glass. It's going to be the most glorious sight I've ever laid eyes.

The Bible does a great job to establish Heaven's brilliance, but also inspires me to wonder what else awaits at my final destination. I know there will be great feasts. But will it be food that I've tasted and loved on earth, or yet-to-be-discovered delicacies, reserved only for heavenly beings. And, what about animals? I'd love to lounge around with a big, beastly lion without fear of getting my head bitten off. Just sayin.

Moving on.... Wednesday evening, I attended my weekly vino class. Kind of like my art class used to be, my wine class has become my mid-week distraction from the sometimes harsh realities of life. Our main topic of study was communication of the art of wine, and we learned how to describe wine as you would describe a personality, build a basic wine vocab, and use different flavor concepts to define a wine's character.

Our menu for the evening:

Cucumber-Melon Gazpacho
Tuna Tartare with Hazlenuts and Avocado
Sesame Marinated Coconut Shrimp
Pork Loin stuffed with Goat Cheese, Cherries and Walnuts
Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

In addition to dinner, we were given fruit pairings that matched up with each of the wines sampled. Of the eight wines, I had several favorites:

Eradus Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand
This unique Sav-Blanc was very creamy, not typical of the variety. We were given a slice of grapefruit to help us identify the flavor in the wine. This wine was also served alongside our Tuna Tartare, as it pairs well with sushi.

Austin's Pino Noir from Geelong, Australia
Our instructor taught us the proper wine swirling method, and to seek flavor topnotes just from the wine's aroma. It's gonna sound odd, but I detected a salty bacon hint from this wine. I was right...salty meats smells are often detected on dark red wines. And at the same the flavor was very cherry. This wine would pair nicely with a hearty steak and potatoes meal.

Baguala Torrontes from Valles Calchaquies, Argentina
The Torrontes grape was a lost variety from Portugal, that made it's way over the years to Argentina. The minute this wine hit my glass, it smelled sugary--but in a floral way. It's essence of pear and pineapple shone through, making it a very sweet wine. I envision a cool, late summer night on the front porch with friends, and this chilled beauty.

Syan Shiraz from Pyrenees, Australia
My instructor compared a Shiraz to a kid with ADD. You never know what you're gonna get, and it changes every time you take a sip. This blackberry-blueberry noted Shiraz was dry and chocolately, and by far, my favorite of the evening. No surprise there.

Broc Cellars Petite Sirah from Paso Robles, California
The Petite Sirah is actually a the lovechild of a Durif grape and a Syrah. We were served this last wine alongside our Mexican Chocolate Cupcake. It matched the hot and spicy quality of the confection, and sent me along that evening with a nice finish.


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