Teri enjoys the Turley Roussanne and the shrimp creole.

I love the old John Denver song, “Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Stones.” It’s such a true metaphor at a time when so many people make lame metaphors.

Not every day can be great, but lately I’ve had a lot more diamonds than stones. And I’m grateful for that. Saturday was one of those days. And we celebrated with a fantastic wine.

This was one week before Teri and I are getting married, a most unlikely, though beautiful, thing to happen to two people in their seventh decade of life. Even though we’re keeping it simple with a small family wedding at my church (Lutheran Church of the Resurrection), even simple weddings take some work.

Turley Roussanne

We could have flown off to Vegas. Or simply lived together. But my pastor, who’s also my best friend, says living together isn’t an option. And even though I think I’m a pretty modern guy, I’m a traditionalist. I think if two people love each other they ought to get married–to each other.

So we’re getting married, and there are still a lot of hoops to jump through. The marriage license is an adventure, especially if you have divorces in your past, which both of us do. The really incredible thing is they didn’t need to see the death certificate from my previous wife. Apparently, the state takes your word about death, but not divorce.

Part of the preparations include getting the house ready after two years of benign neglect. There’s a lot of cleaning and stuff to be put away. Teri’s sister and brother-in-law are coming in for the wedding, so we’ve got to make room for them.

I’ve met them and I’m really happy they’re going to be here. They’re good people. But their arrival means I have to clean out one of the two guest rooms which have been serving as temporary landfills or hazardous waste dumps for a couple of years.

I’ve been meaning to clean the rooms out for a long time, but Saturday was get serious time. Luckily, the main guest room mostly was filled with cases of wine that didn’t fit in the wine cellar. So I spent the day moving bottles around the cellar and hauling 15 cases of wine into the cellar to fill the empty spaces on the shelves.

Teri was funny. She thought it was cute that every time I opened a case I would squeal and say, “Wow, that’s a great wine.” But there were a lot of great wines, so I warned her that marrying me would mean some pretty serious wine drinking. I think she’s up to the task.

When I finished, the guest room was empty and the cellar was full with some left over. The recycling bin is full with enough left over for another 2-3 weeks. My arms, back and legs are aching. (Oh, I may have forgotten to mention that Teri emptied the closet, washed the sheets and bedspread and got the room presentable.)

Teri Moore

So when it was time for dinner we knew we had to celebrate. We deserved something special. But what to pick after looking at so many good wines? It might seem like a big task, but there was no question what we were going to have. We even decided on dinner based on what would go with the wine.

We have a couple of cases of some of the best white wine I’ve ever had, Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Roussanne 2008. It’s grown high up on Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley, and it is an incredible wine. It’s the only white wine produced by Larry Turley (who grew up in Augusta), but he jokes that it’s OK because it’s made by a guy who loves red wine.

Roussanne comes from France, and is rarely grown in the United States, which is too bad. It’s a beautiful, elegant wine with a delightful aroma. It’s often blended with Marsanne. The Turley version is spectacular, with a delicate floral aroma leading to smooth, gentle pear and honey flavors. It’s a complex wine that keeps evolving in the glass.

We made shrimp creole because I thought that would pair nicely with the wine, and it did. We pulled out some shrimp I brought back from Edisto and cooked it in a Zatarain’s creole mix. We added some chopped onion, celery and Paul Prudhomme’s seafood magic, and a bay leaf from the garden. What a great combination of food and wine!

Drinking this wine made me think about a tasting I want to have with some of my friends. We would taste the Turley Roussanne, Treana White (a Paso Robles blend of Rhone grapes), an Oregon Rhone blend and a white Chateauneuf du Pape. I can’t wait to try that.

When we finished the Turley Roussanne (far too early), I opened a Grgich Hills Essence, their top Sauvignon Blanc from 2009. It is as good as the Turley, with a different grape. It also is elegant, crisp and refreshing. Lots of citrus and a flowery aroma. I want to try it again by itself.

For now, I’ll sit back and savor a wonderful day and contemplate a lifetime full of wonderful days and nights with a most remarkable woman. It’s hard to believe I could get this lucky. Thank God that He was looking out for me.

The Roussanne is for serious wine lovers, priced at $38 a bottle and available only at the tasting room in Paso Robles. But it’s worth it if you can find some.
From: Napa Valley
Cost: $38
Year: 2008

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