Recently, my in-laws were in town and we were having dinner at The Flaming Buoy. We brought a bottle of Sandler Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2013. None of this is unusual. After all, we have been buying Ed Kurtzman’s Sandler wines for ten years, and we eat dinner at The Flaming Buoy, well, we can just leave it at “often“.
We were enjoying the wine – even my father-in-law, a white wine kind of guy, pronounced it “not entirely undrinkable“, which was a compliment. Mid-sip I hear someone shout from the next table “Hey! Where’d you get that wine? Do you know Ed?” Well, we ordered the wine and had it shipped to us, much like we have done for ten years, and while we have yet to meet Ed in person, we have had many conversations.
As it turns out, this guy is in the wine business in Jacksonville and Sandler is one of the brands that he represents. After several email exchanges, he seems to be quite a nice guy, too.
The whole exchange got me thinking about the many times wine has brought us together with others. My parents brought a bottle of kosher wine home from France many years ago, leading us to meet the son of the wine guy. Now he – and his family – are part of our family. We have made a number of great friends over our mutual love of wine, several of whom have visited us in Key West.
It all started when we moved to New York. Our neighbor owned the liquor store around the corner from our first apartment. Knowing we had very little money, he would always seek out the best possible cheap wine, and then give us a “good neighbor discount.” That has turned into a full on obsession with the stuff, which in turn, led us to meet a lot of great people.