More from the usual suspects this week: Hungry, Angry and Hangry.
All hanging around the campfire. The one who keeps getting smoked out is the most upset. With burning eyes and a belly full of fire (too much red wine last night?) Hangry is whining (wining?) about rosé (or lack thereof). Angry is quick to put Hangry down, as if for wearing white pants post-Labor Day. Hungry is there to mediate, with the balmy locution that the chicken apple sausage in the cooler would well suit a rosé.
“Wait just a smoked up second,” shouts Angry, whose nose is already upturned. “You want to drink a rosé?”
“Well boo-hoo. Boo-hooty-hoo.”
At this, Hangry wells a tear. Maybe — to Hangry’s credit — it’s a little tear, perhaps coaxed by the thick, billowing smoke. Or maybe it’s the Angel’s tear, the mythical last drop in the bottle that blesses us all (the afternoon’s rosé?).
Hungry, again, with the smoothness of a silky (and smoky) pinot noir, offers an olive branch: “Now Hangry, we know that whether you like rosé of cabernet franc, pinot noir, grenache or syrah, it’s okay. Mind you, the Pendelton rosé of franc I had last week was killer. The same goes for the Roederer pinot of rosé, although a bit pale in color. Even though it’s well after Labor Day, the sun is out, it’s downright balmy, and it’s your birthday.” (Did I forget to mention it was Hangry’s birthday?)
Angry, for some reason unbeknownst to the other two campfire cabilleros, was still pissed. Was it that the breeze had shifted and turned a quarter-circle in degrees sending the smoke to the antagonist of this short story? Angry was more than slightly agitated, and less than couth, when laying it on the line: “I’ve never really been into rosé. In fact, my prejudices lead me to label anyone who howls about it around a campfire deep in the woods in the month of November as, maybe, a little, well, you know. . . ”
At this point, Hungry, earlier the purveyor and provider of said chicken apple sausages, breaks in, offering yet another olive branch: The bounty of the day’s explorations.
“Now both of you have your opinions which I respect. I love the rosé too, but being the seasonal guru of all things food-and-wine, let me share with you what I have brought to this nasty, smoky affair. Today I was out perusing the local vineyards and wineries and I found a couple of things you might enjoy: Like this magnum of 2007 Navarro Vineyards’ Ancienne Method pinot noir. It’s ethereal. I also have some Husch pinot from 2009 if that is not enough. And, since I am hungry (and since I really am Hungry) I have to tell you about the wild mushrooms that I found while I was walking in the woods after the rains abated. These black trumpets, chanterelles and king boletes should ease the fires burning in Hangry’s hangry birthday belly as well as they will quell the angry fires raging in angry Angry’s mind. Paired with my Anderson Valley pinot noir, they will have us singing happy songs late into the night, as long as the smoke from this damn campfire dies down. Damn you, rain-wetted wood!”
While Angry and Hangry continued to debate the merits of their opines, the fire turned an ear and burned it up a notch, and Hungry got out the Dutch oven to prepare a meal fit for kings (or bumbling fools). Creamy polenta with smoky gruyere made the bed for the firm yet wilting mushroom medley, all buttery and glistening. The pinot resonated with the smoke, chocolate and marshmallow of old fashioned ‘smores. The regal slate, violet and wild berry aromas and flavors appeared to mock the goofy trio, but in the end, everybody smiled, laughed and got along. Just like the pinot noir and wild mushrooms: I will and did eat and drink to that. And: Happy Birthday, Hangry.
Cheers! Remember, wine reveals truth.
Drew Stofflet lives in Carbondale. Correspond with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.