A Glass, A Young Man, a Tavolo al Fresco
That moment, I looked up from my glass, startled: how could this be? How could they have packed candy and flowers into this small measure of pale gold liquid? Was this what wine was, really? Around me, everyone went on talking as if they had noticed nothing, while I remained captivated, nose in my glass. Throughout the meal, I kept the glass by me. I didn’t drink it, just inhaled the scent from time to time. Enchanting. Each time I looked up, I saw Lorenzo’s unforgettable golden-brown eyes studying me. He, too, had been poured some of the magical wine, but he had swallowed it immediately. When he saw me not sipping from the glass, he held out his hand offering to drink mine. I shook my head in refusal.
This went on after every course – though I wasn’t eating every course. In the same way the wine had enchanted me, I had been captivated by the first plate of food that arrived on the table: antipasto, with its plethora of bright, piquant vegetables strewn around a landscape of delicately sliced salumi in all shades of pink and white and dark red, each layer more flavorful than the next.
At some point, I remember that Lorenzo whispered to me the name of the enthralling wine in my glass: Moscato d’Asti. Only I heard it wrong. Instead of the “Moscato d’Asti” I heard “Scattosti.” It would be years before I accidentally rediscovered this wine. Years of living my life without the wine, without the country of Italy, and without Lorenzo, of course.
My week in Piemonte now, is the first step I’m taking to show myself how I can continue. How it could be possible for me to ever again visit these towns and vineyards and beautiful, winding lanes. Because I must return…