I’ve just had the most wonderful night. After a positive, productive day at Sherbrooke I came home and helped my son pull the old deck off the house. Picture me ripping through the old boards with the sawzall and then heaving the remnants onto our rusty, spiky nail and board pile.

After all that and a visit from a good friend we made the most marvelous meal. I mean it! It was so simple, but so good and the perfect bottle of wine accompanied it.

There were three salads with different ingredients, but the same dressing. With a light hand I drizzled each salad with Frantoi Cutrera Segreto degli Iblei Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a little lemon juice, Maldon Salt and Black Pepper.

We topped a bowl of tiny new potatoes with fresh garden chives, a plate of multi-type summer tomatoes with a dash of sugar and a crisp romaine salad with a snowfall of Piave Vecchio.

Fresh bread and butter and humanely raised rib steaks grilled to perfection rounded out the meal and we dug in.

I can’t remember enjoying a meal more. It was made unbelievably magical by the accompaniment of Giusti Merlot Veneto. This wine had been resting, lying down since I bought it last week, just waiting to splash into my green ceramic jug to breathe and wake up to the world.

When it poured into the glass it was redolent of violet and hazy summer days. Beside the simple meal it was plush and velvet smooth going down with far too much ease. The expressive fruit provided a perfect counterpoint to all the different flavors. Don’t let its consumer friendly price tag fool you. This one drinks like royalty.

Toward the end it was hard to stop eating. The Piave Vecchio, butter and bread beckoned to the wine and they harmonized together creating a once in a life time moment of this wine, that cheese, this company & that moon.

Glamorous tastings and restaurant meals aside, this is what it boils down to for me. It’s  a real blessing to be able to appreciate such extraordinary abundance.

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