The perfect grape was grown on the sunny hillside of a vineyard in Napa, France, Spain or Italy. It was harvested at just the right time after it had just enough days to ripen and mature. It was picked by human hands, not machines. Much care was taken before it ended up in the best barrel where it aged for just enough time. The perfect grape came at the perfect time.
The perfect grape was the wine you found in the fridge at your grandparents house in Florida in 1991 that you put in a squeeze bottle and took to the Beach.
It was in the 07 Cakebread you drank at the Beach with friends twenty years later (not in a squeeze bottle).
The perfect grape was served in a flute at your wedding.
The perfect grape was in a flute at your second wedding.
It was the 2003 ten dollar bottle collecting dust in the pantry that you dared your best friend to drink in 2013 and he did.
It was in the glass of Sauternes that was served with foie gras as a first course at La Toque in Napa with your best friend.
The perfect grape was in the magnum of Concha y Toro that your Chilean boyfriend turned you onto in Memphis in the 90’s.
It was in the bottle you took to Cherokee to eat with “steak for two” time after time after time.
It was in the glasses of free wine at all of the art shows you attended or hosted.
The perfect grape was in a bottle of homemade wine from an old woman in Italy.
It was also in the White Zinfandel that you share with an eighty nine year old southern lady while you listen to her stories.
The perfect grape was served chilled at lunch in Chateau Neuf de Pape.
It was served in a solo cup on the lake, at steeplechase, at the derby, at the farm, by the fire and at the pool.
The perfect grape was in the glass that you drink at the river when you toasted your friend who was not there to drink it with you.
The perfect grape was there when he pulled it out of a cooler the year before and said “Santa Marguerita costs what?”
The Perfect Grape is not so much about the grape or the place where you drink it but about the people you share it with. The people who you toast when you drink. The people who come in and out of your life, the ones you hope to see again.