Skype aperitif at the time of the Coronavirus
I feel everyone’s proximity to this online aperitif, future projects are only put off. “Where are we going to travel?” The head travels to new places. I feel a little sadness in everyone’s faces. As if suddenly we remembered how things really are. Of distant affections, of the concern for the health of older loved ones.
Advertising message I opened a Riesling from 2015. Ah, what a story! Its golden color returns the light in this dark moment. The hydrocarbons in the nose are confused in the mouth with fruit, a very sweet juice. I laugh because it reminds me of the “Fior di Fragola” ice cream that I ate as a child, strawberry and cream together. After more than a year of course to become a sommelier, my travel companions as soon as they hear me make this feeling explicit start laughing: “Ele ma che che dire ?! But it is not possible! Can you just tell us this after months of lessons ?! ”.
Stefano is at his house and he also sips a Riesling Renano from 2017, the color is a straw yellow with greenish reflections. He feels us citrus and hints of aromatic herbs. The wife appears and disappears behind him on the screen, slowly she will become one of us. Stefano is our “leader” and is good at the role. Organize, spur, help, bullshit when needed.
Roberta drinks a rosé from Negroamaro grapes, as Stefano always says, she is a truffle dog, she has an incredible sense of smell. He describes the aromas of the wine and seems to be there to savor it together. The rosebud, the wild strawberry, the minerality given by the flint. The Apulian grape variety takes us with our mind to the blue sea and the hot summers that we all await.
Pia and her boyfriend made a separate “trip”: the partner is connected with his friends by another portal (always for a virtual aperitif), instead she is connected here with us. We make fun of it because it almost always drinks biodynamic wines, this time a Garnacha (what we call Cannonau to understand) grown at 1200 meters in the Sierra Andalusa. The beautiful ruby color, vivid and crystalline, surprises her. He tells us … “I feel that classic scent of biodynamic wines”, we in chorus “of course, animal, fur, stable !!!”. He smiles and resigns himself to the group’s opposition.
Marco tells us that the latest decree has not been announced. We still do not know what will become of the self-employed with VAT number. He is calm and composed, opens his bottle, an assembly of Petit Rouge, Vien de Nus, Fumin and Cornalin grapes. Important flavor, he tells us, and is noticed by the expression he makes in describing it. “Today I went out with the dog for a walk. Carabinieri steering wheels around … it seems to be in dictatorship, with constant controls. You know you are not doing anything wrong, but your anxiety is still rising, “Marco tells us. “Last night I saw The Truman Show … damn it seems to be in the film, I feel people’s eyes on me, I feel controlled too,” laments Pia. We can’t see the virus but we try to scrutinize it in the gaze of others, we glimpse it in a cough, in a clearing of the throat. Maybe it’s him, let’s stay away.
Later Nicola arrives, upset in the face, I say to him: “You have already drunk, eh?”. He says no, but that he will start now and continue indefinitely. “Exactly! I imagined warlike actions! ”. Stappa a Bonarda dell’Oltrepò Pavese of 2016, Croatina in purity. Stefano smiles because it is one of his favorite wines. Nicola feels the cherry and black pepper there. The tannins are felt but are pleasant in the mouth. He drinks another drop absorbed in his thoughts. We are all very close to him, tomorrow he is the only one of us who will go to work.
My sister is with me (at this moment our houses, divided only by a gate in the garden, are our salvation) and for a couple of hours it seems that nothing has changed. I feel everyone’s closeness, future plans are only put off. “Where will we make the trip?”, “Bolgheri? In Champagne? Or in Rioja? “. The head travels to new places, we imagine the sunlit vines, the cellars in which to taste, the fresh air to breathe. Stefano reminds us of the beauty of Valpolicella. I see the photos, how wonderful.
Advertising message Roberta misses her boyfriend, the same city but divided. Talk to my sister, who is also downcast because of the distance from her beloved. They had to go to Vienna together but the trip was canceled. We all try to support them and joke. But I feel a little sadness in everyone’s faces. As if suddenly we remembered how things really are. Of distant affections, of the concern for the health of older loved ones.
Let’s go back to playing.
Stefano turns years in a few days and we were ready for months to participate in his mega party. Unfortunately, to be postponed until a later date. We will make a virtual toast to be there anyway. “Ele for the barbecue at your house, I’ll give you the arrosticini!” Stefano says with his Abruzzese accent “. Let’s talk about the wine bottle orders we are making online. “I took a rosé from Provence!”, “And what do you think of a magnum from Rioja?”, “I am tasting only vines in purity to better understand its characteristics”. We confront each other as beginners and who knows how many we say right and how many wrong. But now we don’t care.
Roberta inserts Valerio, his partner, in our Skype aperitif. We are an extended family. While he is also connected (from his home) Roberta on video takes off his sweatshirt for the heat (or for the wine). Unfortunately for her, we begin to make jokes about the fact that she tries in vain, in all ways, to convince Valerio to join her at home. Not even the “striptease” persuaded him!
We tell each other what we will cook for dinner. Stefano, nerd as he is, went over the food-wine pairing. It can give us sensible and precise indications. “Nicola if you make pasta with pesto, go to Timorasso!”.
We miss each other, it’s normal. Tasting in a wine shop and exchanging glasses (woe to do it now!) Is another thing. When we turn off the video, for a few seconds, we feel a void inside. Homesickness. But if we think about it, isn’t it the same as when we accompany a friend at home, or the beloved, after a nice evening spent together? When this happens, however, we recover after a few moments because we know that we will see it again, we will see it again. It is so even now. We will meet again to toast all together and hear the sound of the glasses touching each other again.