…a love letter to Riesling.

John wrote letters to Abigail, and Frida Khalo?  She penned hers to Diego Rivera.  They spoke love in words about things like revolutions and affection more expansive than untrimmed eyebrows. 

Lovers torn asunder reach out across the paper plains and send their love painstakingly like paper planes meandering through the air to say the things that must be said, of what is and what remains. 

And so too must a sommelier write sonnets on the long-necked Hock Bottles of daring beverages racing with the biting crisp of lips, tongue—dripping with the poison of a magical elixir. 

I don’t claim to know it all, but I know you.  I saw you in the darkest halls with bowls of ramen stew. 

You smiled at me with my Vietnamese like lovers ought to do. 

I knew you not for many years, or perhaps I thought I did.  The younger me knew only that you were a tad too much—so sugary, so innocent, no bite, so sweet. 

But I don’t mince words like I mince meat. 

I met you again in college—you a German exchange student and me, an idiot already too drunk to see you.  We were ships passing in the frat house night, who brought you there?  What was your story? 

And then again, the fates collided, changing palates, changing stories.  You paired up with a crudo and you made me stop talking.  No one forgets their first real moment with you—wiping the slate clean to taste the slate anew. 

A kabinett full of surprises—you made me stop mid-speech as, like firecracker pop rocks, you spoke to me.  And I looked around that day wanting everyone to know what it was I was experiencing, the absolute joy that comes from a wine made from a grape known as Riesling. 

And that’d be one thing, if it was just a one-time thing, if you only blew my mind like a backseat fling, but you showed me over time that you are even more divine in the racy, chilling French variety, tickling up my spine. 

Oh Trimbach, when I met you, I was merely but a boy…but deliverance from boredom, understated joy! 

You apple-honeysuckled me, you paired my pear, you spiced.  Ginger Lady, CardaMommy, petrol gripping me so nice. 

With age you’ve learned a thing or two, you laid down lady.  You make pescatarians swoon when you come in the room—a snapper caper, pork-loin engager—boom-chicken-boom-boom. 

I met Clare the other day and her Mojito style carried me away and I’ve Dr. Loosened up my morals with a Thai Green Chili Sauce, but my morels I save for alcohol, Alsatian me, I’m at a loss.

For words?  You won’t need them.  Riesling supercedes them.  You spin me right round baby right round.  I’m acid-trippingingly on the tongue, describing you in fantastical hyperbole, preceding to become virtuously undone. 

I drape your white flowers over bedspreads of Choucroute.  I don’t shoot first or ask questions later, I simply ask them now and blast away.  I savor layers of the sickeningly wonderful because after this sip is gone the longing returns until I’m met with the glass at my lips once more.   

And like lovers I can leave this Strasbourg café and walk along the waterway with bottle in hand reciting poetry late into the night, while drinking of your beauty, paraffin, and candlelight. 

Your citrus appeal, tart youth, marzipanned age, bottled truth. 

You encapsulate me, captivate me, capture, enrapture, and navigate me.  I’m trapped amongst your quince, your apricot. 

I see you open up, for what you are…for what you’re not. 

You take my barbecues, you hear my bass,

You bring wonder to the pairings that inhabit my every space. 

Pork and bacon, sweet Papaya, mustard-laced utensils…all pushing me on, prehensile.  All forming a song:  elemental.    

My love for you is jealous and most don’t understand, they live in missionary style, Chardonnaked Land. 

But we’ve got something deeper, something mystically mythical, mysteriously untypical, ridiculously inimitable, and a history of chimerical.

Riesling, darling, oh for you, my love is evermore.