Sitting and staring

I have a favorite viewing place. Periodically it screams to me that it’s time for me to visit it.

The place is in the country and I’m able to park in a country church’s parking lot to just sit and stare at the view. From my vantage point, I can see gently undulating hills that seem to go on forever and I honestly believe one can see for over 10 miles.

What really fascinates me about this site is its yearly changes of color and the quietness of the view. During winter, there’s a silent mostly white scene. The spring brings the excitement of the greening fields and the expectation of the many colors that will soon blossom into sight. In the summer, there’s the marvelous multitude of greens with the leaves and grass waving in the wind. And fall brings the vibrancy of the many shades of brown and the urgency to see them before they disappear into the air.

As enjoyable as the colors are, it’s the quiet of the area that keeps bringing me back to it. So when things in life start to get a bit crazy, my special viewing place screams to me to visit it. “Sit here awhile and stare,” it seems to say to me. “Just sit and stare.”

And, that’s what I do.

While sitting and staring, there’s a ton of stuff that floats through my brain — from the practical to the whimsical. The last visit brought forth an interesting mental conversation that went something like this. “If I could have one wine to sip while sitting and staring, which wine would it be?”

Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways…

So, last week while in my favorite viewing spot, I thought about what red wine would go best with the myriad of browns spreading before me and my initial thought was…a red blend.

Why a red blend? Because the view’s brown colors would pair nicely with the red color of the wine. Did I mention my mind works not only mysteriously but at times, weirdly?

OK, the wine would be a red blend — now which red blend? This is when it gets exciting — for me, anyway!

My first thought was a Hess Select Treo Winemaker’s Red Blend from Napa. The majority of the blend come from Petite Sirah grapes with supporting roles from Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec and Merlot grapes. The many varieties lead to a pleasant full bodied fruit flavored wine with soft tannins but at the moment I wanted something with more spice.

Well, what about a 19 Crimes — The Uprising Red Wine? This Australian wine is 50 percent Shiraz with a supporting cast of 35 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 percent Grenache. The Shiraz provides the dominant raspberry flavors and the heavy tannins while the Cabernet Sauvignon builds in a solid body with the Grenache giving the wine its spiciness and a bit of sweetness. Hmmm, interesting but I didn’t need sweetness at the moment.

I mentally went to Argentina and thought of Gascón’s Colosal Red Blend. This wine is over 60 percent Malbec with supporting roles from Banarda, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. With all that Malbec, the wine is very heavy and deliciously full bodied with its black cherry tastes and licorice flavors. While sitting and staring at that moment, I didn’t need a Malbec blend — I wanted something that had some body and a hint of spice and vanilla.

Ah, what sprang to mind was a bottle of Marietta Old Vine Red — Lot Number 65 California Red Wine. Blended with a majority of Zinfandel and with a following of Petite Sirah and Syrah grapes, this wine felt perfect for a few minutes of sitting and staring. Its aroma is fruit forward and the flavors are a wonderful peppery black cherry taste finishing with a hint of vanilla among its long lasting and pleasing soft tannins.

This is the wine I wanted at that particular moment of sitting and staring. Naturally I didn’t have a bottle with me and it wasn’t the time to have a glass of wine. There was work to do and driving to complete.

But that night and along with a pleasing appetizer of french bread and Dubliner hard cheese, Marietta’s red blend appeared and it was extremely enjoyable. As I sat at the table enjoying the wine and cheese, I could see myself sitting and staring at my favorite view and all was well.

These fall colors disappear quickly and I urge you to find your viewing place where, if it’s appropriate, you can enjoy a glass of your favorite wine while you peacefully and quietly sit and stare.

Next week, the beers of autumn.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!