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Each glass of wine is a one-time event

Some of my favorite memories involve wine, but sometimes the wine itself is not as important as the story it creates, or the memories we keep. Often it’s more about the time, the place and the people who accompanied me.

There can be a bonding over the bottle, opening up the aged liquid’s mysterious power to create not just palatable memories, but emotional ones as well. Wine often transcends, creating its own narrative.

We may not think about it at the time, but each glass is an experience, a one-time event that will never happen again in that way because the circumstances will change, different people will be present, or we may never have that vintage again. We are present in the moment, and then it becomes a memory.

One of my most memorable wine nights was in June 2014. This particular early evening I was with my son and late husband at the now-closed Fiasco Winery in the Applegate. I have fond memories of Fiasco Winery, including this less-than-perfect evening.

I loved the spaciousness and the crunch of the gravel floor in the tasting room. There was an outdoor kitchen at the end of the patio. Situated along a creek was a sprawling garden that included tables and chairs, log benches, swings and a covered stage. Nearby was Woodrat Mountain, a popular launch spot for paragliders, and across the creek, cows meandered along the bank. It was free range for winery visitors and cows, just on opposite sides of the creek.

The wine that night was playful, I think it was called Cowboy Red, and it suited the informality of the evening. A bright, straightforward wine for an energetic, early summer outdoor evening. Children were swinging on long rope swings attached to high trees, music and dancing accompanied chatter and laughter, and now and then a paraglider would drop down into the open space in the middle of it all, not far from where we sat.

The owners had fresh seafood flown in from Hawaii on the weekends, and the chef would grill up delicious tropical dishes. We settled into our table, got our wine, and ordered dinner soon after. And waited. And waited.

The sun dropped down behind the mountains, lights illuminated tree branches, dancing continued, wine flowed, but no dinner arrived. The owner came by several times and would then go to check on our food, again. The cows had wandered away in the dark somewhere down the creek.

The evening was quieting down as our meal was finally placed on our table, accompanied by many apologies, and the sounds of a low mooing getting closer. We ate in mostly silence, savoring the delicious flavors of fish and fruits. From across the creek, the mooing became louder. Looking out into the night, images of movement emerged from the darkness along the creek. I’ll never forget the memorable night that I drank wine and ate fresh seafood, with my family, till the cows came home.

Reach Paula Bandy at pbthegrapevine@gmail.com and connect with her on Instagram at @pbthroughthegrapevine.