It takes a culinary genius to truly appreciate the delicate craftsmanship that goes into a good food and wine pairing. Most of us, myself included, simply nod in agreement when a wine connoisseur questions our ability to detect the subtle hints of green peppers and figs in his latest vintage of his Sauvignon Blah. To be honest, all I've ever smelt was alcohol and a guaranteed good time ahead, but just like any good Merlot or block of Grana Padamo, our tastes and maturity become more refined and discernible with age. It takes quite a bit of swirling and swishing, sniffing and sampling before we are able to find that perfect blend, a balance between an individually unique flavour and someone else's intensity.
Grilled fish with Sauvignon Blanc. Slow roasted pork belly
with a hearty Cabernet. Oysters and Champagne. If only the same guidelines that
apply to gastronomy could apply to romance, imagine how easy it would be to
find our own perfect match. But alas, love does not always provide the perfect
combination first time around. It’s far more complex and often requires a bit
of searching before the ideal fit can be found. Most of the time, romance can
leave a bitter taste, but for the lucky few that are brave enough to stomach
and endure the ups and downs, finding a soul mate to compliment one’s own
personality can be well worth the wait.
There's nothing like a little couples weekend in some
remote wine country to get one's inspiration going. Christmas in July was upon
us and what better way to spend it than with the love of your life in a
romantic retreat nestled far away in the hidden valley known as Tulbagh.
Over hill and over river we went, through vast landscapes of muddy dirt roads
and acres of deep forestation. The two hour trek was well worth the wait, as
most things in life generally are, as we approached the gates of this magnanimous guesthouse
situated in the middle of nowhere. Guinevere was her name and she would be our
host for the next two nights of fine wining and dining.
Love was literally all around us, from old love to new
love, rekindled love and still desperately searching love, but the couple that
stood out the most was definitely Brenda and Tommy. With only months away from
their wedding date, it was refreshing to see a young couple that truly
complimented each other in every single way.
My first reaction to their engagement was tears, a horrible habit I had
picked up whenever one of my single girlfriends expressed so much joy. I guess
Miranda was right…when you know, you know.
Whether they were tears of happiness or tears of sorrow, I
envied them for their evident compatibility. From their morning symphonies in
methane minor to the way in which they kept each other guessing, it was apparent
that these two individuals were clearly fermenting in each other's love. Even in their
bickering which would usually annoy the shit out of me, there was a sense of
tolerance and comfort. Yes, they pushed buttons and constantly
tested one another's patience, but even their quarrelling seemed cute. Was it
pre-marital bliss that made them the “it” couple to be or had they finally
found the yin to each other’s yang?
I looked to my own relationship which at present felt a bit
like chalk and cheese. My relationship was less than perfect but still
preserved in bitter sweet love. So many opportune moments presented themselves this
weekend to rekindle a romantic flame that once burned so brightly, all ruined
by my own sour disposition. It certainly wasn’t Aiden. It was me. I had tasted
love so many times before that I’d actually grown intolerant to its entangled
essence. Why was I so afraid to let it back in?
Looking at these two peas in their pod, I wanted so badly to
have what Brenda and Tommy had found. The sad thing is that I had been there before; that place where
an innocent game of head stand or thirty seconds turns into a laughing fit, where
mockery of one's flaws was done in jest and not in pain, where laughter
was louder than any snore humanly possible. Do relationships need to go
through a bad vintage before it can produce something fruitful or are
some couples simply more compatible than others?
No matter how cynical love can make us feel, we cannot deny that some people are simply meant to be together. When you see it in others, appreciate it and look to it as a sign of hope. Whether your existing pairing requires a bit more maturity and nurturing or whether you're still searching for something to whet your romantic appetite, it's out there. You just have to keep that heart open like it's your very own test kitchen.
When it comes to perfect matches, how do we know if he's
the Brie to our Chardonnay?