Cheers: Perfectly Delightful



The food writer Anthony Bourdain makes a number of astute observations in his 2001 travel/cuisine compilation, “A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal.”

The perfect meal, he remarks, is not just about the food on the plate. One must factor in the other guests at the table, the weather, events of the day, one’s own state of mind and so on. The perfect meal is not something on a dish but an aggregation of elements.

 

Bourdain’s wisdom returned to us as we sat at an outdoor café in Milan last month working our way through a bottle of 2008 Primolupo Merlot.

Primolupo wines come from vineyards in the Lazio region of west central Italy. The 2008 Merlot is a robust, dark cherry ambrosia — balanced with a pleasant finish.

At least it seemed so. Anthony Bourdain would not be surprised to learn that much of the enjoyment of the bottle owed to the good-natured waitress, Cristina (photo), who engaged with our party so winningly. She told us about herself, her mother, her fiancé and her feelings about Milan. She comes from around Florence and misses the Tuscan sun.

Cristina’s sunny hospitality would impart flavor and zest to Crisco.

Yet we’ll never know whether it was the waitress or the wine that emboldened a member of our party to stare down then upbraid an exceptionally drunken Swede at the next table who was trying to pick up one of the Russian girls at the table next to him. His blandishments were so crude that our tablemate, herself a Swede, invoked first national pride then the fierce protective demeanor of a mother of girls to vanquish the lout. His was not a perfect meal. Aggregations of elements can go both ways.

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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