I’ve been asked on many occasions what the perfect evening would look like to me, and I am fairly certain I’ve always had the same basic themes that have altered only slightly: music, food, wine and conversation. Sometimes the conversation is with myself over a great book, which is currently by Anthony Boudraine, but typically, I include others. So here is one version of many that I’ve had in my head for quite some time. Imagine sitting in the park with a group of friends and a glass of cava on the eve of a full moon. The air is filled with the sweet sumptuous aroma of flowers that tease you ever so slightly as the temperature falls one degree at a time giving you a respite from the residual warmth resonating from your face and shoulders. You and your friends have had the unique opportunity to attend a wine festival in an old historic wine pueblo internationally recognized for their wines, most notably, their cavas. And as you lie back on your lover’s lap as lightening bugs dance above your nose, you reminisce about each wine you sampled throughout the day breaking out into fits of laughter whenever the story sways to the corked bottle that all visitors’ ooohed and ahhhhed over as the choice wine of the event. As the bass from the jazz band not 200 feet from plucks his deep bellowing chords that strangely enhance the glass of rosé cava in your hand, you feel content and happy knowing that all is right in the world. Your belly is full from feasting on local cuisine, your heart is content knowing your among good friends, and your soul is at peace knowing that your experiencing a rare moment when all your senses have been aroused and satiated. This is what I call a wonderful evening.
Now although I haven’t experienced this as of yet this summer, I think this may be possible in the very near future. From June 29th to August 1st, Vilafranca, the capital of the world famous wine region, Alt Penédes, will be celebrating El Vi Jazz Penédes – festival of jazz and wines from the Penédes. Hosted by la Acadèmia Tastavins Penedès (The Academy of Winetasting), Jazz Penedès, and several other local businesses such as Bodega Torres, René Barbier, Pinord and Vinyes-Cellers Covides the festival appears to be jam packed with concerts, jam sessions, 130 different wineries, courses on everything from wine tasting to wine purchasing, 6 movies geared towards wine like “Sideways”, in addition to wineries opening their doors for visitors. Not a bad festival and one that I absolutely intended on visiting not only to see some free concerts from incredibly talented musicians like Maceo Parker and Charlie Haden, but also because there are always surprises to be experienced. One never knows if you will encounter a local parade with six foot heigh paper mache giants and fireworks exploding at your feet, or merely a traditional custom that could potentially include throwing tomatoes, wine or a myriad of other edible foodstuffs that you wish you’d known about previously to wearing your white sundress. And here is where the trumpet plays its ironic tune. We will have a friend flying in from the States to peruse some vineyards with us, and consequently, putting the kibosh on my potentially perfect evening at a wine and jazz festival. But don’t fret, because rest assured that I will not only get the skinny on the event, but I’ll be kicking off one of many evenings of fantastic wine, great food and wonderful conversations all under a bright summer moon.
Additionally, you may have noticed how our posts in the past week have been slim at best. Well, these next few weeks is the end of teaching and the transition into Catavino. Hence, my five-year olds take my full attention while I: put together their year long portfolio; put on a disastrously hilarious play of Little Red Riding Hood in English where the wolf can’t get out of bed because the stuffed wolf mask weighs so much that the poor child can’t lift himself to a standing position, whereby leaving our dear damsel in distress staring silently into the blinding stage lights; and watch hours of dance recitals, graduations, violin concerts and whatever other event you can imagine that marks the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. This said, Ryan has been equally occupied with his own duties expanding well past articles, as I’m sure you have all either read in comment sections on other websites, heard in podcasts, seen in video or flickr or tasted whenever you happen upon a stone. So please be patient with us as we transition me into the new full-time co-pilot position over the next two weeks.