A few things helped get me through the challenges of the past year: family, the home garden, music – both listening to others and attempting to play – home cooking, wonderful beverages and a great dessert.
Watching Maria cook is like watching an accomplished musician perform their magic. Every move is informed by decades of experience, repetition and unlimited curiosity. Each ingredient is added with purpose and anything that does not elevate the whole is edited out; no unnecessary guitar solos or cowbells in her dishes.
What is even more impressive is how she applies her experience to the grande finale. Each dessert is a riff on sweet harmony, balanced by salt, acid and texture… they are never about the one sweet note but are an intricate concert of flavor that allows room for an equally intricate and complex beverage like RSV’s Pinot Gris Late.
Dessert wines have a mixed reputation. Some are too sweet and cloying to be enjoyable after the first sip. Sugar may grab your attention like a cymbal crash but it will not keep your attention or play well with others. The “PG” Late is delicately sweet, like a tree-ripened crisp-apple with a thin slice of firm cheese and a drizzle of honey. Yes, it is sweet, but it is so much more. It is sweet relief.
(PS. Sweet Relief is also the name of a musicians fund, sweetrelief.org, that provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability or age-related problems. In other words, Healing Musicians in Need. RSV will be making a donation. We hope that if music has contributed to your wellbeing during these trying times, you will consider helping those who have brought you joy.)