chateauneufdupape.jpg Sometime back around 1993, my brother and I made a wine kit together — a Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Not being sticklers for correct translation based on our high-school French, we printed labels off on the old dot-matrix printer that said “9 Houses of the Pope”. (In case you don’t know, that’s not the correct translation, which we knew at the time.) It turned out to be one of the best wine kits I recall producing, and my wife even liked it despite not being overly fond of red wine. That was about 16 years ago now, and my wife has begun to enjoy more red wines, though that one always stands out in our memory, particularly after we had aged it for a year or so. It was kind of sad to drink the last bottle and know there wouldn’t be any more. I made another kit of the same type a couple of years ago. We enjoyed that wine, but it didn’t quite hit the same level as that original one. And over all that time, we’ve never had a real Chateauneuf-du-Pape. But I’m going to fix that, real soon. Last week I picked up a bottle of La Fiole du Pape: it’s perhaps not the best Chateauneuf out there, but the bottle definitely stands out. And the occasion warrants something noteworthy.

We’re celebrating 20 years. As reflected on June 4th in the past (in one of my favorite posts, btw), this was the day in 1989 not just of the Tiananmen Square massacre, it was also the day my wife and I were married.

When I think back now, it’s difficult — as it always is on those round-numbered anniversaries — to imagine that we’ve come all this way together. I naturally attribute this to my wife’s good qualities outweighing my bad ones. It’s the same reason we can maintain any friendships as a couple. She’s more good than I am bad, and that’s saying a whole lot. So for us, it’s a day of thanksgiving and to remember the good times and blessings of the past 20 years. True, there have been many tough times that we’ve weathered together, but today is mainly for remembering the good ones, and for being thankful. For my part though, even remembering the tough times makes me thankful to have had such an outstanding woman by my side.

And the good times? Well, I’m looking forward to the next 20 years and more. I know my wife will read this post, and to her my message is one of love and thanks for sharing the walk of our lives these past 20 years. I don’t know where I’d be without her, but I know how great it is to be in the privileged place to be where I am at her side. And still crazy, after all these years. Happy anniversary, wife — thanks for being here with me, sharing that special vintage.

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