Jill and I had dinner last night with Marquette and Rick McKnight. It was a great night. We started at the Meritage Cafe for a small Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley reception to welcome Bahia Ramos-Synnott from the Knight Foundation and moved from there to Tapatini’s at Meritage for dinner.
Besides getting to have dinner with our good friends, the evening is the closest thing we’ve had to a “normal” date night in a very long time. If I closed my eyes and dreamed last night, I could see myself completely well and out of danger from cancer. We laughed a lot, told stories and bathed in the comfortable glow that can only come from deep, real friendship.
I got delegated the official wine orderer for the night, so I did the right thing — I called Faye Simmons over and tapped into her extensive knowledge of all things grape. Faye is a certified sommelier and she really knows wine. She’s particularly knowledgeable about the wines in her cellar.
Here’s what I ordered: “Faye, I want a bold, jammy pinot noir that costs $40 or less.” She brought out a Praxis California pinot noir that was exactly perfect. Jill ordered a beet salad, Marquette ordered a cheese board, Rick ordered pork and I got chicken piccata. We all chose the small plate option, since we had been nibbling earlier at the reception.
The food was excellent and paired well with the wine. Meritage is a local jewel. We have precious few great fine dining spots in our area and these good people need our business. I would consider it a personal favor if you would pick a date and go out to dinner at one of the Meritage rooms.
In addition to being a loyal advertiser in our magazines, Faye has spent many years doing the work to certify as a sommelier, so that she can bring added value to her diners. She has poured her heart, soul and checkbook into her business and the dining experience there is really special. Please go, and let Faye know that I asked you to support Meritage.
The Praxis pinot noir was so memorable that I asked Faye if I could take home the empty bottle to add to my collection of special bottles. I want to remember what it feels like to be on a date with the most beautiful girl at the party. I want to be able to conjure that warm glow and forget cancer. It really was a nice night.
So, I dropped the bottle in my back seat and headed home. I had an early morning this morning. I shot photos for one of our publications at the Children’s Miracle Network at The Medical Center’s Reindeer Run. When I parked my car, I went into one of the rear doors to get a camera out of a jacket pocket and knocked the empty wine bottle out onto the street. It clanged, rattled and rolled toward the curb and landed just behind my front, left tire. I got down on my knees and retrieved it and before I got up, I raised my eyes just far enough to make solid eye contact with a Columbus Police Department policeman on a Harley Davidson motorcycle who was tasked with closing the road for the race.
He didn’t say anything with his mouth, but with a shake of his head, he said volumes about what he thought might be going on over on my side of the street. I got a chuckle over that one.
So, in tribute to Meritage and the great night we had last night, listen to Pink’s song, “Raise Your Glass.” It is a great anthem to good times with a beautiful wife and friends.