After a particularly long and taxing day, there are few things that I enjoy more than a plate of well prepared food and a glass of good wine. Depending on my mood, this restorative ritual takes place either out with friends or in blissful solitude at home (assuming Paul is not around of course. If he is, then it is blissful near-solitude with a soul-soothing companion).
One evening quite a while ago I found my nerves frayed, my body tense and my energy depleted, from what exactly I cannot recall. I came home, collapsed briefly, and set about making my curative solitary meal. Given my emotional state, I can only assume that the meal consisted of some combination of pasta, sausage, garlic...it would have been The River Cafe's Penne With a Quick Sausage Sauce if I had my wits even remotely about me.
I felt that an accompaniment of a glass of hefty red wine was in order, so I pulled an unfamiliar looking bottle from the wine rack and popped it open. This selection method can be a bit of a crapshoot, as we seem to receive an extraordinary amount of unsolicited wine, beer and liquor (although considerably less so now that our wine distributor-neighbor has moved away) from various visitors and guests so one never knows about the selection. Plus which our apartment is absolutely stifling during the summer, which is of course not very kind to wine.
So, with a bit of trepidation I gave the wine a try. OK, as it turned out, although it probably could have benefited from one or two less sultry summer seasons. But no matter. I ended the evening feeling exceedingly placid.
Not long after, Paul returned from whatever far flung place work had taken him. A few hours after his return he asked after the now-missing bottle, which at that point was sitting on the kitchen counter half empty. As Paul is not a particular fan of wine, I became a tad worried. Turns out it had been a gift from the band Tool, one of his favorites, a special bottle from the vineyard owned by one of the members. Oops. I promised to find a way to keep the bottle around as a memento if nothing else.
Turns out that wine bottles make unbelievably perfect olive oil dispensers.The circumference of the bottle is sufficiently small such that I can easily pick it up with one hand while cooking, and the cylindrical shape suits me much better than the more square bottles that many olive oil producers insist on. The glass is dark, thus protecting the lovely oil from the ravages of light, the label is stamped directly on the glass, thus avoiding the whole tatty paper label problem, and the opening is the perfect fit for the flip top dispenser that I had picked up years before at Sur La Table but had never used due to the lack of an appropriately-sized vessel.
A silver lining had been successfully achieved.