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Some of you have suggested I write a follow up on my last post “Pairing wines and books”, this time on pairing wine and poetry. Others have asked me for recommendations of wines to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. I am learning not to ignore a la Mubarak the wishes of my constituency, so here are some musings about both topics.

Luckily, I have come across three wines lately that you could serve to enjoy dinner aux chandeliers with a loved one. Each of them is so attractive that can be described through the work of my favorite poets.

The first one is Viña Ardanza reserva 2001, a classic Rioja that I had not drank in ages and that in 20011 has the most beautiful red color that can be imagined. It is so delicate that it reminded me of William Blake’s famous poem, “Love’s secret”, where he describes why love cannot, should not, be communicated, “Never seek to tell thy love / Love that never told can be/ For the gentle wind does move/ Silently, invisibly”.

The second wine is Jorge Ordoñez’s Volver 2008, from Castilla la Mancha, young and impetuous, like the passions full of demands and despair that John Hegley describes in his poems. In spite of its Almodovar name, Volver is a wine worth trying, that seduces you from the very first moment you taste it: “You stepped into the café / then you sat next to me/ I’d just ordered breakfast/ and you were my cup of tea (…) You said you painted portraits/ and you’d like a go at mine/ you said come up to my studio/ and be my turpentine”.

The third wine is Chivite Merlot Ecológico 2007, a new wine from this well-established winery in Navarre, made according to high ecological standards. Merlot is one of the grapes that always reminds me of why I love wine. Chivite has created a wine out of this world, delicate, pure, and worthwhile. It is one of those wines that you can remember with the verse “one hour was sunlit”, from Ezra Pound’s poem “Erat Hora”:

“Thank you, whatever comes”. And then she turned
And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers
Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes
One hour was sunlit and the most high gods
May not make boast of any better thing
Than to have watched that hour as it passed.

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