It was a pretty normal dinner party until the corn on the cob was served. The corn was prepared by the host on the grill, wrapped in aluminum foil, which makes it all the more tasty and all the more chewy. It was the trademark dish of the host so everyone was eager to bite into it. You have all had it – delicious, some parts a little brown from the grill and bathed in butter and salt and pepper. The wine had been flowing freely and it was the good stuff from all the local celebrities. Our teeth were purple and the now-eaten corn was wedged between every tooth of every guest. It was like a scene from The Wine Spectator or Sunset Magazine. But with all the corn remnants still stuck in the teeth, now what?
To the rescue came one of the guests. An otherwise demure and sophisticated woman came forth with the floss. But rather than cutting off a piece for each of the 12 guests, she produced one long strand of dental floss that she stretched all the way around the table. And, we all used it. Yes, a group of mature and successful adults happily sat around the dinner table using one 20-foot piece of floss to remove corn from their molars. Each of us had our own little section of the floss but it was one of the more compelling team-building activities I have seen although it was difficult to floss well while laughing so hard.
Later at the same dinner party, two women decided to exchange dresses. Each of them had been admiring the other’s outfit all evening so they shrugged and discreetly put on the other’s dress. When they re-emerged at the dinner party there was a roar of approval and the sharing party just went on.
Wine glasses are a sharing opportunity, too. How often do we hear, “Is this wine glass mine?” After checking for lipstick that may affirm the original owner, the new owner shrugs and happily fills the glass in hand. No matter the amount of jewelry on the stem, or names embossed on the glass, or how we try to hide the glass so no one else will use it; wine glasses end up being shared. The wine is shared, too. We bring bottles of wine to share that people in other parts of the world would horde for individual consumption and never share.
We share cat food with racoons and skunks. We share the entire yard with gophers. We share water, although that is becoming more of an issue as the drought continues. We share the road (or at least try to) with every marathoner, bicycle race and other activity one of which seems to occur on every weekend. We share vegetables from the garden, all of which ripen on the same day. We share our money when it comes to auctions and benefits that are too important to turn down.
Sharing sets a tone in wine country that makes it a better place. We share winemakers, we share expensive winemaking equipment, we share warehouse facilities, we share knowledge about dirt and vines and everything wine. And when there is a fire, earthquake or other emergency, we share everything we can. About the only thing no one will share is a Felco pruner.
Some may say that much of the sharing hereabouts is not as much about generosity as it is about wine, and sometimes too much of it. My favorite people are the ones who share the most. Generosity is a highly underrated trait and best comes to light when there are sharing opportunities. Like here. Sharing happens every day in wine country and it is a good thing.
Rich Moran enjoys considering the small things that matter in wine country — like flossing.