Sunday, October 21, 2007

Viva Espana

Passion is not confined to certain parts of the country, or the world for that matter. I grew up in a very small town in Illinois. Wine was on the table, yes, but it didn't play a bigger role than the food did. It was just there, much like salt a pepper. I can remember my grandmother, Ta, bringing wine home from Spain. Specifically the Torres Sangre de Toro, which is widely available all over the country. But back then it was exotic. I can remember just staring at the bottle, and the little black bull hanging from the neck. It was just simply the most mesmerizing thing I had ever seen. This bottle, and the wine inside, was actually from another part of the world. A place where I would grow up to eventually see, but at the time it was a place I could only imagine. I felt a connection to Spain, and the wine. Ta would talk about Spain as if it were a relative. The country played a role in the stories of family, memories that she gathered over a lifetime. Invariably this storytelling time would revolve around a meal she was preparing for us, the food nurturing our bellies and the words nurturing our hearts. Maybe that is why Sangre de Toro will always have a special place in my heart. Every time I see the bottle I think of Ta. Every time I hold the bull in my hand I think of my Spain.