I’m tired tonight… Last night Jon and I got home from a trip to Chelan, Washington, where our lungs were subjected to a thick cloud of smoke hanging heavy in the air from the wildfires that are burning too close to people’s homes and lives. There was a fire burning 10 miles outside of town, and although the flames weren’t visible because it is on the other side of a ridge, the stagnant air was heavy with smoke. You want the wind to pick up and blow the smoke away, but you can’t hope for that, because it would make the fire spread that much more quickly.
I headed over on Tuesday for a work conference, and Jon followed on Friday for what we hoped would be a weekend of hiking, wine tasting and enjoying what is sure to be one of the last beautiful summer weekends in Washington. Unfortunately, the fires eliminated any chance of getting good hiking in, both because many of the state parks are closed due to the fire danger, and because my lungs and my asthma were feeling the effects of the smoky air. So we went wine tasting and had a leisurely, non-active weekend. I’ll be sure to post more about the trip soon.
After arriving home, my oldest cat Martini was so excited to see me she didn’t want to let me out of her sight. She lay down with me at bedtime, and was purring so loudly that I thought she was going to overheat and explode! Actually, I joke about it now, but I was really quite worried, because her purring was so raspy and heavy that I was concerned that she had some sort of a respiratory infection. Her breathing was quite labored, and she would not stop purring. Normally, when I wake up in the middle of the night I pet her a little, but I didn’t want to pet her for fear that she would NEVER stop purring! She purred for hours… Right in my ear… this raspy, labored purring. I thought my first call in the morning would have to be to the vet.
Thankfully, at 4 in the morning (yes, I was awake that whole time, worried about the respiratory infection…) she finally settled down and went to sleep. And I could finally get some too. Today her breathing was fine. So I guess I have to chalk it up to her just being that glad to have her momma home. Whoever said cats are aloof has never met mine.
Tonight I am sipping Blue Heron, by St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, Michigan. St. Julian claims to be Michigan’s oldest winery, and I have no reason to doubt that it is. St. Julian was founded as Border City Wine Cellars in Ontario, Canada in 1921. In 1934, after Prohibition was repealed, owner Mariano Meconi moved the winery across the river to Detroit. By this time, the name had been changed to Meconi Wine Company. Next came a move to the other side of the state in 1936, to Paw Paw, Michigan, which is in the southwest corner, and one of the state’s best wine growing regions. With the move to Paw Paw, he changed the name to the Italian Wine Company – geez, make up your mind!
He changed the name one more time to St. Julian Winery in 1941, in response to the anti-Italian sentiment that was growing during World War II (ok, I gotta give that one to him). St. Julian was the patron saint of the town of Faleria, Italy, where Mariano Meconi was born, so he honored his old hometown with the last name change. So, from 1921 until today – this winery has been producing wine for over 90 years! That’s pretty good!
Anyway, Blue Heron is a blend of Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Riesling, and is labeled a semi-sweet wine. I actually consider it to be a sweet white, with a nose of floral scents and honey. It tastes of tart, crisp apple and honey. It reminds me quite a bit of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s everyday Riesling, which is one of my favorite inexpensive, night-at-home wines. Jon picked this one up in Michigan at the grocery store, without knowing anything about it, and for $6.99 for the bottle, he scored!
So, with that, I’m going to finish off my Blue Heron and head to bed. Hopefully, there will be no purring…