On January 1st, 2001 we woke up in a tent on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco.
As you might imagine, this is part of a much longer story.
We brought this bottle of wine back with us. The other night here in Portland in 2018, I opened it at last.
One doesn’t think of Morocco, or anywhere in the Muslim world as a place to go for fermented beverages. However, they love their tourist trade and we found people to generally be warm and welcoming. We also found there was some surprisingly decent local beer available, and we also found some wine.
So, what’s it like? Well, I doubt Les Celliers de Meknés expected anyone to hold on to this bottle this long. Somehow it didn’t go bad after all that rough travel and less-than-perfect handling. It’s got a soft mouth-feel. I’d say it’s a bit fruity with a touch of spice at the end.
But, that’s not really what’s important is it? Opening this bottle releases memories of adventures past and long lost friends. A Moroccan we met on our travels emailed us to express sympathy and friendship for America in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, for instance.
We smuggled Meighan into the festival in the trunk of our car. I learned to haggle, well enough that the locals told me I bargained like a Berber. We explored an ancient city made of mud and straw. A family adopted us for two days. We travelled with a couple of American guys whose name we forget, but at the time, we called them “Ren and Stimpy” behind their backs. Waiting for the Lord of the Flies moment at the poorly-organized festival. Pounding drums in a tent with the rambunctious African musicians. Having them asked for the drum back when they realized I have no rhythm.
Good times, good times…