“Michel is in the hospital,” the voice said. My palate suddenly dried up as Michel’s mother described his condition. I warned him about that motorcycle. Michel is a closet-nerd guised in supreme wine snobbery. What the hell is he doing on a motorcycle? I worried about him like a sister.
We met years ago at Laurenzo’s Italian American Supermarket where he worked in wine sales. There he hid in those Sicilian catacomb-style aisles, reading a wine chemistry book. He moved on to Total Wine & More where he became a wine pimp, his syrah-colored skin and Steve Urkel-esque mystic betraying that white boy accent and stalwart understanding of the Old World palate.
I watched clients scoot down aisles, baskets filled with Michel’s suggestions. Whenever I asked for my usual—dark fruit, sweet spice, round, yummy reds, Michel rolled his eyes.
But right before the accident, he suggested the 2009 Mollydooker The Scooter Merlot. The cola and eucalyptus aromas leaped from a gorgeous, rich violet color. On the palate, there were sumptuous spiced bun, dried cranberry and black pepper flavors.
This wine warms the palate like pashmina during these faux Miami winters. So does Michel, who has fully recovered and mastered the wicked-wine eye roll.
$23 @ Total Wine & More, 14750 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, 305-354-3270.
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