We learned to drink wine in the summer of 2008 on the front porch of our little yellow house by making variations of Tinto de Verano with Orange Fanta, San Pellegrino, and 2-Buck Chuck Red. Barefoot and sunburned, we’d crank Van Morrison and leave all the windows open, making up names to constellations and hoping the boys from next door would swing by. Fireflies would blink and we could hear the far-off roar of the train mixed with a symphony of cricket chirps and oak trees quaking in the humid summer breeze. Tinto de Verano: the color of summer.
This past Friday night was the first time I’d had Tinto in quite a while. We ordered a pitcher of it and talked about summer beach and lake trips, new jobs, hard days, baby names. No constellations to be named or boys to wait on (at least not ones next door) but in an instant we were back.