The Stars of Quaintness

Was I seeing stars? Or just the future? My first time in “la cave” was in 2007, and the vintner (the uncle of a friend) asked, “What’s the year of your birth?” I told him after some pause, unsure of why he had asked. To this day, I have no idea why he opened that moldy bottle for us. I had no idea what Chinon should taste like or what I should say. It was one of those experiences you just have to photograph because otherwise you’ll look back and wonder if it was all just a dream. I know it wasn’t. But when you feel so undeserving of such gifts, it makes the reality of good things seem unbearably good. Even the chill inside “la cave” that April evening felt gracious. And though across the Loire from the more notable Saumur, there is greatness that masquerades as quaintness. Who cares whether the chairs are plastic and your coat is from H&M when you’ve just had a 1989 bottle opened just because. Okay, well, maybe the bottle we drank wasn’t exactly that young. But I was definitely seeing stars.