Every second Wednesday, Travel Belles posts a question for their "Across the Cafe Table" section. Since I'm an official Belle (check out my monthly column if you haven't yet!), I'll be posting my response to the question when I've got something good to share!
This week, the question was:
What’s your favorite shopping find from your travels?
I'll admit that I'm not a big shopper for clothes or tchotchkes. I prefer to spend my limited funds on (what else?) WINE. So when I went to Italy, specifically to Montalcino, with MC Ice a few years ago, I was looking for a unique bottle to snag.
My rule when shopping for wine on a trip is that the purchase has to be something I can't get at home. Since more likely than not, I'll be rolling those bottles up in clothing in my suitcase (except when I go to California when I usually come home with a few cases and just check those suckers in baggage!), I have to choose wisely and make sure the stuff is pretty special.
On that particular trip, our guide showed us the facilities that made Brunello di Montalcino for export to the US and UK. Knowing there had to be other kinds of wine made at this place, I sidled up after the tour and in my broken and very rusty Italian, asked him if the Cantine made any wines just for Italians. He said they did, but that I wouldn't be interested since the taste wasn't anything like those with which I was familiar. I insisted, batted my eyelashes a bit, and he showed me and MC Ice to their little tasting room where we popped the local stuff in our mouths and promptly purchased 2 bottles. He was so happy we loved it and we were so happy to have found this secret stash!It was the 2002 vintage (the wine ages for about 5 years before it's released) and it's now almost 2012. So in July of next year the wine should be delicious and we'll drink it to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of our trip and the 7 year anniversary of our first date.
Wine is such a great thing to buy when you're away. I mean, who could ask for more than to find an item that will allow you to transport you back to happy times in your life for the hour you spend leisurely drinking the bottle?!
In many ways, wine is about shared experiences...and to me it's better than spending my money on an awesome purse or sexy shirt. I may not be the most fashionable girl out there, but the ability to get a taste of a great time in my life a few years later certainly makes me one of the happiest!
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