Adagio in White: A Nebbiolo Microstory

I don’t know if you’ve ever had occasion to stand along Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue when winter’s white fractures against the interruption of bare tree branches. But, I can tell you that there are fewer places where crow black hair and dark up-slanted eyes can look more stunning.

Cold, it turns out, is neither good nor desirable for violins, Chinese take-out or the university music student trying to carry them. When all three hit the ground, I offer an assist. Back at her apartment, with cups of black tea and passages of J.S. Bach’s Adagio in G Minor, she repays the kindness.

I am four years and six rows from center stage. Sitting in the best seat I can afford. Seeing her take the stage, I realize I was wrong: she looks stunning here, too.

Silence. Then, the beautiful, organized chaos of the orchestra tuning. Suddenly, the clean sound of “A” at 440 cycles per second fills the space.

They say an instrument’s strings, when in tune, vibrate in sympathetic reaction.

I shiver.

I can think of far better endings than sitting here alone, TV on mute, Barolo unwinding in the glass, Amy Winehouse in the background reminding me that Love Is A Losing Game.

Nebbiolo is so fucking astounding.

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