One of the key fascinations about the Wine Goddess is that she never ceases to surprise me even after more than two decades of marriage.
She hates to be cooped up in a room — any room — unless she is reading a food magazine, entertaining, or charting out a garden strategy for new plantings in the backyard. So I was somewhat surprised when she told me she’d be taking a painting class, led by a real-life artist from Lowell’s ever-growing creative community.
“Are you retiring from work?”, I asked my wife, “or are you considering a second career?”
We were sitting in the pergola drinking a cool and refreshing Peach Bellini (3 oz. Mionetto Prosecco, 2 oz. white peach puree) made famous at Harry’s Bar in Venice. Three clouds, two robins, and a fat chipmunk passed by before the silence was punctured with a mysterious yet gracious reply.
“I might become an artist and I might not. I’m not sure,” said the Wine Goddess.
I could just imagine the new “things” moving into the house — paints, brushes, easels, big and small artist’s canvases. My knee-jerk reaction was to down my Bellini and quickly pour another.
She’s going to want a studio next, I thought. Should I ask her now or should I wait until the entire pitcher of Bellinis has disappeared and made me groggy?
I contemplated calling a good friend, Lowell artist Janet Lambert Moore. I would appeal to Janet to bring the Wine Goddess back to her senses — but then I thought better of it. What if Janet was a co-conspirator in this plot against me and the sweet serenity I now enjoyed? Tread carefully, I thought, but tread quickly before the artist’s supply books start arriving in the mail.
Where’s the Wine Butler (Mike Pigeon) when I need him, I asked myself? Is he picking strawberries again? How long does that season last anyway?
I was starting to hyperventilate when the Wine Goddess, sensing my growing discomfort, intervened with the loving mercy of a good and gentle wife.
“I’m not retiring and I’m not becoming an artist,” she said, putting extra emphasis on each “not” like I was hard of hearing. “I’m going to take a fun class where you get to drink wine while you learn to paint. There’s music and the instructor is a professional artist. I might paint a daylilly from the garden. I’m not sure. The class lasts two hours.”
The color rushed back to my cheeks. I considered doing a touchdown dance and spiking my Bellini. The joy of it all. No studio. No messy paint-splattered aprons. Relax, I said to myself. Maintain your dignity, for crying out loud.
I took a deep breath.
“Ah, my little Michelangelessa, I’m so proud of you,” I finally said, taking her sculpted, artist’s hand in mine. “Sure, take the class. It’ll be relaxing and you never know what it might lead to. Art by the Wine Goddess. I can see it now, a signed daylily original auctioned at Sotheby’s for 2 million clams.”
She smiled as only she can smile, the smile I’ve loved for all these years.
With that I called for another round of Bellinis, satisfied that the peace and tranquility of our happy home was as safe and secure as van Gogh’s right ear.
Read about Jim Campanini’s wine-buying binge at: http://blogs.lowellsun.com/winenovice.
Lowell’s Tutto Bene Wine & Cheese Cellars will launch its “The Art of Wine” program on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in which participants finish a painting in the 2-hour session, while also enjoying three wine selections and light hors d’ouerves. The cost is $35 per person and includes painting supplies, canvas and wine. A professional artist from Lowell’s art community will lead the class which is open to all skill levels.
Tutto Bene has expanded its canal side Prescott Street location to the front side, where The Art of Wine class will be held.
“We’re building a theme of a fun, social night out,” said Ellen Andre, Tutto Bene’s co-owner with Dick Rourke. “Participants will get step-by-step art instruction and end the evening with a completed painting that is theirs to take home. They’ll also learn a bit about wine.”
Classes will be held each Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. To register or obtain more information, contact Tutto Bene at 978-459-9463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited.
Watch a video of The Art and Wine program below: