You know you're sitting with the right people when the inaugural conversation is about a party last weekend and the question of the moment is, "Who got naked first?" The answer comes as no surprise. These are your friends, after all, and isn't that what one aspect of friendship is about: familiarity and the ability to deduce how your favorite humans will behave in extreme situations? Even better is to participate in this activity at Frazer's, a Benton Park institution that never fails to deliver on its humble promises: fresh fish, rich pasta, perfectly imagined salads and good wine.
Wanton skinny-dipping excluded, there is nothing better in this enchanted world than sitting at a big table with great friends and shooting the breeze and laughing hard and drinking something as exquisite as Robert Pecota's Moscato d'Andrea, a dessert wine from Napa Valley that seems to have been poured from Heaven above. Word is, in fact, that those of us who land wings in the eternal Rousseau rainforest will be swimming in pools of white muscat, a wine so exquisite that it, and not gold, should be the monetary standard.
Muscat is a family of grapes, and Pecota's d'Andrea, named after his daughter, is created from a variety with a very high sugar content, which is why it's served as a dessert wine. ("It's candy!" one of our party marvels. "The little bottle's so cute! Like a serving for one!" adds another.) How do you draw a rope around magic? Delicately, of course. At Frazer's, Moscato d'Andrea is served ice-cold, in a little aperitif glass. It glides across the palate with an extremely concentrated flavor, a combination of apple, apricot and peach accents that combine to create a very specific kind of bliss, the kind that makes you feel giddy to be alive.
Sip it -- there's no reason to gulp -- and the flavor gushes forth. If, as the Talking Heads submit, "Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens," let this nothing be filled with beautiful naked people with burning hearts and a perfect, bottomless bottle of Moscato d'Andrea.
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