Archive for November, 2009


She Had a Glass of the Grüner Veltliner

November 3, 2009

Kristan is one of those bookish types. An avid reader of the New York Times (print edition, mind you). A Ph.D. student studying international political science. Not really a fan of sports or drinking. Years from now, I will not remember a thing about Kristan. Our dates together were completely unremarkable. Except for one thing, she ordered a glass of Grüner Veltliner on our first date at Smith.

A few weeks ago, I knew nothing about Grüner Veltliners. I had no idea it was a grape. I had no idea it was a popular wine varietal in Austria. I was completely clueless. Then Paul served two Grüners the opening day of Full Pull. A customer, after tasting one of the Grüners from Paul, claimed that he tasted the color orange. Not the flavor of orange. But the color. Paul took home the leftover Grüners and we had them with dinner the following night.

When I got to Smith on the following Tuesday, Kristan was sitting across the room with a glass of white wine. Once we were passed the pleasantries and customary comments on the weather transitioning from summer to fall, I asked her which wine she ordered. She told me it was the Grüner Veltliner. When I told her about Paul, Full Pull, and the guy tasting the color orange when he tried the Grüner, she laughed.

Kristan was terribly shy. I felt like I was constantly asking her questions to avoid awkward silence. After two dates, I felt like I had literally asked her every question I could think of asking. I know at one point the Hydron Collider came up in conversation. I was grasping for anything.

Deep down I knew she and I were not a good fit. But I was feeling a little lonely. So I called her to ask her out for dinner. I asked her how she was doing and if she wanted to grab dinner on Friday. She sighed and said, “I hate doing this over the phone.”

I know the fact that she ordered a glass of Grüner Veltliner was coincidence. But for those fleeting seconds during our first date, it seemed like it would be the story we told our friends on how we met.