Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Buddy Pass

With apologies for not writing from the road, let me just say I didn't have a nanosecond!!! So backing up to the takeoff, let me catch up now that I'm back, with a highly self-indulgent post!

Delta Business Class Elite. I am escorted to my seat, handed a menu, a warm washcloth, and a little white dish of warm nuts. A tray of glasses, filled with orange juice or champagne, follows; what would I like to drink?

I sip a glass of Casillero del Diablo Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon…Puente Alto Vineyard, Chile, 2008. “One of Chile’s famous Cabernets, named for the famed ‘Devil’s Cellar’—the private collection of one of the founding fathers of Chilean wine, Don Melchor. This one Bordeaux-like, with dusty cedar and lead pencil scents and dark cassis fruit on the palate.”

I’m not sure I noted the ‘lead pencil scents’…

Delta’s Master Sommelier writes on today’s wines: “I’ve chosen a mix of classical and cutting-edge selections so you have some fun choices, all of them excellent. We tested every wine in-flight to make sure it tastes just as good at altitude as on the ground. Enjoy!”

I sip while perusing the menu: salmon française or filet of beef? Lasagna Pasta Bites or Roasted Beef and Gravlax? I don’t even know what gravlax is.

I opt for the Filet of Beef, with grain mustard sauce, sweet potato wedges, zucchini and yellow squash. But first, the appetizer: shrimp with lemon grass and marinated hearts of palm, with roasted beets and blue cheese.

This is my second time in business class, and I love the irony of saving money with a buddy pass, in order to get treated luxuriously. I marvel at the fact that I, flat broke, get to indulge in such luxuries. I have not put a knife to my throat, as the Scriptures advise, but totally appreciate this first class meal, in Business Elite. What a pleasant way to begin a journey. And what a contrast it will prove to be, once I am in Italy.

Mat is sitting next to me, and comments, “It seems positively vulgar now to think of watching a movie.” Our quality of life has been raised beyond the banality of airplane movies by the fine dining. Mat turns to reading, I to poetry...until we both nod off for our brief airplane doze that will pass for a night’s sleep. In a few hours, the adventure begins…

Buddy pass, I love you!!!

And since I didn't have the wits to get a photo of the decadence, here is one of a far more simple, but simply wonderful, treat in Italy: the winter tangerines...

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