Two bottles of wine, 100+ corks and an engagement later!
Our story started with a mutual passion: wine. I met Raphaël one buzzy evening at a club in New York and when he asked if I wanted to get dinner with him a few days later, I decided to say yes. After a day of work, I quickly sprayed on some perfume and headed over to Piccola Cucina in Soho to meet this stranger who would quite literally change my life. The menu and wine list arrived and the daunting question was asked,
“What kind of wine do you want to drink? What do you enjoy?”
This was not only a daunting question because we were on a date (and I was set on impressing him) but also because Raphaël is French (from Bordeaux) and just so happened to be the president of a prestigious wine club.
We settled on an easy option, a Chianti, and spent the next five hours sipping two bottles between us and talking about everything from life, travel, food, friends and family. Now, I’m not a nostalgic, or particularly romantic person, but after that date I decided to save the cork because I had never had such an incredible first date and wanted a keepsake.
After that first date, every weekend Raphaël came to see me in New York, he would bring a bottle of wine for me to learn more about wine. He’d teach me about the origin of the wine, how to explore the taste notes and how to pair the specific bottle. Each week, I kept the cork and made a note of the date we had the wine, as well as the occasion.
Fast forward two years later - we were on a beach in the Maldives on New Years’ Eve. We had ordered an Amarone - a mutual favourite for the special occasion when he asked me to take a walk on the beach. In a spontaneous and romantic whirlwind, Raphaël got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. When we returned to the table, he grabbed the muselet from our champagne bottle and placed it on my ring finger as a temporary engagement ring.
Today - we have a vase on our fireplace filled with corks ranging from our first date, birthdays, to the day we moved in together, to the muselet and cork of the night we got engaged, and now even - a savōr cork from the first bottle we enjoyed!