A Magical Night and A Bottle of Bordeaux

A Magical Night and A Bottle of Bordeaux

This week I went into my cellar to pull out a nice bottle of wine. I was home with my adult daughter and a girlfriend and we were celebrating just being together.  As I was looking through the bottles, I stumbled upon a bottle of 1995 Bordeaux,  a smile slid across my face as the story of that bottle started playing out in my mind.

It was July 13th, 1999 and the eve of our first French National Holiday. We had moved to France just months before and had decided to go local putting our daughter in the neighborhood school. That night we went out to the renowned cheese Restaurant Baud et Millet. I remember that evening like it was yesterday. There was a festive feeling in the air, it was warm, everyone was out, Carli was wearing a navy blue dress with white piping, and her hair had a bow in it. I was trying my newly learned French with the waiter, and Carli was trying everything on the table. She has always been a little gourmet. 

The man serving us asked us how long we were staying in his beautiful city. I said, "I don't know sir. We just moved here." He became intrigued by Carli, by the fact that I was putting her in a local school and kept asking questions. As we were about to pay, he asked Carli, "How old are you?" She answered three. He then said, "Good year!" Walked over and took a nice bottle of 1995 Bordeaux off the shelf and gave it to us. He said, "Madame, this is for your little girl, it is a good year, she was born in that year, this is for her to remember her first year in France and how it will change her life."

I don't think he knew how much our lives would change but the night was magical and somehow the magic of what we were doing, our carefree daredevil attitude, our eyes twinkling with excitement spread to him. An opportunity came, a door slid open, we were bold and walked through it, never looking back.

In France, I also learned to love Edith Piaf. Her song Non, je ne regrette rien (No, I regret nothing) pretty much sums up how life should be... charge ahead and regret nothing learning from your past because it is all about the adventure and the experiences. On rough days I have to remind myself of this and I think I found that bottle for a reason this week.

You might be asking if I opened that bottle? Not this time....it is Carli's, she earned it, she learned the languages, the cultures and she charmed the man. She will open it when she chooses to, I just hope I am with her.

—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife