P&V Radio: Sharon Griffitts & Henry Natter Sancerre Rouge
Sharon and I met on May 14, 1976 at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. I don't remember that day, but she says that I was small but healthy, and apparently hungry because I gained weight during my stay. Most infants lose weight in the first few days of life outside the womb. Yes, I've made a podcast with my mother.
Before you roll your eyes and snide, How cute, I implore you to consider listening to this episode of Pig&Vine Radio. My mother graduated from medical school in 1975, just one of 10 women in a total class size of 140. She was also the first in her family to attend college. That she was a kind of pioneer in our country's second greatest feminist movement has been foundational in forming my two sisters and I into the women we've become. Determined, individual, headstrong and, in our own ways, give zero fucks about what others have to say about how we live our lives. While I personally struggle with that last one more than I'd like to admit, I can always look to Sharon for leadership on how to fall back into my own line. Even, and maybe especially, when that line deviates from hers.
We recorded this episode on her back deck in Florence, Alabama, a couple of weeks ago. It didn't occur to me until later how timely the conversation was given the global Women's March two days ago. There was a time when my mother did not think of herself as a feminist, though I always thought she'd make a great poster gal for the movement. Maybe she didn't organize and protest but she raised hell on Sharon time. Oh, the stories I could tell... "We should all be feminists," she says in our conversation, a term she now embraces.
We talk about what it was like to be the minority gender at med school, alongside lawyer, Nasa mathematician and missionary-bound women. But it was the dudes who taught her how to drink Scotch neat, and only neat. She shares memories of visiting the Robert Mondavi winery in 1978 and drinking half-bottles of Deinhard Green Label riesling, which I think is still around.
"To, me, being a physician is part of a special brotherhood and sisterhood," she says. As an ER doc, she's collected many tales over the years, which I hope she'll some day write down, or record. She shares two good ones in this episode. One thing that didn't make the final edit is one of her pet peeves. If you have a bug bite, don't take it to her in the emergency room, especially in the middle of the night. She hates that.
Henry Natter Sancerre Rouge
Sancerre rouge is one of my favorite appellations, by law made from 100% pinot noir in the Loire Valley. This was a 2012 so it had a little age on it already, adding additional interesting layers of aroma and flavor. Black cherry fruit notes with substantial mineral-earthy aromas combined with soft tannins and good acidity made this wine a perfect podcast quaff. I like a red I can drink without food, especially in this scenario. It's challenging enough to pull off a decent sounding amateur recording without adding the munch factor to the mix. But it's more than an easy drink; the Natter rouge is nuanced with complexity that unfolded as the conversation opened up. Imagine what it would do over a good meal.