Despite the long days of confinement, geeking out with a wine book is a special occasion. Given my academic objective, I am often immersed in a textbook of some sort; however, on a typical day, I am in an isolation bubble two meters apart from the nearest learner in a reading room (les salles de lecture) at Francois Mitterrand Library. The ambience transforms my cluttered mind into that of a steadfast academic. Les salles pocket long corridors of sunset orange carpet and modern art covered walls. Each end of the hall is capped with a large clearing once filled with lounging, lunching students now roped off in the familiar way that every public gathering space is condemned to desolation in the hazardous days, months, year and then some of the pandemic.

Commitments of another kind kept me home today. Home: where I detest the monotony of sameness but cannot abandon the comfort of familiarity. My book is here! After six days’ wait, here she is. By chance I have a lovely Burgundy to sip for the occasion. I cannot remember the last time I sat, by lamplight, in my corner chair to appreciate the smell of printed words on unblemished paper and the crackling sound of each turned page.

I do not know if this is a good thing. I worry it may not be. Am I habituating to a new normal in seclusion? Now that I’ve binged all the late-night streaming I can stomach am I going to grieve the rediscovered passions brought back to console me in this time of involuntary patience? Will there be melancholy when the world is right side up again? Melancholy for confinement? No. No way. But maybe for some of the little things I see, feel, learn and recall in the endless days of life stood still. Maybe. Who sang Michelle? There is a soothing instrumental playing now. It is late – midnight - and my glass is half as full as it was 20 minutes ago. Everything is going to be ok.

2017 Saint-Aubin 1er cru, Les Murgers des Dents de Chien, Domaine Bernard Prudhon

This wine is a golden sunrise bursting with flavors of ripe melon, tangerine and pineapple cooled by creamy vanilla and walnut - all pleasingly embraced by a notable acidity and worthy abv. In fact, the alcohol could use a little more time to harmonize with the ensemble but by no means is it offensive in its current presentation. Overall, the wine is charming. Given its potential there is only elegance to gain over the long quiet days of the near future.