We were waiting for the bus to take us to Haneda Airport. We were running a bit late, and our flight to Shanghai was leaving in 2 hours. If the bus ran late, we'd miss the flight; if we missed the flight, we'd have to wait until the next day; and if we didn't arrive in Shanghai that day . . . well, then there was no point in going to Shanghai at all. Sometimes I get the feeling that my family (in China) thinks that all it takes for us to fly over is to wait for a good deal on ticket prices. I enjoy traveling over to see everyone, but I'd like for them to experience North American airport security and customs just once.
So I was freaking out a bit, and wondering (aloud) why we didn't call for a taxi (like I suggested the night before). I was told to shut up and wait - the bus schedule said 3:17 pm, and it was only 3:15. And would you believe it . . . the bus shows up literally 10 seconds after 3:17. Proving to me yet again that few peoples in the world are as reliable as the Japanese. Legendary. I'm firmly convinced that to be reliable is one of the most important character traits to have. And it's not just about being honest and dependable and being true to your word; it's doing all that consistently.
The great wines of the world achieve that reliability. And I'm not talking so much about specific producers as I am in a broader sense about appellations and general typicities. How does a wine like Mosel or Barolo or Volnay achieve its reputation? It's certainly not the work of a single or few producers, but rather the entire community that consistently produces wines of a singular expression and character, vintage after vintage. That's what a great wine is.
All silliness aside, something needs to be said about these honest, authentic, humble Chiantis. Incredible, simply incredible. Is there truth to the idea that maybe sometimes these inexpensive bottlings are the most interesting? I can certainly argue that for this bottle. Such a humble wine, yet singing of sangiovese in all its earthy glory. Maybe a bit coarse, but elegance can be overrated. Refinement is only so if it's not overdone. And this is nothing if not honest.
We ended up making it to Shanghai fine. As we were leaving, my aunt remarked that in Japan, no one's in a rush; everyone knows that everything runs exactly on schedule. Reliability.