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At the end of today’s walk I stopped in at wineshop a mile or two from home. I’d never noticed it before. The sign out front offered tastings on Saturdays, and who am I to decline a gift of fate?

The bespectacled old man behind the counter–the owner, as it turned out–was a wizened caricature of Frenchness; his heavy accent was accented not only by a beret, but a black and white striped shirt. He poured as generously as he talked.

I left with two bottles, both old and storied. Walking back, the bag balanced precariously on my hip, I wondered into whose bellies–or cellars–the rest of each Italian barrel had been tipped. (I wondered this at yesterday’s dinner, too, over a plate of veal: who had the rest of the calf fed? Who else had it become?) It is strange what connects us.