LennandnenaTen days from this evening, on July 8th, Nena and I will be standing together on a covered bridge in Schoharie, NY, surrounded by the people that mean the most to us as we are joined in marriage.

It is certainly cliche, but when I met Nena almost four years ago, I knew instantly that my search was over. I knew that I had found my best friend for life and the woman I would grow old with. What started back then as a first date at a sushi restaurant has grown into the relationship we’ve both looked for all our lives.

Nena, in these four years, you’ve always pushed me to pursue the things that I love. You recognized my passion for wine and wine writing probably before I even did, because you certainly know me better than I know myself. You brought it out in me with shared love and longing for the best in food and the best in wine. We’ve learned so much together and from one another, none of my modest success writing for local papers would have ever happened without you…and for that I thank you and will always be grateful.

You inspire and challenge me every day. Whether telling me that it’s important to drink non-Long Island wine, reminding me that complicated food isn’t always better or making one of the delicious dishes that I simply can’t replicate, you are infinitely tolerant of my obsessive, quirky tendencies. You always bring me back to reality but at the same time push me to dream and pursue them. And of course your deft palate for white wines adds unbelievable detail to my tasting notes.

Nena, you mean the entire world to me and more. I can’t imagine my life without you. But, I can only assume it would be a dreary, boring, un-inspiring world filled with bad take-out and little fun.

You are my best friend, the love of my life and my muse. I can’t wait to become your husband and begin our lives together as man and wife. I love you with all my being and know that I always will.