Break the mold

This one earned a half glass.My heart is heavy tonight as I sip a glass of Sawtooth’s 2006 Chardonnay past its prime, and it’s got me pondering the similarities between life and wine. I know what you’re thinking, “Wine and life might be a bit of a stretch don’t you think?” But the reality is this; every varietal, every vintage is as unique, perfect and flawed just as each and every one of us right down to how we are labeled. It’s hard to know what to expect when you open a new bottle of vino regardless of any preconceived notions. Maybe it’s a fast favorite at first sip, maybe it just takes a little time to grow on you, or perhaps it’s awful, and you’re bitterly disappointed with the attempt. Life’s a little like that. We don’t know what to expect with each new day and experience. Sometimes life is one bad bottle of wine after another, but more often than not, each day and new experience or challenge we might face is a beautiful blend of balance.

We attended a memorial this evening to celebrate a man I had never met, and I have to admit that I wish I would have been as lucky as the masses in attendance to have known and loved him so dearly. It is clear after witnessing the endearing chuckles of laughter, sniffles between tears and sighs of sadness with each narration of memories that this man’s spirit was like that of a fine wine. His essence, scientific created through thoughtful passion, time and diligence will live on through his efforts just as the vines from this bottle of chardonnay. Think about it. We all have the ability to leave an amazing legacy for future generations.

Tonight’s service reminded me that life is meant to be lived uncorked. And that each moment should be breathed in deeply, without judgment or reservation and shared freely. My intent is not to encourage anyone to run off and join the circus, drop off the grid or become a snake charmer. After all, the vast majority of us have responsibilities to tend to and deadlines to meet. But, I do want to stir the notion that we all have lingering dreams or interests that seem to, for whatever the reason, get lost in the hum drum of our everyday lives (myself included) which yearn to be fulfilled. And quite frankly, there is no better time to make them a reality than in the present, for if not now, then when? The man I never met was keenly aware that time stands still for no one. I am no one, and so are you.

According to the folks at cellarsnotes.net, a higher-priced bottle of chardonnay ($25 or more) should be consumed within 3 to 5 years, whereas a $10 bottle should be consumed right away. This mini bottle, of “The Coeur d’ Alene” Sawtooth 2006 Chardonnay, was only $2.99 at our local Grocery Outlet. A more current vintage, 2009, sells for about $9 a bottle, and it doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out the mini bottle, while positively adorable, is every bit past its prime. And you know what? It isn’t horrible, and I’ve had horrible. It has distinct notes of vanilla, pineapple and tropical fruit with crisp acidity. In its heyday, I bet it was downright fabulous, but we will never know will we? At the end of the day, it was yet another wine adventure for a wine slob, and I’m happy to have risen to the challenge.

I encourage each and every one of you to join me in broadening both our circle and imagination and think about what has yet to come to pass; to make time and take the time to live the life we yearn to live and explore the possibilities of what we are truly capable of. The only thing any of us have to lose is time. What are you still doing here? Don’t you have a mold to break? Cheers!

Aromatique: Tropical fruits and vanilla notes

SipQuips: Clean finish, with pineapple, peach and a hint of vanilla

Kitchen Couplings: Would go well with pasta, chicken or fish. Or if your in the mood for a simpler fair of hummas, cucumbers and pita bread or a variety of cheese, crackers and fresh pear.

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