With this 100th blog post, a brief word of thanks to anyone who has traveled with me virtually through my adventures.
To the boredom and apathy of my sons, when we took our epic vacation throughout New Mexico, I made a few stops along the way at some tasty wineries. From the days of the Spanish monks, wine making in the Land of Enchantment developed into my favorite flowing nectars from Deming to Velarde to Embudo to Tularosa. And along the way on our family expedition, I sampled many varieties, purchased a few bottles, and delighted in all the mildly delightful intoxication of the experience. For me, more than one sense comes alive when I open myself to the experience of traveling. The sights are worth seeing, but the tastes, the fragrances, and the sounds combine to make my adventures extraordinary.
Half a decade later, while skirting another grape-heavy region, I visited several Washington State wineries, and even dabbled in the wines of Western Montana. On the southern end of the Flathead Lake in Montana a family-owned winery served a wonderful history of its vineyards, while the Glacier Peak Winery packed up Siegerrebe as a parting pleasure from the Skagit River Valley in Washington. When I finally poured the last glass from the last bottle of the wonderful white wine, I set the tall, thin, green-glass decanter on the corner of my writing table, and there it continues to sit today reminding me of the voyage and the vintage, both of which I cherish.
I recall a story, but it’s really more of a parable, about a man and his wife and how they traveled and bought wines from all over the world. When they would return home, they would shelf these precious souvenirs and save every delectable drop for the most special occasions. In time, the wife became ill and as her condition deteriorated, so did the collection of wines. When she finally passed away, the husband found himself alone with a myriad of vintages most of which had lost their flavor, and their joyful sentiments. His lesson to others: drink the wine. From then forward, he never gave a bottle of wine as a gift without glasses so that it would be consumed upon receipt.
What did I learn from this lesson? Drink the wine! Savor its flavor and watch its color glisten in the glass. Do not hide it away in a cellar, bring it forth, uncork its fragrance and share it with friends. When the wine bottle has been emptied and the lulling buzz of its potency has long since faded, memories remain. I remember the unpaved pathways to the vineyards of Black Mesa, and to the Mission Mountain wineries. I can still savor the chocolate infused flavors and the deep, rich reds and the soft delicate whites. I sipped and satisfied my palette with the southwestern delicacies and the northwestern liquid gems. Not a drop remains to keep as a souvenir. Besides, that’s why I own wine glasses.