Between Christmas and New Years I stumbled across a collection of long forgotten memories. Most of these memories were made more than a decade ago and they have sat in a basement collecting dust. I’m talking about bottles of wine that our family previously produced and gave to friends and family at Christmas. In truth, I have seen them sitting on their static ledge numerous times over the last two years but quickly looked away as I hadn’t been prepared to engage the memories for which they embody. For no particular reason, last week when I noticed them resting on a shelf in my dimly lit basement I decided they warranted closer examination.
I had no idea what I would find. Pulling a bottle from the pile, I wiped away the dust to find a Sauvignon blanc. A memory exploded into my consciousness! My eyes widen as I remember bottling this wine. It was the same year as we built our house. I pulled another; the Valpolicella was the first red wine we made. It was like Christmas morning and I was filled with excitement about what bottle I would find next. The anticipation of what memories would erupt within me kept a brimming smile upon my face. As I examined each bottle, it had its own story once celebrated, then forgotten, painfully hidden for a time and now fondly remembered.
But, what am I to do with the 14 bottles of wine I found? Drink it! Wait. Does that honour the memories that they harbour? I think it does. Wine is made to be enjoyed! Wait. Will self-bottled wine still be good stretching back 19 years? There is only one way to find out. I inspect the colour and cork of a 12-year-old Chenin Blanc. Seeming OK I get down to business and uncork it. I reluctantly take a gently sniff, then a deeper olfactory evaluation. The wine still seems acceptable. Now the real test – a taste test. Expecting a vinegar-like disaster, I wince as the liquid hits my tongue. Astonished, I think about how lovely this white wine tastes.
Later that week, I opened a 15-year-old Chianti with the same dazzling results. I don’t know if every bottle will be amazing but the feelings and memories encased within each vessel will undoubtedly continue to excite me. I shamelessly look forward to drinking my memories. I suppose I should also share them with family and friends. Cheers!!!
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[…] Reflecting on the last 6 months, draws into perspective how much life can change but paradoxically also stays the same. I’ve written about travels near and far. Explored my fascination with people yet my desire at times for solitude. My daughter and I ventured to Brazil (here and here), road tripped to the Gulf of Mexico and fell in love with camping. There have been a number of challenges that I’ve shared as I’ve navigated loss, grief and mental fatigue. On the heels of those challenges, I feel that I found new possibilities, new adventures and even enjoyed drinking some old memories. […]