In my life these days, both steep and learning they are.
Moreover, it's my own doing: I decided to reclaim part of my previous life. When I lived in Vancouver back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I discovered local wines, and made several trips to the Okanagan, learning a lot along the way, even though it wasn't exactly book learning.
After I moved to suburban Virginia and got on to the Internet, I set up CANWINE, an email list to discuss Canadian wines, and a small website: back in those days, the words "Canadian wine" more frequently got a gag response from most people with memories of nights lost to vast quantities of Baby Duck, and not the sort of serious discussion about wines you'd find in a serious restaurant.
Kept the list going even after I moved back to Calgary, started (and finished) my Masters, and then life intervened. It's not that I quit drinking Canadian wines, but I didn't have the opportunity to tour wineries or keep in touch with all the friends I made (winery owners, winemakers, industry representatives, and keen consumers) the same way, despite a desire to. And then the final straw was losing my favourite tasting partner, and even the desire almost disappeared.
Until lately, when I decided that I found some old friends on Twitter, having weekly chats about the winery scenes in both British Columbia and Ontario, and realized how much I missed it. This time, however, I decided a different approach was needed, and investigated options to further my knowledge.
So I signed up for Level 1 of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust classes, and have been having a lot of fun. Like an old athlete who discovers they still have a modicum of muscle memory even if they are out-of-shape, I've found that my nose is still reasonably sensitive, although the wine industry has changed so much in the last ten to fifteen years that I feel like I've been sleeping through all of it -- and in some ways, I guess I have been.
But I'm definitely having fun with it, and will work my way through for at least another two levels, as well as their Canadian Wine Scholar program: I doubt CANWINE will rise from the ashes like an inebriated phoenix, but at least I'll enjoy picking up my consuming habit more.
Unlike last year, when I was one of the artists, I had no formal role in this year's Equinox Vigil, except to mourn friends from the local arts scene we lost, and to comfort and support others whose grief was far more raw and profound with those losses than mine. That I survived more than two hours with only one good cry is, in my world, astounding and gratifying: others did not. As usual, when I felt uncomfortable, I was grateful to have taken along my camera to capture some of the moments earlier in the evening, which accompany this post.
Tuesday, 29 September 2015
The shop is currently empty.