Friday, September 25, 2020

Unexpected Gifts

As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have, the more good things of life become unexpected gifts that we accept with gratitude.
Etty Hillesum, Dutch writer killed in Auschwitz concentration camp (1914-1943)
As we face the threatening swell of COVID's second wave, Mother Nature presented us with an unexpected gift of summer warmth. Her gift, so welcome after a period of chilling temperatures, meant I could once again enjoy post-prandial repose in the backyard. Such a pleasant relief!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Of Sunshine and Smiles

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright and politician (1672–1719)

We all felt the warmth of today's autumnal sunshine. The hibiscus is transitioning from the garden, spending cool nights and early mornings indoors. Cat yowls demanding the backdoor be opened so that she can bask in the sun. The two of them together created such a beautiful sight.

While these might seem but trifles, they brought the brightest of smiles to my soul.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Home Schooling

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. 
Henry Ford, American industrialist (1863-1947)
Learning should always be this much fun! The 3 Winos participated enthusiastically in a webinar produced by Context Travel called, "French Wine: From Bordeaux to Burgundy". Our sommelier took us on a tasty virtual tour from Champagne to Alsace, to Burgundy, to Bordeaux and on to the Loire. 

Preparing for the class required a trek around the city to four of our local LCBOs to find representative wines for the regions on the course syllabus. COVID and a longshoreman's strike in Quebec have reduced the stock on the shelves. Nevertheless, we nosed, swished and otherwise imbibed some great wines: Gardet Cuvee Saint Flavy (CHAMPAGNE); Baron de Hoen's Gewurztraminer (ALSACE); Louis Jadot Chardonnay (BOURGOGNE); Famille Bougrier Vouvray (LOIRE); Larose Trintaudon Cru Bourgeois (BORDEAUX) and Famille Perrin Cote du Rhone Villages (RHONE VALLEY). 

Our local cheese shop, Mikey Macquire's, provided a selection of six French cheeses to pair with the wines. All were exceptional and a couple rank as 'swoon-worthy'. Only a few small bits remain for the mice to enjoy later this week.

Thanks to a little home schooling, our grape horizons have widened. And we look forward to further exploration!