It's More than Wine
My love affair with wine began to truly unfold and cast its spell of allure as I began to pay attention to the dance of my senses. I choose to be more mindful; slowly sipping and swirling instead of the common pour and gulp. The vast and sometimes mysterious world of wine has fascinated me for years. I began to study and quickly realized although I ‘achieved’ the level of Certified Sommelier amongst other professional certifications, I would never know it all. I would never feel finished learning and so it became about the love of the moment I got to share with each glass, paired with each bite, studying each law, country, history and winemaker. Wine is a sensual experience with the right awareness. Knowing wine is not about being ‘right’ it is about engaging with your unique palate’s pleasure to unlock curiosity and for that momentary sip find complete presence. Applying mindfulness is how wine can become a sacred expression of the ‘terroir’ (everything mother earth offers to grow each grape, wind, sun, rain etc) and of the labor it takes to make one singles bottle. Learning how to harness your senses natural awareness will transform you into a passionate consumer. Or it can be just another way to get a buzz, which is great, but doesn’t falling in love sound like a better way to experience a glass?
Wine is ancient, there is proof of wine being consumed as part of the human experience as far back as 7000bc. Also ancient and another deep passion of mine, is the study of yoga and meditation. Like wine, the vast knowledge of yoga, mindfulness techniques and philosophies across deep lineages is a pool where I will forever swim in the deep end. I will never feel accomplished in reaching the shore of fully integrating all the rich and life transforming practices. The practice is the thing, with each breath I bring in more presence and acceptance of this moment. As a yoga and meditation teacher, I can’t help but see the yoga in wine.
It is a fact that the more a grape vine struggles the better the wine will be. The more a vine must adapt to changing patterns of rainfall, extreme temperature shifts, elevation and wind, the more depth and character the wine will produce. The practice of yoga, helps us find our center through the emotional, mental and physical storms of life so we too may too grow more resilient and deep in character. Sustainably minded winemakers job is to interfere as little as possible with the vine’s struggle. Winemakers must practice the yoga of detachment and support the process while allowing mother earth to lead. This takes extreme dedication and patience, it takes knowing when to trust and let things be and when to apply their vast knowledge to push the edge. At the end of the growing season the grapes are then turned to the sacred juice we call wine. Months of aging and experimenting again, requires allowing things to develop as they will, remaining unattached to what the vintage will produce. This journey never ends, as the bottle is opened, enjoyed for a moment, perhaps by a passionate consumer paying it the attention and love the winemaker believes it deserves, OR its gulped down with no regard. This is not up to the vine. The journey then begins again.
My hope is that yoga supports the engagement of our sense so our practices flood into our enjoyment of wine and of life. My hope is that we find mindfulness in becoming one with our senses. We find beauty and inspiration in a creation we hold so delicately in a glass. We find intention in slowing down and embracing the moment. We find balance between indulgence and enjoyment. We find compassion in allowing for time to rest. We find love in gathering company to share in the joy of community.