Archive for September, 2011


Raised in a barn…

I was pretty much “raised in a barn” and proudly accept the accusation when I leave a door standing open. My grandparents were the first generation to have indoor plumbing and electricity and heating (other than a wood fired stove). My parents were the first generation to succumb to the allures of the telephone, television, and transportation.

Each generation of my family has a single common denominator in that we each were basically raised in the proverbial barn. Leaving that “door” open not only allowed for ventilation and watching the over the farm, but also allowed us to see and experience the world beyond the four walls that protected us. Without that door being propped open there is a great chance the generations before us would not have embraced indoor plumbing, electricity, communications, transportation, or even civil rights.

And yet with all the advances that have progressed in society with each generation, I am amazed at the simplicity and often narrowness of our scope of the world around us. Rather than embrace the differences of another, we develop a prejudice that blinds us to the beauty of diversity and cast a net of scrutiny that causes masses to fear that which we do not know.

In the world of wine most people know of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah/shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. Well, there are 12,000+ grapes in the world and often one outside the box and framework of our comfort zone will better fit the needs of the moment and be far more enjoyable. It’s a matter of willingness to have an open mind that will entice you to give Mencia, Bonardo, Blue Franc, Nero d’Avola, Pinot Blanc, Verdeho, and those other thousands of wonderful grapes an opportunity to add a bit of charisma and charm to your life.

Today, I’m stuck on the thought of how prejudice against that which we do not know leads to discrimination making our lives monochromatic and dull. If we can legislate who has a right to vote, marry, or have worth how long before we legislate what we can drink? Today, I ask you to join us in raising a glass of a grape you’ve never tried to celebrate the joy that unknown diversity adds to life this week.

I encourage you to pop a cork on Charbono, Valdeque, or some other esoteric grape this week and celebrate the differences of individuals and their families recognizing what they add to our communities.






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September 2011
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