Friends of Allegro Winery, especially those who buy wine by the case, have surely seen our tagline, which appears on those cases: "Drink Like You Live Here." Maybe people instinctively know what this means, and it certainly can have different connotations for different people. This will be my first post giving some perspective on the phrase, with more to follow.
This week's perspective comes from a classic movie, and from butterflies.
Who can forget Robin Williams' voice, playing the character of John Keating in Dead Poets Society, admonishing his teen students to "Carpe Diem": "Seize the day, boys." And, quoting poet Robert Herrick:
Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to day,
To morrow will be dying.
This sentiment of seizing days is relevant to what it means to "drink like you live" at Allegro.
Carl's sentiment about drinking great bottles of wine is one I've heard him express whenever someone says that they are holding on to a nice wine "for a special occasion." He tends to turn the sentiment around, asking, "Why not make a special occasion by opening that bottle today?"
There are certainly notable wines, including several of Carl's, which do develop and improve with age, but for the most part wines are best consumed earlier rather than later, today rather than tomorrow.
Seize the cork! Share special wines every day! Drink like you live here.
And...about the butterflies?
How do butterflies drink? Well, they sip, but they really also seem to sip everything, tasting so many vibrant colors and nectars. I like learning from them.
And, on Tuesday I felt a kind of "Gather ye butterflies while ye may" moment.
Thanks to this summer's zinnias, we have had an incredible summer of butterfly-watching, right here near the vineyards in The Brogue. I've seen more butterflies, and a greater variety of butterflies, than in any other year, and I've made a point of spending time in appreciation of their beauty.
Tuesday I had a kind of melancholic thought. I often celebrate firsts and first visits--the first indigo bunting of the spring, the first monarch sighting of the year--but can never really know which days will bring lasts. Hindsight is 20/20 (and what a 2020 we are having!)--often, only later do we recognize that what we once had has now flown. Who could know which butterfly visit will be the last of the summer? When will the monarch migration begin? Somehow I knew that day was close.
I spent a couple hours photographing as many butterflies as I could--there were still so many! Monarchs and swallowtails, cabbage whites and buckeyes. Those wonderful zinnias made for many very colorful vignettes. I tried to take in as much as I could.
And then--I shared them. On Wednesday I sent butterfly photos to dozens of friends, some people who I still see quite often, some whom I haven't seen in years. I sent them along, just to share the wonder and to give a bit of unexpected brightness to people's weighed-down lives.
And here's the crazy thing: On our rather dreary Thursday, I looked out to the zinnias, and the butterflies were gone. With the exception of the cute little skippers, there were no butterflies to be seen. Not one monarch, not one swallowtail, not one fritillary. Their time had come and gone, just like that. I'm so glad that this time I made a record of it happening.
So: Cheers to gathering rose-buds, popping corks, sipping as many experiences as possible, recognizing beauty where it lives, and sharing wonder with others today.
Drink like you live here.