As someone whose current functional existence can largely be attributed to a cocktail of two antidepressants which took months to calibrate, I am acutely mindful of my alcohol consumption. (For anyone who is not familiar with the effects antidepressants generally have on the body, among other possible interactions, they tend to be taxing on kidney and liver function over time.)
Because I also happen to tremendously enjoy wine, reconciling that enjoyment with my new reality and actual care for my body has been a balance.
Wine is now occasional. More special. Arguably, the way it is supposed to be.
Yesterday afternoon, my spring wine club shipment from Howling Bluff arrived. Giddily, I opened the box. Twelve gorgeous reds. It was a regular Thursday evening until I opened that box, and then it was Christmas. My daughters helped me discard the packaging (which promptly became a prop in their latest pretend game) as I admired the arrivals.
Spontaneously, I opened the 2019 Century Block Pinot Noir, poured some of the delicate burgundy liquid into my glass, and gave it a swirl.
My nose lowered to the glass and I was transported to the height of the summer of 2019 on the Bench, the aroma of cherries in the wind. The sound of rustling trees standing quietly along the dusty winding road. A sense memory of biting into fresh, ripe luscious fruit took hold.
Long before we lived in the Okanagan, Howling Bluff became a household favourite. Their wines are always such a delight; family produced with care, evocative of terroir, specific in their microclimate. They are made with love and connection to the earth that bore their fruit, and it shows.
I returned to my glass over the next hour. As the wine opened up, the tannins melted into the luscious fruit and the tapestry emerged.
This is why I drink wine. This is why Howling Bluff is always my first recommendation or gift bottle when I venture outside the Lake Country terroir closest to home. It tells a story. It brings joy. It connects me to my best memories of travel, discovery, and celebration. When I take a sip, I feel connected to the earth, the vines, the soil, those who helped craft this bottle. Alive.
(Oh, and it paired really well with some finds from the farmer’s market and a couple of breaded veal scallopini from the freezer.)