We kick off the winter holiday season every year with our Wine Nouveau party, which we held this past Saturday. In the French-inspired tradition of Nouveau where the vintage from the fall harvest is sampled, we taste the Chateau d’Anne wines we bottled in the summer from last fall’s harvest.
Our wine labels include the motto: ‘I’ve Never Known a Miserly Wine Lover.’ We believe that wine, like life, is meant to be shared with friends old and new. It is through sharing that we make connections and build the community who celebrate with us when we’re up, and hold us together when our world is falling apart.
Each year some of our regulars delight us by expanding our community when they bring along a friend or two. Those people become regulars and in a year or two, bring more friends. Some years we’ve had 40 or more packed into our small place, plus others taking part virtually through Skype, with and without webcams, through our virtual broadcast, and over cell phones and land lines. Yes, all at the same time. Yes, we have a ball as we taste the new Chateau d’Anne wines, and sample the favorite wines and new finds brought by our friends. And of course, we eat. Every available surface has a platter or bowl perched on it. Yes, it’s a bit of zoo.
Saturday night the air was filled with conversations – words punctuated by the brief silences that signal new or deeper connections are being made because not just facts but also feelings are being shared. Exciting vacations, plans for the future, new jobs: the happy news we share to celebrate. Relationships that are ending, financial issues, concerns brought by Superstorm Sandy: the sad news we share when we need support.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for a party to make connections with each other. We have the opportunity to connect every day as we talk on the phone, walk to the company cafeteria, drink coffee over the kitchen table, wait for the train or watch soccer practice. We just need to ask questions, and then listen quietly for the answers.