Monday, September 16, 2013

For the Love of Pinot Noir

Delicate, fruity, earthy, raspberries, cassis, vanilla, cola, sassafras, dark cherries, strawberries, cedar, mushroom, leather, cigar, silky, velvety...

I could go on and on describing one of my favorite varietals. I love Pinot Noir. I have been fortunate enough to taste it in many different places, but I have never been to the Willamette Valley in Oregon until last week. This trip solidified my love for this wine and placed Oregon as one of my favorite Pinot regions.

We visited White Rose Estate Winery and with each taste, I declared "this is the best Pinot so far". Then, the winemaker let us taste his 2012 out of the tank and I couldn't believe how delicious the young wine already was.

I try my best not to geek out when it comes to wine. I try to just enjoy it and let the conversation flow, but the Willamette Valley awakened the Wine Geek in me. I can't wait to return this beautiful, green countryside covered in vines and evergreens with the Cascade mountains keeping watch.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Unlikely Return

I left Seattle almost 5 years ago and never thought I would return. I quit my job, fell in love and moved all the way up the Western seaboard to begin a new life. We didn't work, we lived off our savings, explored the Pacific Northwest and attempted a relationship. It sounded like a really good idea, romantic really, but I was not prepared for it all. Seattle's sun hid after a month and the relationship's foundation wasn't very solid. The snow fell, hearts were broken, I sold everything that didn't fit into my car and left the Emerald City in tears. There was no way I ever wanted to return.

This past week, duty called and I found myself driving into the city with a colleague to work for a couple days. The sun was shining brightly, it was warm and unexpectedly I was okay. I was actually worried about returning, but as the day progressed, I became happy to be in Seattle. All of my good memories returned and I felt complete gratitude that I was able to live there and explore for a while. I reflected on how blessed I was to have a city as my playground and realized that I had created a very good sense of place there.

I guess that is what letting go/evolving feels like--joy and gratitude even when faced with bad memories. Now when I speak of Seattle, I need to replace my doomsday "snow and gloom" stories with the memory of love and exploration. I no longer need to refer to that move as my worst mistake, but as an amazing opportunity to be daring and carefree.