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Monday, December 31, 2007

The True Vine

Last weekend our dear friends Ben and Shar had a wine and cheese party at their home. It was delightful for many reasons, the most important being with friends and having the time to talk without little ones running about! Secondly, spending quality time with the love my life, all dressed up and handsome. One of our favorite things to do together, (since we first met almost 10 years ago!!) is to get dressed up and go out to eat. That hasn't been happening a lot lately with a new baby in the house, but here we are, Luke is 9 months old already, so our "dates" are coming back again! whoo-hoo!!
We began the night by enjoying some delicious appetizers that each couple had brought to share. It's so fun eating other people's food, new, tasty recipes.

Brian and Lyn, (Ben's parents) were visiting from England for the Christmas season. Brian led us in a great time of discussion about the various wines we were tasting. Ben had put all the bottles that we had brought, (each couple provided one bottle of wine) into sleeves to hide the label. It was then up to us to taste and explore each wine. Brian explained in such great detail the differences in each wine. It was amazing learning about this whole new world of wines.
After tasting each wine we were to comment on it and give it a score from 0-100. At the end of the night the wine with the highest score was revealed. The wine we provided was from Canada, a fruity wine, and it was my favorite by far! Amazingly I didn't even know it was the one we had brought, but I knew I liked the taste very much, as did Jake. Thanks to Sam and Cheryl, (Jake's brother and his wife) that gave us that delicious wine knowing our tastes! It was a big hit because Brian was having a hard time distinguishing the grape. He mentioned that it was most likely because of the growing climate. Obviously the climate in Canada is quite harsh thus affecting the grape in it's growing period.

Often we would smell the wine and know before the first sip that it would be bitter or sweet. Although at times our noses fooled us and it ended up tasting much better then it smelled. Again, such an adventure for the senses.

The discussions were never ending about each grape, the storage of wine, the location, the growing climate, the ripeness, the cork, etc. Hugh Johnson writes: "The scope of the subject of wine is never ending, as indeed, so many other subjects lie within its boundaries. Without geography and topography it is incomprehensible; without history it is colorless; without taste it is meaningless; without travel it remains unreal. It embraces botany, chemistry, agriculture, carpentry, economics – any number of sciences whose names I do not even know. It leads you up paths of knowledge and by-ways of experience you would never glimpse without it."Here are our lovely host and hostess for the evening. Thank you Ben & Shar for giving us a night to remember.


The evening ended with these delectable cheeses. Needless to say, our mouths were happy!!
Some of my dear friends, Kara, Shar, Dawn and I. And the handsome chaps. Ike, (Clark's Dad), Jake, Adam, (Ben's brother from England), Brian, Ben, Clark, Chad. There is such beauty in the wine making process. From planting a vineyard and watching it grow, pruning out the dead branches, allowing the storms to come and strengthen the grapes, all the while hoping that the storms are not too ferocious as to totally destroy the crop. Hand picking the grapes, pressing them, storing them, allowing them to age. As I write it all sounds so familiar..."I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love." John 15:1-9
Remaining in Him.
J.

3 comments:

Kara Stoltzfus said...

what an absolutely lovely evening to share with my ladies and dear friends. again, last night was just as enjoyable. love you girl.

holla holla! : )

Lyn said...

What a fantasic desription of a lovely evening! Love, Lyn and Brian

mary june miller said...

Loved this post! Looked like so much fun.
Been thinking about you - one of these days we'll have to get together.
Mary June