Sometimes presence is the best of presents.
Pre-Covid, my preferred way to spend a Monday morning consisted of yoga/coffee/whatever newspapers or magazines were lying about my favorite coffee shop. And honestly, that routine has not changed (much). Yoga is open again, albeit at such reduced capacity that it’s necessary to sign up weeks in advance. My coffee shop is also open, but only for takeout, which is why a recent Monday found me sitting in a park, reading a local magazine from a nearby kiosk.
In that magazine, I found an article on a Brown University sociology professor’s recent book about American (beauty) pageant culture. In other times, I might not have picked up that magazine. So I probably wouldn’t have read that article, stopped at a bookstore, purchased the book, and read it, too. All of this would have been my loss, because it was intriguing. In the author’s own words, it is ‘neither an indictment of pageant culture nor a paean…’, but a well-researched and thoughtful dissection of the history and function of pageants in the US. It was a truly interesting take on the duality of an American standard. Plus: scholarship $, mentorship, self-assurance. Minus: a toxic culture of unrealistic physical standards. Thanks to the pandemic and my alfresco coffee hour, I made a cool discovery, a tiny plus in a year of too many minuses.
Discovery, or detecting something new and (possibly) meaningful, is one of the signal pleasures of reading. Discovery in wine works much the same way: on an average day, you might not extend yourself to picking out a Georgian saperavi, an Etna Rosso, or some unfamiliar name from the Languedoc, because it’s far easier to walk to the same rack in the same aisle and pick out the same Cabernet, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio you *always* drink, right? And if that’s what you truly desire, or even just what you truly desire that day, that’s fine. But then comes a day when you’re open to-or even actively seeking-discovery, and that’s our chance to take you on a fascinating flavor trip. So many fun wines, so many new producers and regions. SO many. And sharing our enthusiasm for these discoveries-maybe turning them into YOUR discoveries-that’s the best part of what we do.
Bonus: we get to do it inside.