One of my all time favorite songs is “Imagine” by John Lennon.
Why? Because the song’s lyrics ask us to imagine the world differently — to see a new world of possibility. The song urges us to let our imagination take flight and to ask the question: What if…?.
One of the lines from the song goes like this: “You may say I’m a dreamer…” and I like that thought. I like to dream — to take time to think about the possibilities that lie just over the horizon. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, that ability to dream keeps us grounded by allowing us to not only ask “What if?” but, also, the opportunity to ask ourselves, “Why not?”
For instance, I interviewed a vintner awhile ago and during our time together, I asked her why she quit her day time job to start a vineyard and winery. I will never forget, not only her answer, but the look in her eyes when she replied: “It was a dream of mine, and I finally asked myself why not do it?”
So, on her own and with the support of family and friends, she planted grape vines, built and remodeled an old shed into a winery. As I left her, my last question was: “Did you ever imagine having a thriving winery?” She replied: “Only in my dreams!” and I can still hear her laugh.
Imagination and dreams…they are the stuff of life and that’s why I enjoy my dreaming times.
I read a lot about wine and the different countries from which they come and, in my dreams, I imagine a trip one day that will include the following agenda:
We’re traveling to Europe and our itinerary will include a few countries that I find fascinating because of their wines. Let’s begin with a glass of Minnesota wine from Painted Prairie Vineyard near Currie — the full bodied, fruity flavored Frontenac Blanc. It’s semi-sweet taste will help prime us for the long transAtlantic flight to Spain.
Landing in Spain we travel to the country’s northeast region of Aragon. In an area that’s largely agriculturally based, grapes grow very well and one of the prominent varieties grown is Garnacha — called Grenache in the United States.
Garnacha grapes produce a full bodied wine with nice stone fruit flavors and a bit of spiciness. One of my favorites from the Aragon region is Evodia. The beautiful blue label is readily seen and the wine is perfect for sitting and looking at the mountains of Aragon.
Just a little distance to the east of Aragon is Italy and traveling eastward we soon find ourselves in the country’s Veneto region. The region is known for its magnificent mountainous views, but it’s also home to some of the world’s best Pinot Grigio.
Finding a table at a restaurant, I would order a bottle of Ã-ko Pinot Grigio. Ã-ko refers to ecology and this wine is organically grown and produced. As the wine is poured, you’ll notice its fresh fruity aroma and then quickly you’ll taste its crisp lemon-lime flavors. Ah, Italy, you have so much going for you — I’d like to stay and dream with you awhile but its time to continue my imagined trip and cross the border into Austria.
The Austrians love their GrÃ¼ner Veltliner — the quintessential wine of the country. Traveling to the Burgenland region of the country, I would look for Skeleton GrÃ¼ner Veltliner — a crisp, lightly acidic beautiful white wine with fresh citrus flavors. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one who believes this is a fantastic wine!
Deutschland is calling and let’s go to the Mosel region of Germany. This is a beautiful region that is highlighted by the Mosel River and the vineyards that cling to the steep hills of the area. Grabbing a table at a sidewalk cafe, I would order a bottle of Schmitt SÃ¶hne Riesling Auslese wine.
Slightly sweet but still having a noticeable taste of minerality to it, this light bodied apricot and peachy tasting white wine will thrill you and you’ll hope the world will live as one.
It’s time to return to the States but, first, we must visit the CÃ´tes du RhÃ´ne region of France. Sitting at our dinner table, the waiter will ask our preference for wine and I’ll ask for a bottle of Famille Perrin RÃ©serve CÃ´tes du RhÃ´ne. It’s a blend of 60 percent Grenache (The same grape as the afore-mentioned Spanish grape — Garnacha.), 20 percent Syrah and 20 percent Mourvedre.
A CÃ´tes du RhÃ´ne will always provide a satisfying experience with its red berry aroma and taste that gives a nice full mouth feel and a lingering finish. It’s beautiful and imagine all the people of the world sharing it.
My dream is ending and I’m back home pouring another glass of Painted Prairie’s Frontenac Blanc. As I sip the wine, I imagine all the world having a glass of wine together and living life in peace.
Next week, there’s another side of the world to explore.
As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!