I have a secret

Let me share a secret with you.

There’s no such thing as the lazy, hazy days of summer! Yes, they can be lazy and hazy but most are, in the words of the good old song, lazy, hazy and crazy — with the emphasis on crazy.

Most of us would agree that we long anticipate the days of summer, then we blast through them with multiple activities and before long, we once again, find ourselves yearning for those good old days of summer. When will we learn?

What do we need to learn? Maybe it’s to take a breath of summer air and really feel it in our lungs. We can’t escape those summer parental/family activities nor should we because of the bonds those activities form between us. However, within those busy times, there’s quiet.

For me, the secret to finding quiet within noisy times is to notice the little things around me. I can hear some of you exclaiming: “Good grief! What the heck does that mean?”

Allow me to use the example of a tree. When I take a walk with one of my kids and we walk by a tree, I ask them their impression of the tree. I get a lot of responses including how tall it is, how big it is and how beautiful it is. When they respond with those words, I know there’s still a lesson to be taught.

So, I gently (alright, the kids would probably not agree with the gently part of this) ask: “Did you see the leaves?”

The totality of the tree is magnificent but it’s the leaves that help give it life and beauty. The small things…

I was recently reading a magazine about wine and noticed how many of the advertised wineries are using art on their wine bottle labels. It wasn’t the name of the winery — which is 1849 Wine Company (CA) — that caught my attention. It was the art work on the labels — small colorful modernistic type artwork that made me want to taste the wine.

As I was walking through a growing flower garden, I was pleased by the greenery of the plants. But what really caught my attention was a little bud and my mind immediately went to what the color of the flower would be, how large it would be and how it always gives me pleasure. It was a peony plant.

A friend of mine sent me a picture of her newborn little girl. I’m very happy for the young couple as they celebrate their first child but what caught my attention was the little smile on the child’s face. Who knows what had just happened, right? But, there was a smile and it was wonderful!

Speaking of wonderful, I had purchased a bottle of Campo Viejo Reserva from the Spanish region of Rioja and was looking forward to tasting it. It’s a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazeulo grapes that’s been aged for over three years. I didn’t know what to expect but knew I’d taste Tempranillo grapes because the greatest percentage (85 percent) of the blend was of that grape variety. The secret to this wine is the little percentage (15 percent) of the other two grape varietals because their combined tastes provide the spiciness and long tasting finish that gives this wine specialness.

During these lazy, hazy and crazy days of summer, we need to revisit old friends and Brau Brothers has brought back a good old friend of mine to combat these crazy and hazy days of summer. Brau’s Hopsession Ale is always a good go-to brew. It’s crisp (that takes care of the hazy part of summer), it’s very tasty (that takes care of the lazy part of summer) and it’s satisfying (that takes care of the crazy part of summer).

If you’re a Sauvignon Blanc lover, why not try Josh Cellars’ Josh Sauvignon Blanc? It’s easy to recognize by its large handwritten name on the label (very artistic) and when chilled properly, it’s a light tasting and very refreshing way to attack our sometimes frenetic summer days.

Very soon it will be Father’s Day and I’ve allowed myself to be a bit crazy and buy a special bottle of wine. Hey, it only happens once a year and I’ll let you figure out if I’m referring to Father’s Day or me being crazy!

Napa Valley’s Stags Leap Winery is iconic in the wine world. Its cabernet sauvignon is world class and is historically known for beating French wines in a head to head wine tasting contest a number of years ago. I’m easing my way into Stags Leap by buying a bottle of their Petite Sirah.

I’ll open it on Father’s Day and will hopefully discover the secret that makes this winery’s products so excellent. As I sip the wine, I’ll think of the little things in it that will make my lazy, hazy and crazy days of summer a bit more tolerable.

Next week, where ever it takes me…

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!