Children can teach us so many lessons.

It was shaping up to be one of those days one wished would began again. If one could describe a day as being sour, I was having a sour day. Then, it happened.

On that sour day, I was walking along a store’s aisle and, coming toward me, I saw a mother pushing her shopping cart. Sitting in the cart where her two little boys and they were having a great time — talking to each other, laughing and just casting a warm family glow.

As I approached the shopping cart, one of the little boys saw me, waved at me and yelled a smile inducing and high pitched: “Hi!” I couldn’t stop smiling and that one little moment changed my day.

The innocence of that little guy was refreshing and I began to think about the importance of growing up in an inspiring environment — an environment in which we can thrive to maturity and become all we can be in life. Does everything begin with such innocence? I began to draw some parallels.

A child is born. From its first innocent breath, the child is sheltered, nourished and loved as a precious being. Nurturing hands (parents, family and friends) all pitch in to ensure the child thrives in a caring environment.

A grapevine is planted with caring and nurturing hands. From the moment its innocent roots are settled in the soil, there are watchful eyes on the vine to make sure it finds nourishment and that nothing from the animal world interferes with its growth.

As the child grows, she/he is taught right from wrong, to stand tall in goodness and to grow in confidence everyday. Again, this growth comes from the cuddling care surrounding the child.

Through the capable, loving hands and guidance of the vintner, the grape vine is taught to grow straight, is relieved of extra buds and its soil is tended to by getting rid of weeds and other detriments to growth.

At maturity, it’s the hope of the family the innocent child will be a strong, well-balanced individual who is capable of producing good things throughout life. These good things can be in the form of another family, an occupation or vocation that gives her or him satisfaction and fulfillment. It’s the dream of all the caring family that the child will bear good fruit for society and for the family.

And at maturity, the vintner hopes all the effort given freely to the grape vine will yield a plant that produces bunches of plump grapes that will be made into a wine that will be innocently enjoyed by many people.

In both examples, the hoped for result is that there will be goodness for everyone. When this hope is reflected by the child’s or the vine’s production, people should be called to celebrate. I can’t speak for the rest of you but I like to think our children have been nurtured, cared for, know right from wrong and are strong to stand up for what they believe. Something tells me all of you, as you think of your children or family members, are nodding your heads up and down in agreement

So, to honor our family members, let’s discuss some wines that would be very good to use in your celebratory events.

Coming to us from the north coast of California, William Hill Estate Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a pleasure to drink. Honestly, this wine will grab your attention with its rich dark fruit (blackberry and plum) tastes and its luscious long lasting brown sugar and oak finish. As innocent as the wine label looks, the wine will take you into its world, nurture your sense of smell and taste and give you much about which to be happy.

Going farther up the West Coast and into Washington state, we find Tangley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon in the state’s Columbia Valley. It’s a pleasure to taste this wine with its soft, dry extremely tasty black currant flavors and aroma. At the end, there’s this not so innocent wonderful taste of chocolate! It’s an amazing wine that has great maturity and stands tall for everyone to enjoy.

Let’s travel south again to Sonoma, California, and Acacia Vineyard’s Pinot Noir. There’s always something very child like in a Pinot Noir because of its gentleness of taste and smell. In this wine, there’s just enough blackberry to interest you and it gives a bit of surprise at the finish with a hint of spice. Very satisfying!

We have to go north again to the Washington’s Columbia Valley to sample North By Northwest Winery’s Chardonnay. It’s a very dry wine that quite remarkably still gives you that nice creamy taste one expects from a good Chardonnay. It’s worth trying and reveling in the fruits of the vintner’s labor.

As we all know, not everyone grows up to reach full goodness and not every grape vine produces good grapes. However, it’s still extremely gratifying when, least expected, a child innocently reminds you that goodness can always bring a smile to your face.

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