What does your name tell us about you?

“Hi! What’s your name?”

How many times have you been asked your name? Of course, the answer from all of us would be many times in numerous situations.

Our names identify us — how’s that for a shocker? But how often do you think of why you received your name? Most of us didn’t have a choice in our naming but to know why you received your name tells us something about ourselves.

Let’s see…

Some of us are named after relatives and we carry that ancestral name for varied reasons. We might be named for a favorite grandmother or, as in my case, my middle name is my father’s middle name. No matter whose name we bear, it’s usually meant to remind of us of that person — a person that was loved and admired by one of our parents.

But people receive names for many other reasons. There are groups of people who name their children after an event that is happening at the moment of birth. For instance, if the moon is shining at birth, the child will be named Moon. If it’s raining, Rain will be in the child’s name.

I’m glad my parents and others around southwest Minnesota didn’t follow that tradition because a whole bunch of us kids would be named Windy!

It goes without saying that for many of us, our name points to our heritage — where our ancestors came from and it should always remind us of our immigration story to this country.

Whatever the reason for your name, it points to who you are and gives other folks a little glimpse into your persona.

I recently had a conversation with a person and, upon hearing her last name, immediately knew there was a Native American story in her background. During our talk, it was noted she had Winnebago in her blood line and how one of her forefathers was a Nebraska Winnebago. It launched a conversation about the tribe and how that lineage impacted her life.

Later that day, I went to Marshall’s Made In Minnesota Beer Tasting event at the Red Baron Arena. I find the building to be fantastic and when, at an earlier meeting at the arena, I learned of the energy saving measures that are part of the structure, it was even more fantastic. But, I’m off subject…

At the tasting event, there were a good number of Minnesota breweries represented — from the North Shore to Luverne and from the Twin Cities to Hendricks. It was a wonderful time to mingle with strangers and friends and to sample some new brews.

I’ve visited Talking Waters Brewing Company in Montevideo and was pleased to see I knew someone at their display table. After a bit of chatting about old times, I asked to taste their Zoomer Red. It’s an amber red IPA and I was taken to its beautiful red color. The beer took second place at the recent Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Competition and I could taste why it did so. It was wonderfully balanced between bitterness and sweetness, had a soft citrus aroma and a delicate finish.

I asked why the beer is named Zoomer and was told it is the name of their dog!

Naturally, I had to visit Bank Brewing Company’s table and there sat an old friend. One doesn’t want to think about any business being foreclosed upon however, Bank’s Foreclosure — an American Barleywine — is special. As mentioned, the two of us have met before and I never get tired of its heat (12% ABV) and heavy bitterness. It has a nice piney aroma and a long tangy finish that reminds one to not take this beer lightly. With this beer, the name Foreclosure means … be careful!

Mankato Brewery was my next stop and as I was talking about their beers, I noticed one I hadn’t tasted — Rhuby Rhubarb Sour Ale. I enjoy a sour beer and I like rhubarb so this would be a match made in heaven for me. It was. The smooth sipping brew blended the tartness of rhubarb and sour yeast very nicely and it matched its name perfectly.

One last note about a newly discovered wine. Rambling down the wine aisle one day I saw a bottle labeled “lbd.” Hmmm… what’s that name mean? Come to find out it stands for Little Black Dress and this California Cabernet Sauvignon is sophisticated, tasteful and an absolute winner.

It has a lusciousness that’s not found in a lot of Cabernet Sauvignons and with its black cherry and hints of vanilla and oak tastes, it’s name is spectacularly appropriate. Try it, if you know fashion, you’ll see how fitting the name “lbd” is for this wine.

It’s interesting how we usually keep the name we are given at birth. We had no say in the matter but yet we keep that name — unless your name is Jane and you change the spelling at some point!

I like my name. It’s who I am, reminds me of my father, mother and all my grandparents. I am who they were.

Next week, once upon a time…

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