Let’s take a walk!

I expect we’ve all heard that suggestion a few times during our lives but what does it mean to you?

Think back to when someone said the sentence to you with an upward lilt in their voice. Then, think back to when someone said it with a downward lifting voice. It’s kind of the difference between a good feeling and a feeling that — oh, oh — what did I do wrong?

Why do we take walks? Is it to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day for a little while? Is it to bring friends together for a bit of time? Are we interested in the physicality of walking and the healthy outcomes from it? Is there an uplifting spiritual benefit?

For me, there are social, physical, spiritual and mental reasons for walking. For instance…

I recently participated in a workshop addressing walkability in our community and one of the segments was to go on a walk. After the walk was finished, each person was asked to reflect on it. Besides the obvious impediments to walking being noted, most people remarked how they had gotten to know their walking partner by simply walking and talking with them. I enjoyed watching and listening to people converse as they walked along the street — sociability at its best.

Being able to walk in nature is soothing to the soul and the mind. Study after study reveals the quieting affects of walking — either on the street or on a nature path. It’s also important to remind ourselves there are folks among us who can’t walk but who are mobile by the use of wheelchairs or walkers — we all receive the same satisfaction from moving.

The bottom line is getting out and moving is good for you. The health benefits are numerous and I was reminded of those benefits at a recent event called the Holiday Wine Walk About held at The Mercantile at Bellos in Marshall.

I was honored to be a table host at the event and had six different wines to offer to the people in attendance. Now you have to know I found social, physical, mental and spiritual elements that night.

The physical part of the night was standing at the table for three hours and doing the extremely difficult work of pouring wines for folks. One of the wines was Gemma di Luna Prosecco — a stand out sparkling wine from Italy. I loved popping the corks from the bottles and with its sassy acidity, bright citrus and mineral tastes, nobody said a bad word about it. The three hours passed quickly. Hey! Someone has to do the tough duty!

One of the most popular wines I poured that night was Invivo SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This is an in- your-face tart wine with the beautiful ability to continually unfold in your mouth as you sip it. Grapefruit and passion fruit jump out of the glass and envelope your taste buds and it never stops pleasing you. It lasts and lasts — you’ll not forget this wine.

My table offered four red wines and one of them was Milbrandt Vineyards (Washington) Cabernet Sauvignon. It has the requisite full body such a wine needs and the black cherry taste but there’s more. This is a heavy wine and it’s built to last a long time. As you drink it, you know this will age well and I had a mental image of opening a bottle of it five years from now.

Another red that surprised a lot of table visitors was Bogle Vineyards Essential Red. Consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah, the wine is luscious, fruity and plummy. It brought forth a lot of discussion.

The sweetest red wine was Baci Dolce Sweet Kiss and we had a lot of fun with the title. There was a price that had to be paid to try it (Hint: look at the name!) and the price brought forth much laughter. It’s a sweet blended wine made from Marzemino and Merlot grapes and gives forth amazing cherry and strawberry tastes. Think of a cherry pie and that you’re home for the holidays.

The wine many people asked to taste was one that built a whole lot of socializing — Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. The asking price for it (kidding, of course!) was to be able to correctly pronounce the wine’s name. Getting that name right was as fun as drinking the delicious, softly fruited wine. A real crowd pleaser.

OK we’ve talked about the physical aspects of the wine walk — people walking. The social aspect is obvious — folks had fun talking, walking and tasting. The mental part came as we learned more about the various wines.

The spiritual aspect? For me, that’s being in the presence of so many good people, talking about wine and laughing.


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