What’s the word “silence” mean to you?

Obviously, we normally think it means quiet and, of course, that’s the correct definition. However recently, I’ve discovered (Yes, one is never too old to learn!) there’s more to silence that just the absence of noise.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I went outside to begin the cleansing of our yard. By that, I mean picking up the sticks, branches and junk that has blown into it over the winter months. It seems we had a lot of wind these past few months because there was a lot of junk waiting for me.

As I stooped over to pick up fallen twigs and branches, I became aware of the silence being broken by many soft sounds.

There, before me, were robins with their vocal melodies. Overhead, the Canada geese flew with their honking sounds. The blackbirds were chatting very vocally in the trees. And, the wind was softly moaning through the trees.

My silence was being broken by the softness of nature.

I continued to pick up the yard’s mess but became more and more interested in what I was hearing. Yes, there was amazing silence! But, there was also the amazing sounds of nature. Finally, I just stood still and listened to everything that was happening around me.

I heard silence. And, I heard nature calling to me in the vocals of birds, the trees speaking gently to me as the wind flowed through their branches and, in hearing all that, I heard myself.

How did I hear myself? Well, sometimes I honk. Other times I chat like crazy and other times, I like to sing. Of course, there are those times when I flow prophetically — well, at least, I think so!

As I stood there in the yard letting nature flow around me, I felt at ease. The sounds were comforting — like the sound of a beverage gurgling out of a bottle. (That’s known as a transition, folks!)

Over the past week or so, I’ve had the opportunity to taste some new and very interesting wines.

I visited a friend who has had a challenging journey the last year or so and I was asked to bring a bottle of wine. Which wine, I inquired? The answer: Bogle Phantom Chardonnay, was the reply.

It was good to see my friend again and we did a lot of blabbing about what we’ve been going through and what’s been happening to us since we last met. Then, it was time for the Phantom to appear.

Opening the bottle, I noticed the light pear and green apple aroma. The wine poured beautifully into our glasses with a soft yellow glow and soon we were clinking glasses. I liked the aroma and, the taste mirrored the aroma — pear and green apples with a bit of creaminess. The finish was so interesting.

It finished long and rich. The delightful taste of apples with a bit of brown sugar continued, I swear, all the way to my stomach. If you get a chance, try this fabulous Bogle wine.

I was soon comparing the Bogle Chardonnay to a bottle of Bouhcard Aîné & Fils Chardonnay. Obviously, this Heritage Du Conseiller wine is from France and I tried to compare it to the Bogle Chardonnay I had just tasted. It met my requirements for a Chardonnay but…

Yes, it’s a fine wine and I recommend it. However, when comparing the Bogle to the Bouchard, I would choose the Bogle. Why? Because I liked the richness of flavor and the complexity of tastes it brought to me. Bouchard was very tasty, enjoyable and straight forward with its slight pear and apple taste. But, to me, I like complexity and Bogle gives it to me.

Speaking of complexity, Fetzer’s Gewürtztraminer is very good. It’s a medium sweet wine with lots of citrus tastes — think of apricots and apples. The interesting part of this wine is that it’s not overly sweet — something a lot of Gewürtztraminers are. If you’re having a spicy food, this is the perfect companion to such a dining experience.

I had the pleasure to walk through Painted Prairie’s (Currie, MN) vineyard one day and, as much as I enjoyed that walk, it was something I tasted in the tasting room that caught my attention — plums.

I sampled the vineyard’s Painted Plum wine and became enthralled by it. Although a sweet dessert wine, one doesn’t taste the sweetness as much as the pluminess of the wine. Beside the fact that it’s a local wine, I enjoyed the site, the people there and, of course, the wines. As I walked through the vineyard, I heard the silence of the vines and felt at ease.

The vines gave me potential, beauty and the possibility of blending together tastes that mirror my backyard experience.. Working in the backyard, I noticed that in the presence of silence, there’s a blending of comforting sounds. One only needs to notice them.

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



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