The vintage years

I recently got to spend some time with two people who have immersed themselves in the wine culture. 

So, I’ve been sipping the good stuff, from grapes and in life.

Father Gordon Gilsdorf described that analogy beautifully in this poem:

On Being 50.

Wines grow bitter with age

or better.

50 is a vintage year, the best:

Sunshine and rain enough,

the perfect grape.

One fear only now, the bottle

going empty

Or the chance sudden spill

of it all.

So let us raise the glass

while we can,

Feel the glow of the grape

and love.

I love that poem, first introduced to me by my mother, Peggy Kostelnik. She also introduced it to Jerry Kramer, who then used it in his book, Distant Replay, which thrilled both my mom and Father Gilsdorf.

We should consider every year after 50 a vintage year and treat ourselves to the good things they offer.

Sipping the good stuff should be both our reward and our intention. Why waste time wallowing in other people’s sour grapes? We’ve learned what the good stuff is, so it’s easier to filter out petty annoyances and bitterness.

Family, friendship, laughter, faith – these are the things that matter. Good health is a privilege we should toast every day in our vintage years.

By now, our roots have grown deep and the fruits of our labor robust. How lucky we are to spend our days on this good, rich earth and among the people we love!

P.S. Many thanks to Vinnie and Danni for the fine wine, great conversation and the use of these beautiful pictures. 

My son Vinnie and daughter in-law Danni have really been immersing themselves in the culture of wine production. They are pictured here working on a vineyard in Italy.
They harvested grapes…
…and worked on the fine nuances of wine production.
They also worked on a vineyard in Chile this year.
…and immersed themselves in a vat of grapes.
The two of them are both level one sommeliers and extremely knowledgeable about wine production, selection and pairing. They are on to their next adventure, but I sure enjoyed sipping the good stuff with them while they were here.
I am also very grateful to be able to spend my vintage years with this guy.

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