Since we are now past the autumnal equinox, I have noticed there’s a definitely crispness in the night air, and already tinges of colour on some of the maple tree leaves. A sure sign, that in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, as well as wine growing areas all over the northern hemisphere, it is grape stomping time.
I guess it’s my French Huguenot blood, but I truly love wine. Good wine; in moderation. Today, when many people think of Calvinism, they picture the dour-faced, hellfire and brimstone preachers of the reformation, thumping their pulpits with their messages of retribution.
“Lips that touch wine, will never touch mine,” was the lesson my Scottish mother was taught by her Calvinist parents, as a child. At the age of five, she was forced to sign a pledge that she would never drink alcohol. Even though she learned to take the occasional small drink, the guilt was always there. Surprisingly, neither John Calvin nor the Bible were ever against the drinking of wine in moderation. A recently discovered quote by Calvin reads, “It is nowhere forbidden to laugh or to eat one's fill or gain new possessions or enjoy oneself with musical instruments or drink wine."
As for the scriptures, in Ecclesiastes 9 verse 7 the admonition is “.Go, eat your food with rejoicing and drink your wine with a good heart.” Of course, one of the psalmists does add the warning “Do not be staying too long with the wine.” Very good advice for everyone.
Recently, our local Vancouver Sun newspaper, offered a free 8-week Home Schooling segment by wine expert Anthony Gismondi on “Educating Your Palate.” Each week he suggests a different wine type for us to buy and sample as homework. This is one piece of homework, I don’t mind doing in the least. So while I’m concentrating on sampling, for the next few weeks I’ll discuss some of the wine areas I’ve visited and the wines they offer. And I may have a few guest bloggers discuss their favourites as well.