Not All Who Wander Are Lost……But Some Are and That’s OK

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman

This is one of my absolute favorite quotes of all time. I have loved it for as long as I can remember. (Or more accurately, since about my freshmen year of college.) I am currently participating in the Free Range Humans course designed by Marianne Cantwell and it is amazing! I’m only on what is referred to as the “defrosting” week but I already love it. On Friday I will begin Week 1 and delve into figuring out what I want to do with my life instead of being stuck behind a desk until the end of all time. Don’t get me wrong, that is totally fine for some, just not for me. I graduated with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. After working as a food & beverage manager, server, bartender, and as a property manager for both residential and commercial properties, I really need to get my shit together.

Pardon my French but I am so exhausted. I am exhausted with this “stuck” feeling that has been dragging me down and I am physically and mentally exhausted as well. (I have taken up a part-time serving job to pay off student loans.) It is hard my friends! Your 20’s is harder than everybody makes it look. And more than anything I am needing to refocus and center in this crazy world. Due to some recent events in my life I am dedicating this year to me. That means no more negativity, no more unnecessary drama and no more nonsense from others. It is just me.

Where will it lead me? I have no idea. Actually, I have lots of ideas. For things I want to do, for the woman I want to become. But, I need to dig deep down and find what’s inside this heart of mine. I am positive that my internal compass already has a path for me if I can just make myself listen. I’m scared and nervous because I am laying my heart out here on the operating table with no clue of what the outcome will be. I know there is no in between though. I will either make it through or flat-line and since I’m not much of a quitter I don’t see the second one as an option.

So, here I am taking a leap into this year long journey of self-discovery and finding that passion which makes my heart beat with crazy intensity. I will be laying it all out right here every single step of the way. I’m so ready for this. I am ready to be vulnerable and exposed, to embrace the ideal and the messy. To find my direction and most importantly, to find myself. Because somewhere along the way I lost that girl who was so curious and laughed at everything this beautiful life had to offer. I’d really like to get her back.

There’s No Crying in Wine Drinking (Or Creative Uses for a Steak Knife) – Pt. 2

So where were we friends? Ah yes, the very unpleasant situation of dealing with half of the cork stuck in the neck of the wine bottle. A simple Google search resulted in these delightful solutions from WikiHow. After making several attempts, I passed the bottle over to my boyfriend (in all of my stubborness). And wouldn’t you know it? He removed it with a steak knife! (Despite my bad mood and certainty that such silliness would never work.) So, after filtering the remaining cork tidbits through a coffee filter we were finally able to enjoy this lovely bottle of wine. Let me tell you a little bit about it!

Spanish Wine

The star of this story

This fantastic wine was a 2005 Gran Vinya Son Caules Vinyes Velles. Whew. It is 75% Callet and Manto Negro grapes blended with 15% Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. I’m glad I drank it when I did because it was just perfect. It definitely needed to breathe for awhile (I think I waited about an hour) to cut down on some of those tannins. Because of the age it was very ruby red to almost brownish in color. It has dark overripe fruit notes like dark cherry and plum, as well as smoke and cinnamon. It was medium bodied, dry and delicious!

Drinking this wine will make your whole heart happy. You’ll feel like you’re right there in Mallorca with the locals. It is fruity, smooth and oh so yummy. It lingers and keeps you reaching for more. After doing some quick research I found that these grapes (Callet & Manto Negro) are only grown in Mallorca, which I realized I may have learned during the tour but could easily have forgotten since then. (There was soooo much wine during my short time in Spain.) I realize this wine is probably not very accessible but nonetheless, if you have the chance to sample some then go for it! I was a little bit sad when I drank my last glass but happy too because it reminded me of some great memories shared in a beautiful city with some of the most welcoming and wonderful people I have ever met. And to me, that’s what wine is about. It’s the memories and feelings that come about when you enjoy that bottle. This life is precious so take it all in and enjoy it while you can.

Until next time, cheers my friends!

Currently Sipping – Week of March 2, 2015

Happy Thursday my wine loving friends! So, let’s jump right in shall we? The wine I’m totally “crushing” on right now is the 2013 Apothic Crush. (See what I did there?) I’m currently down in Alabama so I don’t have quite the plethora of selections as I do in Washington. (*Sigh* Washington you have spoiled me.) So, upon my arrival down here I stopped at Wal-Mart to grab some groceries. It was the tiniest wine selection I’ve ever seen! (Not to be confused with a small selection of tiny wine bottles which would probably be really freakin’ adorable.)
Apothic Crush

Paired with brown sugar fried bananas drizzled with chocolate per Food Network. Heavenly!

The decision was between a Malbec or this lovely gem. Self high-five for picking Apothic!! It costs $11.00 so it’s certainly in the affordable range. Coming from California it’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah. After breathing in delicious aromas of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits like black raspberry and plum I was so excited to take a sip. And then I did and BAM! It was a fruity, fun and fantastic parade of flavors in my mouth. You really taste the chocolate and almost vanilla or caramel. It’s very smooth and light bodied with low to medium tannins. Very nice finish with lingering choclate and coffee notes. It’s only available through April 2015 so go snatch some up quick!

So, onto the second bottle in this Alabama wine adventure. Since I ended up staying longer than planned, I stopped at a local grocery store to restock on food, in the grape variety, in liquid form. OK it was wine. I really wanted to see if I could find a bottle of wine from somewhere down South. After hanging out in the wine section for a bit I spotted a bottle with a seagull and a lighthouse on the label that didn’t quite fit in. The label said “Scuppernong” and was produced by Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, North Carolina. Now, in all of my wine drinking years (roughly 5 at this point) I had never heard of this grape. I knew it was a sweet wine which I’m not too crazy about but I do enjoy them every now and then. I purchased the bottle and was super excited to take it home and sample!

The North Carolina History Project lists the Scuppernong grape as “the first actively cultivated grape in the United States.” (Be sure to click the link, there’s a neat story about the background of the grape with Thomas Jefferson in it!) Now, the Scuppernong grape is a variety of the Muscadine grape and this little tidbit over at E.C. Kraus helps to clarify the difference between the two. It’s definitely a very floral and fruity wine with apple, peach and pear notes and also has this sort of musty smell going on. The Scuppernong was medium bodied with a low to medium acidity. Although it falls at 12% alcohol, it felt like a bit more than that but that could be due to the sugar as well. It’s a little bit too sweet for my taste but other wine drinkers might enjoy it.

Sassy and sweet Scuppernong

Let me know in the comments below what you’re sipping on this week!