it’s cold just about everywhere. so what better time to recall the sunshine and autumn breezes that set the tone for the mindful wine tasting we hosted this fall for the second installment of our bloom series?
rather than share recipes, we wanted to emphasize the act of slowing down, and truly savoring the flavor of a spread that’s handpicked to match your wine. today is simply an introduction to the experience with a few words from yours truly, but stay tuned for floral tips, as well as tips on how to create your own mindful wine tasting, no matter the season.
a mindful wine tasting
If your weeks are anything like mine, then you’re all too familiar with that revolving door sensation that comes from five consecutive days of multi-tasking, ticking down checklists, meeting deadlines, and somewhere in the madness creating minimal space for meals, hygiene, and sleep…in that order. Showers feel like an obligation you have to check off your list and meals turn into what you can shovel down at red lights in between destinations. Somewhere in this hectic momentum we create for ourselves, we lose something. We lose the ability to be still – to stop, to notice, and most importantly to be present. This sense of presence lives in the absence of ‘how will this translate into the perfect instagram shot?’ or ‘what needs to be done when we get home?’ The presence I’m talking about opens our awareness to the small, but priceless pleasure of the everyday.
With this in mind, we chose to create an experience for those close to us, and for ourselves, to slow down, lift our eyes and focus our gaze on those experiences we’ve been missing since we’ve been on autopilot. A mindful wine tasting set in a familiar backyard was just what we needed to bring ourselves out of the haze.
When our friends arrived and saw the spread, the initial instinct was to dig in. To consume the beauty of the table without giving it a second thought. This is how we operate when we don’t have the luxury of time on our side. But we wanted to do things differently. Phones were tabled for the night; music was replaced by laughter and the sounds of autumn. We sat together, and we let our eyes feast before our stomachs for once. In this focus, this delayed gratification of sorts; we were setting ourselves up to enjoy these everyday pleasures on an entirely new level. Guests took turns reading invitations to look, swirl, sip and savor; each step of the process swallowing up several minutes. We took notes on the color, texture, aroma, and flavor of the wines. We closed our eyes and let our imaginations wonder. We were curious for what seems like the first time in a long time.
After initially tasting each wine and comparing impressions, we paired them with the bounty of a simple spread; blackberries, assorted cheeses, figs, honey, and more. Again, we tasted, we sampled, we took our time, and we studied items that we’d previously consumed with reckless abandon time and time again. There’s almost something childlike about dining in this way because the experience is akin to tasting flavors for the very first time.
The roots of our friendship run deep, yet we were all hearing stories untold, learning details of one another that were once muffled by the hum of our own internal chatter. Somehow this felt different. We’d created a new experience from the familiar, and it changed us. It gave us a hunger for slowing down and being intentional with one another – a hunger that will eventually dissipate if not fed often. A hunger that will surely get lost in the weekly revolutions if we do not make time to satiate it. If anything this afternoon was a reminder that enjoying the simple things is allowed to be a priority. This is not a call to burn your checklists, but an invitation to re-evaluate what’s important and perhaps find priority in the curious, intentional, and slow-moving gift of pausing.
the bloom series is an ongoing collaboration between forage + fodder, bricolage curated florals, and photo by betsy. each season we will bring you seasonally curated experiences along with simple floral tips and recipes. you can view more of our bloom series here.