Notes from the Cellar: May flowers, May Day, maybe …

by Jeff Cox, Beer and Wine Merchandiser

This article was originally published in May 2010

Time to lighten up. As our side of the sphere shakes off its slumbers and turns to face the warming rays of the sun, so do we. We’re getting happier by the minute, as our collective souls pulse with renewed hope and vitality.

This year, for sure, the Cubs are going all the way. We’re going with it, too, surfing all that goodness, most of us mindless that the tandem surge of libido and lightness of being is no more an accident than the sap that’s rising in the vines and the trees.

Meanwhile, we do well to remember that despite our opposable thumbs, ability to use tools and unique propensity to foul our own nest, we’re still just critters. Just like the birds, the bees and the beasts, there’s a chapter entitled “What to do in Spring” tattooed indelibly on our DNA. The primeval part of our brains dutifully dusts it off every year, sometime right around the vernal equinox, and follows it to the letter. We’re mere puppets on a string, just along for the ride and there’s no saying no.

To everything, a season. It’s not just a good thing, it’s THE thing, and the one at hand comes with a whole set of seasonal urges to satisfy, most of them wrapped around themes of refreshment and rejuvenation. Renewal is, of course, best accomplished without the burden of old baggage.

Vines need pruning to best focus their energy on growing new fruit. New horizons are glimpsed from roads not yet explored (the view seldom changes on the same old, rutted paths). Ergo, it’s time to trim away the dead wood. Time to ditch the received ideas, the conventional wisdom, all the stuff that passes for fact at the tea parties of those who think what they’re told. It’s time to fill our glasses with the things that self-made, self-congratulating sophisticates shun. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Turn, turn, turn. It makes us thirsty, both literally and figuratively. Thirsty to slake our thirst with Beaujolais, gruner veltliner, riesling, dry, spicy rosé, Blanquette de Limoux, sauvignon, viura, verdejo, bright, fresh, youthful reds (dolcetto!) gamay, valpolicella, pinot noir … et cetera.

But enough ink spilled on this riff, already. I’m parched. It’s time for a lovely beverage. Want to?

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