Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Not Quite a Bucket List

It has ben a little over a month since my mom passed away and while I'm not okay, I am taking it one day at a time. I think that everyone experiences bereavement differently, and for me, the pain seems to come a little bit at a time. I might make it through an entire work day without crying only to get home and burst into tears when I look in the mirror and see my mother's earrings in my ears. Sometimes I get lost in a memory of her and I realize after a moment that I have been staring off into space again, frowning down at my keyboard, work forgotten. Sometimes I overhear someone telling a story about their own mother and I feel irrationally jealous, particularly when that person is much older than me. Why should some forty something get to keep both of their parents when all I had was my mother and now she is gone? One night I dreamed of her and she was healthy and perfect and the only problem was that I woke up and it was only a dream.

I read somewhere that losing a parent, particularly the parent of the same gender, brings you face to face with your own mortality. I think that has been true for me. My mother was only 57 when she developed congestive heart failure and died a few months later. It was brutal and it was fast and it has made me realize that I need to figure out what I want from my life and make it happen now. Over the past few days, I have been thinking about my goals for myself, what I want to try, and how I can reach the end of my life, whenever that may be, with no regrets. I do not yet have an official Ashley Malone bucket list, but I have started working towards a few of the easily achievable items that would be on such a list. The first item is that I want to become knowledgeable about wine.

I stumbled across a wine store by accident a couple of weeks ago and wandered in to check out their selection. I learned during a trip to Italy in college that I am fond of dessert wine, so when I saw a bottle of Oliver Camelot Mead Honey Wine on a bottom shelf for a little over $10, I decided to give it a go. The cashier told me that a woman had come in and ordered a bunch of bottles and for some reason or other hadn't ended up buying it. In any case, I'm glad this bottle was still at the store because I really liked it. The winery calls this a semi-sweet wine, but I found that the taste of honey was really prominent and the sweetness made the wine pleasant and easy to sip. If you like sweet wines, definitely give this one a try.

The week after I tried the honey mead, I ventured back into the same wine store and one of the employees recommended this bottle of Electra Moscato. In talking to the woman at the wine store, I learned that if I like sweet white wines, I need to go for moscato or riesling and I should also focus on German wines because the Germans, apparently, produce a lot of sweeter wines. She assured me that the Electra Moscato was a favorite among the staff. As much as I love the design of the bottle, Electra was not my favorite wine ever.  In the space between dessert wines and dry wines, this Moscato (which I learned is a reference to the muscat grape from which it is made) is a hair closer to the dry side. It certainly didn't taste bad, but it wasn't worth the hype. Plus it was mildly fizzy, and I don't like that. This bottle was around $17 and even though it cost more than the Oliver mead, I did not like it more. Sadly, I don't plan to buy anymore of this one.

It occurs to me that this particular bucket list item is more of a journey than a destination. I am okay with that. I started my study of wine with sweet white wines, but over time I will branch out to red wine and wander into drier wines as I develop a taste for it. It might take a while since I have a glass with dinner at most, but as I try new wines, I'll let you know what I thought of them. This isn't an official review and I'll be paying for each bottle out of pocket, but the opinions will be my own as always. 

For the 21+ year olds, do you have a favorite wine? If you don't drink or aren't 21, what are your favorite non-alcoholic beverages?