I have a map in my head and heart of all the places she has taken me with all my senses engaged in the journey. I have been bold, more bold in these travels than I have been in so many other aspects of my life.
I have freely taken the hand of sommelier, vintner, aficionado and friend and said, "Sure, take me there." I have sipped from their cups with the eyes, nose, palate and imagination of any brave and true explorer.
These explorations through the glass have led me to BC orchards and fields of French lavender, through summer meadows and into the Napa Valley. I have felt the warm summer sun and breathed in the sage of the Okanagan bench and wandered silently through the depths of cool, clay cellars and I have hidden in their oaken barrels. I have breathed in the scents of the tropics and glided over the dizzying heights of the Argentinian mountainside.
I close my eyes when I taste. I breathe deeply. My breathe is a breeze crossing the wee rivulet of wine on my tongue and with this inhalation, the colours, textures, scents and images rise up and take shape across my senses.
I understand little about the process. I know nothing of viticulture and soil - the study of oenology is beyond me but I have my own wine map which I have drawn through my tasting travels and the mental picture book of the places I have traveled with her (for surely wine is a woman) and I so look forward to the next adventure, to every taste, with anticipation, wonder and delight.
-Gillian Cornwall, April 1, 2012.