This week my cousins and I headed to Naples for cooking lessons from my Aunt Lacey, some Florida sunshine, and quality time with two of the most interesting human beings around. My Aunt Lacey, who spent her career in the foreign service and has lived all over the world seems to have all the best stories to tell. She has lived in Naples for 25 years, where she retired and met the other most interesting human — her husband, Alan. This Alan fellow, who we love having in this family now, was a medical school professor in Toledo and Naples snow bird, where he met Aunt Lacey through a shared love of incredible food.
When they fell in love, he faced the challenge of moving to Naples full time and downsizing his 12,000 bottle wine collection in Toledo and scaled back to 6,000 for their new home in Florida.
I’ll tell you, even at half the size it had been, you could get lost looking at all the labels and imagining the vineyards the grapes came from…for many of them over a century ago.
What can I say, this brilliant, fascinating man loves red wine, and creating special events with a beautiful bottle and a story.
Like the special night on this trip where he served us a 120 year old Portuguese wine and told us the story of it. A 1900 Malvasia, a beautiful fortified wine (which meant it was higher alcohol and fairly sweet). It was a lovely dessert wine as you can imagine. But even more than the taste, my cousins and I felt honored to open and enjoy a bottle that has been cared for, treasured, and transported around the world for over a century.
If you know me, you know I love delicious wine, especially the “good stuff” that treats your body well. None of the Scout & Cellar bottles I stashed in my checked luggage were 120 years old, let me tell you. And yet, my aunt and uncle shared their food and wine with us, and graciously enjoyed the wine I brought (and my attempts at cooking). It was what family time is supposed to be, but sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of “normal life.”
Normal life wouldn’t have had me at the pool, and hearing stories from countries I haven’t visited yet. Normal wouldn’t have given me my own new stories about drinking an epic, 120 year old wine with generous-hearted people. I’m so glad this week hasn’t been normal!
I almost didn’t write this article on LinkedIn. It seems like around here we’re supposed to help each other with practical ideas, and share experiences that actually can be shared.
Sadly, I cannot send you a century old red. The best I can do is offer you is a delightful mixture of reds and sparking rosé from France and Chile found in this 3 bottle set called MixTrack! Treat yourself to a beautiful experience.
Maybe you can even make a special event of it and reconnect with some of the fascinating human beings in your life. I know we’re all busy, and we can’t always hop on a plane, or take time away from work. This was certainly a special occasion for me.
But it was worth the hassle of making work handle itself for a hot second. It was worth all the precautions, and inconveniences, and room that had to be made. I figure if I can do it, you’re creative enough to elbow your own schedule open and make room for a family celebration.