It’s All in the Tannins

June is Idaho Wine Month. Never ones to shy away from a celebration, we did our part by visiting 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards in Eagle, Idaho — a picturesque 28 mile drive from our home — and enjoyed tasting their wines, paired beautifully with their artisan elk salami and cheese tray.

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“We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born.” — Carl Jung

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Especially true for red varieties, wine gets better with age. That’s because with time, the tannins (bitter and astringent when young) dissipate and blossom into what wine connoisseurs call the “bouquet” — the aroma and essence of the body of the wine.

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Tannins — a natural preservative — have been known to keep a wine delectable for 40 years or longer, blossoming more and more each year, ultimately leaving the aged red wine with a smooth, rich flavor without the astringency of a young red wine.

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“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” — Galileo Galilei

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For you, what has gotten better with age?

© Laurie Buchanan

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71 thoughts on “It’s All in the Tannins

  1. I think most people get better with age. It takes years of real living to become the best that we can be. When I think back to what I thought wisdom was in my twenties, I have to laugh.

  2. Love the metaphor Laurie. For me, life in general has gotten better as I’ve aged. But then again, some would say it wouldn’t take much. LOL

    Sorry to have been gone for so long. We were without internet for two weeks and then I traveled to the US for nearly another two. So glad to be home!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  3. Everything has get getting better with the passing of time. I seem to going to more celebrations of life than weddings, and that helps me appreciate living even more.
    When I was younger, I did have some bitterness, or more like confusion. Things become clearer over time. Does that mean I’m developing a bouquet?

  4. Just about everything has gotten better with age! Younger years, at times, were filled with lots of angst and soul-searching and seeking. What a lovely blog. I love the metaphor you’ve created here. And thanks for your wonderful compliment about story-telling on my blog. I was grinning like crazy after reading it.

  5. To tannins, I will add flavonoids, Laurie, another benefit of the grape.

    What has gotten better with age, you ask? Awareness of new opportunities and appreciation for a rich life including struggles and triumphs. Each a gift!

    Here’s a verse from Psalm 92:14 that fits your theme: “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” NIV

    I enjoyed the trip to the 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards and your quotes, especially from Jung. I’m looking forward to other explorations in new territory which are sure to come.

    • Marian – That’s a great and fitting verse that you shared, thank you! And you’re oh-so-right about an expanded awareness and appreciation of both the sunshine and shadow — it takes both.

  6. I thought you were discussing tea varieties when I read your blog title lol! Hope you got to properly drink some, too. Instead of all that taste-and-spit mallarkey! The food tray looks delicious by the way, and your photography, as ever, is stunning! I particularly like the ‘wine is sunshine held together by water’ quote… exactly!

    • Ali – You guessed it, I’m not a “taste and spit” kinda gal. We heartily enjoyed every drop that was perfectly paired with the delicious food. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos — I had fun taking them 🙂

  7. I am like a fine bottle of red wine – much better with some years behind me. Everything is better. Except the energy level and the tolls of gravity on my body, although the energy level is better now than it has been for a long time.

  8. Love the beautiful photos, Laurie. I miss living next to great wineries. The ones here in AZ are sadly disappointing. Growing up in California wine-country spoiled me!
    Love the quote from Jung – I’d never heard that one.
    So much about life gets better with age, doesn’t it? But that often seems lost on our youth-worshiping culture.

    • Cynthia – I’d say the bar has been set pretty high for anyone who grew up in California’s wine country; it’s hard to beat, let alone come close.

      You’re absolutely right about the youth-worshiping culture, but the passage of time is a great leveler 🙂

  9. Loved this Tuesday Morning with Laurie! Beautiful thoughts and reminders. I enjoyed the analogy about the aging and blossoming of wine. I needed to hear that for myself this morning. Encouraging words indeed! I think I will just spend the rest of my day gently resting in that peaceful concept of blossoming.

  10. Ooooooohhhh!!!!!!! now that’s a good one . I adored being a teenager ( no one else adored me I might add …well probably Mum and Dad liked me a little bit ) I ‘THOUGHT’ I knew it all . Did you know the Cherry Jones ( Jones being my maiden name ) was going to rule the world and become a famous actress/model /pop star etc . I never did any of those things, and to be honest I’m glad ,because I am happy being me and that is what age has done for me …it’s made me wise , grateful, appreciative and given me acceptance of myself and others …I love that
    Thanks for a get post Laurie
    Cherryx

    • Cherry – You were going to rule the world, be a famous actress, model, and pop star. Over here on the other side of the pond I was going to be a mad scientist, world-famous magician (think David Copperfield), and an international spy! 🙂

  11. There is always someone knocking the door when I’m trying to email . Sorry Laurie I meant thanks for a GREAT post lol
    Cherryx

  12. It seems like there are wineries everywhere now. We spent a couple of hours last Saturday at a local one here in South Jersey–just sitting outside, sipping a glass of wine, and enjoying the perfect weather.

    I suppose some foods improve with age, too–some cheeses for example. But more in line with what you were asking, I think true, old friends are wonderful. The ones you’ve known for so long, and even when you don’t see them for a long time, you know that you can call them, or call upon them, and they will be there. “You’ve Got a Friend.” 🙂
    “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

  13. Laurie B, the Explorer ….. of her new neighbourhood. Enjoying your discovery blogs of all to see in your new backyard. Your photographer work is just gorgeous.
    For me what has gotten better with time …… I believe that would be my self confidence, within myself. As the arms on the clock have moved forward, I have learned confidently to rub shoulders with lots of community dignitaries that I have worked with in my Province and encountered successful public awareness. Goodness, I remember in high school being afraid to hold up my hand. In my early 30’s being afraid of saying a speech at a family wedding. Now I’m called upon to many times to do the Eulogies. So what has gotten better for me with time …. the realization that “all” of us have the same concerns and battle the same issues. No one is better than the other.

    • Laurie C — I love what you’ve shared here…that the passage of time has increased your self-confidence. What once had been potentially frightening events, you now take in your stride! 🙂

  14. Ha, I also love that Galileo quote! I see you are continuing to explore all the wonderful things in your midst, and wouldn’t want to visit the place you are discussing here? Age of course will continue to strengthen bonds and relationships, so my answer would be relationships. Again your metaphors in this ravishing post underline what matters the most to us in the life. 🙂

  15. Hi Laurie,

    I find that just about everything around the appreciation and interpretation of experience increases with age, while the ability of the body to do what it used to, or to recover from injuries, seems to degrade.

    So it is certainly seems true that the flavours of life are improving.

    On the specific topic of wine, I recall going to a fishing conference about 20 years ago, and one if the guys (a successful businessman) offered to pay for all the food for all those at our table; feeling obliged to contribute I offered to pay for the wine. Someone asked what wine did I want and I said I knew nothing of wines. One of the guys there knew a lot about wines, and offered to select some good one (unfortunately Ernie hadn’t heard I was paying, and thought George was). Ernie came back to the table with 3 bottles of wine. One in particular was exquisite. A sip of that wine became like a 5 minute symphony playing out on the taste buds. At the end of the meal I got the bill, just on $1,000, one just over $600, and two around $200 each. That was more than my budget for the 4 day conference, but I paid up. It was certainly the best wine I have ever tasted.
    Many years later I mentioned the incident to Ernie who was genuinely shocked that he had left me with the bill, as he thought it was George picking up the tab.

    It’s funny how not being able to use my left arm make me appreciate having arms.

    It’s amazing how difficult is the simple task of cutting a loaf of bread when one cannot hold the loaf – it is almost impossible.

    Ailsa and I have one set of hands between us. She has a broken bone in her right hand and my left collarbone is mending slowly. Going to be interesting this weekend when she goes to Dunedin and I am left home alone with the doggesses.

    • Ted — Holy Moly! If I’d been given a bill that size, I’d either have had to “sing for my supper” (several nights in a row), or wash dishes for several weeks on end!

      Len’s going to be gone this weekend, too (to South Carolina for a graduation and wedding). I have no idea what either of us is going to do, as we share a brain! 🙂

      All kidding aside…I know you’re very resourceful, as is Ailsa. You’ll probably patent some new invention, and she’ll cut a record — all in the space of a weekend!

  16. I haven’t heard much about Idaho wines, so this was interesting. I am sure you had a delightful time. And I think that for me the benefit of age is being able to see life events from a bit of distance and to not sweat the small stuff!

  17. I have gotten rid of my worry about numbers and math – I learned about my dyscalcula and how I manifest it and that just let me go with the flow…..Now I am working on applying what I learned to my worry about money and wow has age been a wonderful teacher and mediator to release that worry. It has definitely pointed out to me my need to relax – not very good at that yet…..

    • Patricia – I love what you shared here, that’s wonderful! Quite some time ago I posted about my “Buddha Butt” — a little wooden seat that I sit on to meditate. Before sitting down, I give myself “permission” to relax and let go. It’s been a freeing practice 🙂

      • Thanks for the reminder Laurie – I still can not bend my hips or knees properly, but have been working on relaxing and meditating in a Yin Yoga posture I can do on the bed for about 10 minutes at a time…August 1 I go on Medicare and I am hoping that will allow me PT, chiropractic or massage assistance….since the January 17th fall it has been a long haul, but when in pain it is hard to find relax….At least my dental insurance is paying half for their part!!!
        My Liangong instructor has given me lots of pointers and my daughter taught me a trick of putting my hips back in joint by resting my one leg on the counter and bending from various angles….
        I am most grateful for the flow of writing work that has come to me since sharing on FB – not having to worry about the co-pays has been a remarkable experience. Flow – relax…progressing and healing 🙂

      • Patricia – I’m thrilled for all of the positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing things (people, places, things, events, and opportunities) that have come your way. Blessings to YOU!

  18. What has gotten better with age is my 49.5 years of know my husband and the 47 years of marriage to my beloved!

  19. Great photos, wow, love them! As for what’s gotten better with age, I’d say my patience and my judgment. I definitely make better choices and am a whole lot more willing to wait for everything. Great post and reminders!

  20. Breathtaking photos! You know – I think my appreciation of the things around me — the natural world and its beauty – has gotten so much richer with age. I’m finally taking the time to stop and notice — and revel — in it. I wonder if that’s an ability that comes only WITH age? As a young person on the go, it seems those contemplative times just aren’t a priority.

  21. Love these Jungian words: “like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born.” They could be called the call to the memoirist. How do we excavate those qualities? How do we learn to recognize and appreciate our own special bouquet?

    My brother gave me a bottle of Blush wine to celebrate the publication of my memoir. And that was before either of us ever read that quote!

    So many things in my life have gotten better with age. But definitely the biggest blessing is grandchildren.

    • Shirley – You’re absolutely right! Jung’s words could definitely be the Clarion Call for the Memoirist. And how fitting that your brother gifted you with a bottle of blush wine to celebrate the publication of your memoir.

      We don’t have any grandchildren — yet — (emphasis there), but we’re definitely looking forward to it 🙂

    • Barbara – I love that quote, too. And let me tell you, the artisan elk salami had a little “zing” and “zippity-doo-dah” to it. I’m not sure what it was, but it was delicious. Absolutely delicious!

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