Saturday, May 23, 2009

Southern New Mexico Wine Festival 2009

Paul gave this morning's dharma talk at Silver City Zen Center, and his topic was mindful eating and drinking. If we sometimes, or even regularly, eat without tasting our food and reflecting on where it comes from and how it got to us, our minds elsewhere even when we are taking something into our bodies to sustain our life, how much more might we be missing?

Later this very day, my family was on the fairgrounds in Las Cruces, having a walk through the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival. Our child took in the scene with bewilderment: the bad Beatles cover band, the stinky fried food, people enjoying a summer's day walking around with glasses full of wine or empty, waiting to be rinsed for the next tasting. We met a local artist who makes gorgeous masks festooned with exotic feathers from turkeys, peacock, pheasant, macaw, and so many others. We met a Hell's Angel who sells potpourri (and gave us some housekeeping tips).

We also drank wine -- mindfully, enjoying it. I tried a mouthful of several different versions of 'merlot' and 'shiraz' from wineries in the same state (Dos Viejos, Black Mesa, Heart of the Desert, La Vina, among others) some of whom cultivate grapes here in Deming and nearby Lordsburg. The grapes may grow in the same dirt, and yet such different recipes, such varied outcomes.

We saved the D.H. Lescombes tent for last, because we already know their wines well and suspected they would shine over the competition. Indeed they did. If enjoying wine is likened to savoring incense, the Lescombes limited release wines are like the top-tier aloeswood incense you never, ever buy.

There were entertainments on hand for children, and many ran around. It was a small carnival devoted to wine and crafts, and a cigar concession, as well. As fond a sight as it was to see young people outdoors with glasses of wine boisterously enjoying themselves amid loud cheers and rock music, I found myself wishing for a quieter venue more conducive to smelling the wine, holding it in the mouth, and swallowing it in appreciative measures.

Gabriel reached his melting point around 5:30 and home we went, knowing the child had redirected us from the temptation of buying bottles of wine.

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