Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Monday, June 29, 2009

One pilgrim's progress

"I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."
- Robert Frost
A dear friend of mine recently announced she would be heading off to Israel to study, and launched a blog to keep us all up to date with her experiences as a pilgrim in the Holy Land. I've always envied her adventurous spirit and fearless nature; when she announced she was packing up for this month-long sojourn, I wasn't the least bit surprised.

This is a woman to leaps into the arms of the unknown and joyfully wraps herself in culture shock. She's a seasoned traveller, with countries like Russia and Japan under her belt, and is wise beyond her years. She is creative, exceptionally clever, and blessed with a child-like wonder for the world I adore. In fact, when we get together, we're more often than not acting our shoe size and not our age.

Her latest project had me pondering a pilgrimage of my own. While the subject matter wouldn't be nearly as spiritual or educational, I'm certain I could still have a few religious experiences in some of the wine meccas of the world: Champagne, Bordeaux, the Loire, Alsace. Both north and south islands of New Zealand. I'd like to see the sun set over the famous curved banks of the Mosel River in Germany, find out what the fuss is about in Oregon's Pinot Noir country, and stand breathless in the altitudes of Argentina with a good Malbec in hand.

Not to say that I haven't already had a good share of wine-soaked adventures. I've biked through the vineyards of Chianti, tried Ticinian white Merlot in the mountains of Switzerland, and soaked up the robust, sun-drenched glory of the Napa Valley. That's quite a few regions checked off already.

And how could I possibly forget the superb wine travels to be found close to home? The Okanagan beckons invitingly; I think a trip there will happen sooner rather than later. Not to mention all the new places that keep popping up in Niagara and PEC. All the more reason to take that lovely drive, where I turn off the QEW into Grimsby and breathe in the smells of verdant fields and steeping juice. Or watch the sun set over the trees in Hillier at the end of a long, hot day, and swear I was somewhere in Europe. That'll certainly do for now.

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