Wine for Every Occasion
(Even During a Pandemic)
By Maureen Nelson, Co-Owner, D’Vine Kailua Wine Bar
When you decide to open your own business, a wine bar and retail bottle shop, you don’t plan for a pandemic. That’s just not a part of the equation. So, unfortunately, here we are in the first year of business and are off plan. My business partners and I did extensive research, and even hired graduate students to help us, so we’d have a comprehensive business plan to get us through our first few years of operation. We made it very detailed and all felt sure it was fool proof.
Unfortunately, the word “pandemic” was nowhere on our 60-plus-page plan. So, now we are scrambling to save our business, as are many small business owners across America and the world. I imagine that this era will go down in history with many case studies of those who succeeded despite the odds, and those who didn’t—much the way the Great Depression of the 1930s has been documented. I hope that our small business of little significance to the world, but great significance to my family, friends and customers, will be one of those businesses that make a positive case study for future generations about success against extreme and unusual circumstance.
And what, after all, does wine matter when there is a global pandemic? I would offer that it does matter.
When so many people are sequestered in their homes, alone or with family, there are few pleasures to be had. A few weeks into the shelter-at-home order, and I know I’m feeling cabin fever, as I’ve never known it before. At first, it seemed a blessing. Having been busy with work, I’d been putting off household projects and getting organized. Suddenly having time to do all of that was great for a while. But now, well into it, I’m going a bit stir crazy.
One of the things that keeps me going is indulging in a few simple pleasures: long walks in the morning (with my face mask in place, of course), yoga via online classes, having time to plan and cook a nutritious meal, connecting with family and friends via online chats, and wine. I own a wine bar, so obviously, I enjoy my wine, but it seems more precious to me than ever before. Not for the effect it induces, but rather for the sheer pleasure of tasting it.
…I enjoy my wine, but it seems more precious to me than ever before. Not for the effect it induces, but rather for the sheer pleasure of tasting it.”
My wine of choice varies from day to day, but mostly I stick with white wine because of its crisp, refreshing attributes. I live in Hawaii, so most afternoons are warm and balmy, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting in my backyard and sipping a glass of citrusy Terlato Pinot Grigio or a more full-bodied, creamy Chardonnay, such as Calmere. Taking the time to watch the sunset with my favorite wine of the moment is a pleasure, and something I’ll remember as a blessing about this strange time in our lives. Normally, I’d be too busy rushing from this thing or that to stop and smell the bouquet of a fine wine at sunset, but now I have no guilt about it, and nothing better to do.
And, even better, we now have time to barbecue during the week. We’ll happily pair a peppery steak with a Zinfandel blend such as Mount Peak Rattlesnake—a mouth-watering combination.
And if I feel like something a bit sweeter for dessert, I’ll probably sip the Saracco Moscato. I was never a fan of sweet wine until I tasted this one. Many of our customers feel the same way because this is one of our biggest sellers.
At D’Vine, we pride ourselves in featuring fabulous wines that aren’t available all over town (actually, all of our wines are now available to order online in our Bottle Shop). Saracco is one of those hard-to-find treasures.
There’s a wine for every occasion and every palate, which makes wine an essential part of relaxing and enjoying the circumstances of the moment. At least for me. And sometimes, it just takes a little extra time to count your blessings and realize what’s important in life. When I count mine, it’s always my family and friends first, staying healthy, but then it goes to enjoying the simple pleasures, even when unforeseen circumstances put a wrinkle in your plan.
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