There are moments in time and in life where everything just feels right. No forced plans or arbitrary feelings of having to show up take place. You want to be with people, you want to do something fun, and you want to do something that’s real.
This is what happened with the Pagoda Lighting a couple of Sundays ago, (December 3rd to be exact) in Patterson Park, a part of Baltimore I adore.
A conversation with some friends to meet up for it happened the night before. And you know how that goes, sometimes you get inspired when talking about future plans, and when you’re in the moment, it feels amazing, feels like a guarantee, and feels like nothing else matters in the world. It’s a natural high that sounds preposterous as I write this out, but it just feels so real and so good in that moment.
It’s great to have things to look forward to, and that’s amplified during the holidays. No one wants to be alone on the holidays. Sometimes it’s a choice, sometimes things just can’t be helped.
Thankfully the two friends I was to meet up with (based on the aforementioned conversation two paragraphs ago) came to fruition, and life was good. Life is good, and this event was amazing.
With a tree (or in this instance an actual pagoda) lighting, that means plenty of festivities beforehand. There were free treats, snacks, hot cocoa, among other things that were available for enjoyment. Of course the food trucks you’re likely now accustomed to were in attendance, but folks got to eat!
And folks go to drink wine! But we were smart. We brought our own wine, our own cheese, meats, crackers, and all of that good stuff. Our cost to us was minimal but the experience was invaluable, and you can’t put a price tag on memories.
The wine I brought to our charming picnic was the 2015 Boatman from Brack Mountain Wine Company.
I’ll be honest, and one of my friends concurred, this wine was nothing special. It was about $13 at one of my local wine shoppes, so it wasn’t a major splurge, but it wasn’t a major anything.
One thing that does stand out is how purple this wine is in comparison to other red wines you would have. It’s a red blend (46% Alicante Bouschet and 54% Malbec) so anything can happen. Alicante Bouschet is a new one for me, as far as I know. I’ll have to explore this some more.
There’s lots of dark fruits, and cherries, but the notes mention violets and charcuterie, that’s interesting. Rhubarb, blackberry, and crushed peppercorns on the nose? I’m fascinated. I got none of this, but this is not an expert analysis on wine. It’s not the crowd pleaser I had hoped. It wasn’t the easy to drink wine you want at an event like this, or when you want something that agrees with everyone’s palate.
Quite simply, did I enjoy this wine? No, but it was fine enough to drink, and when it comes to most, if not all situations, that’s all that matters. It wasn’t a chore or a struggle, and when you’re with good people it’s never a struggle.
When the energy is good, everything still tastes better. The conversations are heightened, the air tends to feel fresher, and ones overall state of being is going to rub off on everyone else. That’s what I got from this night out.
I’m grateful I took a before and after picture of the Pagoda itself. It captures how beautiful this event, this lighting, and how amazing Christmas and the holidays can truly be. And when you spend celebrations with kind-hearted and genuine people, that’s a recipe for a winning holiday season. It’s a recipe for any season and anything period.
Nearly a year ago, I wrote about another one of Brack Mountain’s Wines, and it was fantastic. You can click on this entire paragraph to read it. And I bet the setting had much to do with that as well.
The wine may not have been the best, but it really doesn’t matter. They’re not all going to be winners, but this night was a winner for sure.
I’ve done this all three years and it’s a tradition I hope to be a part of for many to come.
Happy Holidays and May Peace Be Always With You.