Wine, Books & Sisters (aka Why Drink Pink?)


My preferred vacation planning methodology involves wine and books. Wine, as in 'what wineries/ cool restaurants with great wine do I want to visit?'. Books, as in treading in the footsteps of history, beloved fiction, or both. This year, on a whirlwind trip to Sicily, Malta, and London, we managed the 'both'.

The wine-naturally-was in Sicily. Grillo, Nero d'Avola, the glories of Etna Rosso and Bianco, and even some surprisingly beautiful rosato. Suffice to say it was awesome, and that you'll be seeing some of it arrive October-ish. We're hosting a Sicilian wine tasting-please tell me you aren't surprised?

As for the books, we strode through terrain on Mt Etna that surely must have been the inspiration for Tolkien's Mordor. It's impossible to visit Siracusa without the realization that Aeschylus produced Agamemnon and other plays right here...2,500 years ago. Gozo (Malta's smaller island) happens to be the best guess for the cave of Calypso, who held Odysseus captive for seven long years.And inside the Tower of London, I stood on the exact spot where Anne Boleyn parted ways with her head in 1536.

The wine bit is self-explanatory. The love of books is entirely due to my older sisters. Barb taught me to read while she was student teaching and later regretted this mightily when I landed in her first grade classroom already reading chapter books. Brenda fueled the flame with trips to the library and gifts of books that others might not have given to a grade school student: Lord of the Rings, The Odyssey. I loved every page. Brenda-through her own love of the written word-showed me that I could travel anywhere, to any time, and accomplish anything I truly wanted. She helped to open up my world.

It breaks my heart that I can't share the pictures and memories from this trip with Brenda. She's one of the few people in my life who would have fully appreciated how thrilling it was to stand where Calypso pulled Odysseus from the sea, or where the headsman of Calais ended Anne Boleyn's life with one swift stroke. But Brenda died at the end of 2016 of cholangiocarcinoma; I can't share my delight with her, a fact that makes me angry and sad in roughly equal parts. Cancer stole someone I loved, and I was utterly powerless to do anything about it. Which brings me to Drink Pink.

I'm neither an oncologist nor a researcher. I cannot 'solve' cancer. Very few of us can. But there are ways we CAN help. Drink Pink is ours. All ticket sales and a percentage of beverage sales are donated to Relay for Life of Western Norfolk County, the fundraising arm of the American Cancer Society. So while Drink Pink is, in fact, LOADS of fun, with 11 vendors pouring delicious beverage samples and Teddy Gallagher's providing equally delicious food, that's not the real point. The point is this: ACS could use more money to fund their fight against cancer; I think we should give them some.

Please consider joining us.