The Flathead Valley is a little slice of Heaven. It has been my home the past 20 years. During this time, I have worked in the wine, beer and food industry. It has been extremely rewarding in so many different ways. The friendships that have been built, and the countless experiences over a glass of wine, cocktail or a bite of food, have been very fulfilling. Becoming an educator in the industry has been a very rewarding part of my career. Passing on knowledge that was passed on to me by amazing mentors in my life touches me deeply. When Managing Editor Myers Reece approached me to write a weekly column for the Flathead Beacon, it forced me out of my comfort zone. I was honored and thankful to be given the opportunity. So much of what I do is done in person, one on one. Having a discussion and getting to know a customer on a personal basis to help guide them in their decision has been the approach. Writing has opened up a whole new world for me and has allowed me to think about this industry I love in a totally different light. Most of the time I write about a new beverage style, food recipe or wine/food related topic. It is very easy to overthink the experience. I talk about this a lot in my wine education classes. Get back to basics and trust your palate. It can be tougher than you think. This weekend I was reminded of that.
I was able to get out on the road, take a little break away from Brix and reset myself. Virginia City, Montana was the first capital of Montana. Verina was the original name and it means “truth.” I have been visiting that part of Montana as long as I have lived here. Even though it is not home, it has always felt like home. Timeless does not begin to describe it. Every time I leave to head back to the Flathead, I am left humbled, and my soul nourished. Sometimes it isn’t a tasty beverage or bite of food that nourishes you. I spent the weekend meeting with up with close friends who had traveled from all over the U.S. to meet up. Many tasty beverages were consumed, stories told and memories relived. Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons were playing live music at an outdoor stage in Virginia City. Live music is something that nourishes me the same way as food or drink. It fills me up, comforts me and makes me whole again. Jerry is an amazing singer/songwriter. There were so many amazing moments this weekend. It will take quite a while to put it all in perspective. There was a line in a song that Jerry was singing. They were covering “Take a Giant Step” by Taj Majal. Jerry sang, “Come with me, leave yesterday behind. And take a giant step outside your mind.” Dancing with the one I love and surrounded by so many friends was what my soul needed and what I craved for nourishment. Getting my head out of the past or future, but rather being fulling present in the moment.
As summer rockets past us, take the time to be mindful in whatever feeds your soul. Get out on the road, visit friends and love deeply. Life is short and full. Be the moment. Cheers!
Raymond Dickinson is the owner of Brix Bottleshop, a certified sommelier and a wine educator with decades of experience in the food and beverage industry. Brix Bottleshop, located at 115 S. Main St. in downtown Kalispell, can be found online at www.brixbottleshop.com.
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