Zen Breath 3-2-1

Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter or you subscribed to the Koi Zen Cellars newsletter. Every Friday, I share 3 wine terms, 2 quotes from me, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

"If you are happy with what you have, you are truly rich "
~ The Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

January 21, 2022

Happy Friday! Time to wrap up this week and get ready for the next! Take a deep breath and kick off the weekend on a positive note. Let's consider where we have been, improve it, and move forward next week. Packing the most content into the least words and trying to change the world, one glass at a time.

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3 - Wine Terms - Wine Spirits

We are all familiar with wine -  a fermented fruit drink that contains alcohol. Fermentation is a natural process and modern yeasts can ferment sugars up to about 16% alcohol - but what if you want more alcohol? Or you want your port to have a bit more punch? Or you want to make a wine based cocktail?

This is were 'neutral grape spirits' come to the party. If you take wine and distill it you can develop a whole host of alternate products that we will talk about today.
  1. Brandy - Brandy is probably the most well know and understood type of grape spirit and generally contains between 35%-60% ABV (alcohol by volume). Brandies can be aged in barrels which add color, texture, smoothness and flavor, or can be clear and harsh. The advantage of brandy over wine is that it won't go bad in a few days like wine would - so it is shelf stable due to the high alcohol content.
  2. Vermouth - Vermouth is made by fortifying typically a white wine with neutral grape spirits and adding botanicals such as flowers, herbs, spices, barks, and roots. The addition of botanicals to wine can be traced back to 1250 BCE. The early use of grape spirits dates back to around 500 BCE. The modern form of Vermouth was formulated in the mid to late 18th century in Italy.

    Vermouth can be found in either 'sweet' or 'dry' versions depending upon the amount of sugar added to the product. Vermouth has a longer shelf life than wine once opened and will degrade over a few months.
  3. Grappa - When red wine is produced, the grapes, seeds and sometimes stems are all used during the fermentation process. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is pressed to separate the solids from the wine. The solids are called 'pomace'. Traditionally, the Italians would take this pomace (waste product) add sugar and water and re-ferment it to produce 'peasant wine'. This secondary wine was often distilled to produce Grappa.

2 - Quotes from Me:

1. "Keep what makes you happy, discard the rest" ~ The Zen Winemaker

2. "Gratitude can always be found" ~ The Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:

Gratitude is a key to happiness

There are a few quotes that stick in my head and I often reflect upon them when life goes sideways and I need to be grounded. One of my favorites quotes is:

“Let’s rise and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we may have learned a little. And if we didn’t learn even a little, at least we didn’t get sick. And if we did get sick, at least we didn’t die. So let us all be thankful."

When life gets busy or stressful, it is hard to remain grateful for what we have. Sometimes we want more, or think we deserve more, or want to achieve more, to have more, more, more, more.

But I have found that having more often doesn't really make me happier. True, it might in the moment, the excitement, the novelty, but that is short lived and soon this thing that was so highly desired is discarded in search of the next shiny thing.

This leads us to a cycles of get it and trash it which becomes joyless, wasteful and tiring. But focusing on what you have, versus what you don't have can get us off the hamster wheel and enjoy life a little bit more. This is where Gratitude comes in to play.

Some people confuse need and what which leads to a myriad problems.  Try this experiment: close your mouth and pinch your nose and wait. Wait 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes. Now tell me what you really need. It is air or that new Lexus?

Air, water, food, shelter, friendship, sex - these are our true needs and in reality the only things you need - everything else is a want.

We live in a place where abundance is everywhere, in some places it it not - let's look at a basic need - water. 1.2 million people die each year due to unsafe water sources. 1 in 4 people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. Many people stand in line for hours waiting to fill a pail from the public well. So be grateful for  our kitchen sink, don't take it for granted, because in the eyes of the world, it is a luxury.

If you focus on what you have, versus what you don't have - you life will immediately become more joyful. By taking the time to remind ourselves the blessings we have every day helps smooth out the rough patches in life. No matter how bad things can get, there is always something to be grateful for.

~~ Notice ~~

All of the little things that make you happy



Darius Miller - The Zen Winemaker

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Author of a #1 best seller:
'The Zen Winemaker - Follow Your Dreams & Overcome Your Fears'

Creator of:

'The Zen Wine Tasting Journal - Life is too short to drink bad wine, or to wear ugly underwear.'

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