Carolyn Sackariason: A purpose driven and drinking life is a good one in Aspen

Carolyn Sackariason

Now that the commotion is over and we are in the off-season after a whirlwind September, it’s time to catch up on the to-do list and clean out my reporter’s notebook.

Being the Aspen City Hall reporter can suck the life out of you with marathon council meetings, listening to conspiracy theorists who hate the municipal government no matter what and all the others whispering in my ear urging me to dive into rabbit holes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I believe it is a public service to sit in government meetings so you don’t have to.

But it is absolutely a necessity to get out and have as much fun as possible, feed the soul, nourish the mind and expand my horizons outside of Aspen politics.

Luckily for us, the horizons are vast in our little hamlet when we have world-class amenities, recreational opportunities and events.

Due to COVID-19 rescheduling, many of us got to take in two of our favorite gatherings last month — the Jazz Aspen Labor Day Experience and the Food & Wine Classic.

I made it under the Food & Wine tent, and it felt like it did in the 1990s when it wasn’t packed to the gills.

The 60% capacity COVID rule kept some vintners away, but with fewer patrons under the tent it allowed more breathing room to talk to the ones who were there and to my surprise there were several who had never poured here before.

One of them was Colin Ip, wine club manager at Tobias Glen Vineyard, who was serving up the most delicious pinot noir and rose that I found myself coming back to his table several times.

I’m no wine expert, but I am an expert in drinking it, so I will leave to the vintners to describe what I was experiencing.

JINSEI, the Japanese word that means “life,” is their flagship single vineyard pinot noir. Only 296 cases were produced from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, California.

Ip explained that 2017 was a tremendous vintage, giving them a pinot noir with exceptional aromas of raspberry and violet. On the palate, it is rich and concentrated, with ample grip, structure, plus an intense sweetness of black fruit. The finish shows power, concentration, wonderful perfume, poise, precision and length.

Animé from the French word meaning “lively” is their very limited rose and is delicious. Made from pinot noir and in the traditional French style, it has aromas and flavors of tangerine, lime, dried strawberry and hints of herbs and spices.

The other notable winery that didn’t make it into my Food & Wine coverage is the sparkling wines from Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma, California.

What stood out is the Royal Cuvée, the vineyard’s flagship wine made to honor the Royal Spanish visit in 1986.

“It has since become our go-to wine for celebrations and holidays at the winery,” according to Mayacamas Olds, general manager for Gloria Ferrer.

It has delicate pear and floral notes backed by toasty almond. On the palate, you can taste the lively citrus, toast and apple flavors overlaid with persistent effervescence, a creamy mid-palate and toasty finish.

Simply put, it’s a fantastic wine to sip on with friends in the park, which is what I did watching the Gentlemen of Aspen win the championship game during the 53rd annual Ruggerfest, also held in September.

A week prior to Food & Wine, I found myself in the VIP tent at the JAS festival where I came across a woman known only as Shaman, who says she has been gifted with the ability to communicate with people’s guardian angels and help guide them toward their true purpose in life.

As part of that purpose, she connects people to their soulmate. She teaches people the true meaning of a soulmate, not the modern-day explanation, but the original message of what a soulmate is — love.

Shaman has recently moved back to Aspen and is in the process of setting up an office where she plans to connect her clients with their soulmates and spirituality.

I spent about 15 minutes with her when she was set up at the festival.

She pegged me pretty much right away and was unapologetic about being outspoken and blunt about it, which I absolutely loved since I am the same way.

I didn’t love everything she said since it was a bit dark and real about the people around me and their fate, particularly my aging parents, but my conversation with her gave me some peace of mind.

She told me that I better get it together because my soulmate is about to walk through the door and I need to be open to him.

He doesn’t seem like he’s my type. He’s described as a ginger, facial hair, fisherman, equestrian.

I guess that’s not being very open, but who knows what the future holds. I’m more of a dog person, but I have a cat so what the hell.

Shaman was at the JAS festival grounds offering readings and raising money for Indigo children, who are believed to possess special, unusual and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities and in some cases possessing paranormal abilities such as telepathy, according to Wikipedia.

As a young girl, Shaman says she talked to God, angels and spiritual leaders and was mentored by them around the world, as well as the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

Some of you may be reading this shaking their heads in doubt, but I do believe in the power of spiritual healing and of another dimension that normal human beings are unaware of.

In this life, I am aware that excellent wine and a purpose-filled life sound like a match made in heaven, and luckily I am living it with or without a gingerman.

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