Category Archives: The Vintage Conservatory

Of White Wine and Family

On a chilly weekend when all I want is a fireplace, a pair of warm slippers and  and a glass of big bold red – I sampled a lovely white – usually reserved for summer months. It was fresh, aromatic and made me think of spring and a great buy at under $17. It’s called Secret de Famille , 100% Viognier from Paul Jaboulet Aine. It was introduced to me at The Vintage Conservatory and is available by consignment from Halpern Wine.

What really lead me to think of a chilled glass of white on a snowy day is an amazing woman named Marge.Marge was rarely without a glass of white in her hand. Now that could have had something to do with the fact  that  I usually saw her during the holidays or other family gatherings. It may have also have been because  Marge always gave the impression that there was something to celebrate.Marge was always full of life. Ever welcoming, ever hilarious, ever generous with her friends, her children, grandchildren and any stragglers they brought with them.  Our family joined  their family vacation a couple of times. 20 people spanning several generations eating together, hanging out together, joining Marge for water aerobics class.

She was a star.

The last time I saw her, she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. She didn’t remember me right away, but after I told her I was Steve’s wife – I got a free pass because he had been welcomed in her home from the time he was a teenager.

Even in her new place where she could get the care she needed, Marge made sure her dinner mates had enough to eat and always wanted to tip the attendant for being helpful. She  asked me to come see her room, a slow winding journey because she stopped to chat with everyone she met along the way. It was  a cosy place filled with pictures of family members, family vacations, those moments embedded in time and memory – however fleeting.

To me, Marge meant family. She never missed an occasion to get together. And she always made me, my husband Steve and our children Ingela and Mia feel like family too.

On Friday, Marge passed away  at the age of 89.

So tonight I will toast her with a glass of white, a glass of Secret de Famille. Because her family secret was love.