Dear Casa Carmen Family,
From many perspectives, we live in crazy times. Everyone is busy. We turn our gaze in every direction and we see speed, transience, frenzy. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the news cycle. Even nature, one of the most stable reference points in life, is changing. Our modern era is, as many philosophers have said, marked by impermanence.
Yet our life here along the shores of the Chester River is radically different. It reaches above and beyond the impermanence and the fads to touch something that doesn’t change. It reaches not for a reality of the past or the future, but for an aspiration. Our life here on the Eastern Shore is indeed a political stance. But not a political stance in the usual sense of the term, for it transcends what we commonly understand as “politics.” It is a stance that goes to the very heart of our nature as social animals, one of friendship.
That is what we do here along the Chester River. Though we are not perfect, we live a life that is closer to Babette’s Feast than to our neighbors in Capitol Hill. We have our downtown businesses where we see each other on a regular basis. We have our art exhibitions, and festivals, and farmer’s market. We have our common streets and we invite one another to our homes. We have our little tasting room and bodega. We have our Wine Club dinners where we cook over open fire in all seasons and laugh until its dark outside. We gather regularly around our love of wine, food and each other. And those that are part of the Wine Club family but that live far, we try to reach, quite literally, with a message in a bottle, in the hope that they come to stay with us for a while.
And that is why we do what we do here at Casa Carmen. Because wine reminds us that we are more than what our time would have us think. Wine reminds us of what lies beyond social and political pressures. Wine is not “fancy.” It is not the result of high culture. But it produces culture, in the most fundamental way. It binds people together so that we create customs and traditions, activities, rhythms, so that we may know one another. Wine, in a world of impermanence, helps us slow down and remember that we are together.