Wine Like a Bouquet of Flowers

By: James, Founder and Winemaker

It’s the story of a newlywed couple: he’s an artist, she’s a marriage-counselor-in-training. Not surprisingly, the budget is tight, and they often resort to canned tuna to make ends meet. At the end of another long day, the husband sits, alone, ruminating, wondering how to pay the rent and pay for necessities this week… 

It’s a story recounted by artist and writer Makoto Fujimura, whose works have been described as “a fusion between fine art and abstract expressionism, together with the traditional Japanese art of Nihonga and Kacho-ga (bird-and-flower painting tradition).” I find his works are of rare beauty: abstract enough to inspire wonder before the sense of possibility they contain, yet with enough realistic elements that they can speak to the viewer. Below is one of his works so you can get a feel for his work.

Back to our story: it’s actually a true one that Makoto and his wife Judy lived out in the early days of their marriage, so I’ll leave it to him to finish the tail for you in his own words: 

“Our refrigerator was empty and I had no cash left. Then Judy walked in, and she had bought home a bouquet of flowers. I got really upset.

 ‘How could you think of buying flowers if we can’t even eat!’ I remember saying, frustrated. 

Judy’s reply has been etched in my heart for over thirty years now. “We need to feed our souls, too.” 

The irony is that I am an artist. I am the one, supposedly, feeding people’s souls. But in worrying for tomorrow, in the stoic responsibility I felt to make ends meet, to survive, I failed to be the artist. Judy was the artist: she brought home a bouquet.” 

We need to feed our souls, too. Yes, we do. Our lives are so often filled with strife, with confusion, with frustration and uncertainty. And as things seem to move faster and faster by the day, by the minute, by the second, we all need moments of beauty in our lives to remind us to slow down, to open ourselves to the world and to those around us. It can be high art: spending a few minutes in front of a painting we love, say, or attending a classical music concert. Or it can be “low”, common beauty: a poster on the wall, a book we devour on the couch, a kiss from a loved one, a warm bed to sleep in. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that, just as we take care of our bodies, we consciously make the effort to encounter beauty everyday. Why? Because beauty relaxes, beauty inspires, it renews our conviction in the goodness of life, and it calls us to share beauty with those around us. Beauty is a force for good. 

In this way, each and everyone of us becomes an artist. 


We all have our preferred ways of bringing beauty into our lives; for me it is a glass of wine. A glass of wine, if well made, is an aesthetic experience as rich as a Beethoven symphony or a Picasso painting. It stimulates the senses, it relaxes, and it draws me from the worries in my mind into a realm of beauty, a realm that I am, if lucky, sharing with my wife Alexandra and our friends. 

If wine is beauty, and beauty feeds souls, I consider myself blessed to work where my job is to share these moments, to give beauty to others. Yes, my job is to craft moments of beauty that go out into the world and work their beauty into the everyday life of others. I am here to feed souls. 

It’s an awe inspiring responsibility I have. If the wine fails, if the pleasure isn’t there, what a pity! What a tragedy! But when it works, when it puts a smile on your face, when it helps you to forget your worries, if only for a moment, what a joy! It’s why I am driven to pour every ounce of my soul into producing the best bottle of wine I can, every time. 

Wine can spoil so easily, and a blend can be pleasant but uninspiring, just a little off, just a little out of balance. It is so tempting to say, “good enough” and call it a day. And that temptation is exactly why you have to approach winemaking with the passion and care of an artist if you are going to feed souls. If your heart’s not into it, it shows. The wine doesn’t lie. 

Cheers, and may your wine taste like a bouquet of flowers!