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    Many years ago, my brother got married. A mutual friend put together the bachelor party, and he added an interesting twist. He manacled a ball and chain to my brother’s ankle that he was forced to carry around with him the entire night. He told my brother that the only way he could unlock the manacle was if he figured out the most important part of a successful marriage. We were out most of the night with my brother being a trooper and carrying the 10lb. ball everywhere we went. When the festivities ended he went home without having been told the answer. I found out later that my brother promptly called his fiance and asked if she had the key. She said yes. The answer to the riddle was communication.

    No matter how hard we try to read minds. No matter how many guesses one makes. It is impossible to know for certain what the other person is thinking without opening your mouth and exercising your vocal cords.

    When communication breaks down in a relationship, the relationship changes. Suddenly or over a long period of time the distance between two people can grow until you hardly know the other person. Each one is waiting for the other to know what is bothering them, but unwilling to bring it up. It could be because of fear, jealousy, mismatched schedules or just petty nonsense, but whatever it is will be like an infection that eventually requires amputation if not treated soon.

    Wine needs balance to be harmonious. The acid needs fruit, the fruit needs body, the body needs tannins, and the tannins need age. If they fight each other or grow distant the wine falls apart, but if they all express themselves at just the right time in just the right way then something magical happens. A wine that stands the test of time and is savored like none other.