Others' Day

May 09, 2024

Written By Liz Miller, West End Wine Manager

Mother’s Day can be a distressing day for some, especially for those of us who have lost our mothers. Some of us were never fortunate enough to share a bond with our maternal mother, others will go through life wanting to hear her voice one more time, to ask her for advice, tell her about their day, but there will only be a memory on the other end. This newsletter is an homage to the women that have shaped our lives in the absence of a traditional matriarchal figure. Through my burgeoning career in wine, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to two women that have been my cheerleaders along the way - thank you so much Taylor Proctor and Allie Huggins for giving me wine resources, having faith in my abilities, and for pushing me to keep pursuing this pipe dream. The rest is left for the number one woman in my life, the woman that stepped in to be my mother, when mine stepped away. 

Mary Miller grew up in Kennett, Missouri, a Tomboy and only daughter to four rascal brothers. In a small town before the internet or mega malls, nature was her playground, and babysitting Sheryll Crow is her small town claim to fame. When her family outgrew their small farm home, she and her brother Don repurposed it into a “snake house” where they kept wild snakes that they caught on the farm, and milked their venom. Don later went to school for herpetology, and my grandmother traveled the world from an environmentalist’s point of view. She filled her yard with native plants, hatched monarch butterflies on milkweed, and worked as the recycling coordinator for the Pasco County school district for many years. These days she works with the Tampa Audubon Society to monitor and restore the bluebird population in Hillsborough County, Florida. 

Every year, instead of going to Summer camp, I’d go camping with my grandparents. I cherish these memories so much, because I was taught the value of all living creatures, and got to experience nature’s limitless awe inspiring beauty. My grandmother was there with me the moment that I became a woman, and she taught me that there was more to life than what our society expects of us. She has always been my cheerleading captain, pushing all of her children to follow their dreams and experience fulfillment in life. I may not have had a biological mother, but I could not have dreamed of a better heiress. 

Mary Miller isn’t much of a wine drinker, but she loves her sangria. This is a recipe that I came up with on a whim, and if I may humbly say so, was one of the best sangrias I’ve ever had. I mixed both bottles of wine with two cans of Bravazzi’s Blood Orange Hard Italian Soda, one Granny Smith apple, one Bartlett pear, and two blood

oranges - but feel free to use whatever fruit your heart desires. Just do yourself a favor and buy a Publix key lime pie to top with the sangria fruit after drinking. 

Bravazzi Blood Orange Hard Italian Soda $10.99 

Inspired by traditional Italian sodas bursting with sun-ripened citrus flavor, Bravazzi excites the palate with its naturally sweet and fizzy aroma of juicy blood orange. It's a refreshingly tasty, gluten-free hard soda with 4.2% alcohol, and adds the perfect touch of sweetness to the sangria so no added sugar is necessary. 

Breaking Bread ‘Marmalade’ $24.99 

Breaking Bread ‘Marmalade’ is a blend that achieves layers of mouthwatering complexity. Equal parts Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are added to the dominant and floral Muscat Blanc. The Chardonnay contributes weight and complexity to the mouthfeel, while the Sauvignon Blanc brings in some acidity that adds notes of citrus zest. The wine is aptly named, because it tastes just like orange marmalade, and adds a juicy element to the sangria. 

Cueva de Lobos Rioja Tinto Joven $15.99 

A young (joven) red Rioja wine lends loads of ripe fruit to the sangria. The bright and clean profile comes from simple winemaking in stainless steel tanks, allowing the purity of the fruit to shine.

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