Tonight I am writing to you on the fly my resolutions for this New Year's Eve 2016as I shake off a 2015 that was really hard to put on. I spent the first six months of the year hard, in a mental and physical state that would have destroyed anyone. Then, all of a sudden, through a series of seemingly negative 'coincidences', I left the city I had lived in for nine long years and realised a dream I have carried with me since I was a child: to live in a lake house. I chose the lake in question because of its proximity to Franciacorta, a land I adore and on which I have wonderful wine projects. From day one, my wheel has turned here: Francesco, my partner, has been with me since that day... and meeting him made me question everything I thought about love for 30 very long years. Why am I sharing this reflection with you? Because I want to tell you, with all my heart, that if you feel like doing something, that if you have a dream you've been carrying around since childhood... don't be afraid to change your life. A wise Einstein said that if you go down the same road every day, you cannot expect to arrive in a different place... so if you don't like where you live, who you live with or how you live... change your route. Whatever city you arrive in, it will be a different city from where you are now. Hate it or love it if you can, but it's just a stage. If there's one thing I've learnt in this 2015 it's that you have to be the captain of your own vessel, and not be afraid to set sail from port or change course if necessary. Columbus would not have discovered any America by continuing to sail to Africa! This is my first 'commandment' for this New Year 2016!

new year's eve 2016 lake iseo

It is 11.51pm on 31 December 2015 and the bangs and colours of the fireworks are crisply reflected on the water. Notting Hill has just finished, and I'm lying on the sofa with a nice blanket and a glass of extraordinary wine looking out beyond the glass of my window onto the lake, where every morning I have the pleasure of waking up looking at this extraordinary view. The wine I have chosen to end this important 2015 is just as important: Amarone Riserva Lilium Est from Tenuta Sant'Antonio, vintage 2004.

In 2004 I graduated from high school, and that was the beginning of a life cycle that this year I feel has come to an end. Now I can look for my ENO happiness knowing that I have found what I was missing to feel like a complete woman, and I know that this 2016 will certainly be better because I will not be alone to face it. With my eyes resting on this impenetrable and truly consistent ruby-red goblet, possessed by a strong scent of ripe cherries, these spacing of anise, cinnamon, pepper and vanilla... with a chocolate that barely leaves room for the strong smell of tobacco, I think that the road to happiness exists.

You can continue on your way if you are enthusiastic about it, or simply change course. In my throat now flows a warm, dry and smooth liquid, perhaps a little savoury, which is 12 years old today. I have drunk many Amarones in my life, some truly remarkable ones at the presentation of the Guida Vitae 2016 in Milan... but the Lilium Est is always special and that is why I decided to uncork it for this New Year's Eve 2016! As value for money I perhaps prefer (from the same winery) the Campo dei Gigli. However, this Lilium Est, after 4 days of being open, really knows how to make itself loved. I have another bottle of Lilium Est 2004 that I have decided to open in a five-year period, when the wine will be 17 years old (taking advantage of its ageing potential of 20 years).

new year 2016

But let's not just talk about this New Year 2016, let's also talk about how I see myself in 5 years time! I happen to have the to-do list in my hands... I share it with you to convince me from today to get on the right track!

THINGS TO DO BEFORE OPENING THE NEXT BOTTLE OF LILIUM EST:

  1. Donate all the clothes I haven't worn for more than 3 years with the knowledge that even if I lose weight I've changed my tastes anyway (Except for the X's duster that my parents gave me in 2009 and that I've worn very little because it's a size 40... but I promise to get back into it before I uncork the next bottle!)
  2. Keeping receipts and invoices in order because although I am the daughter of an accountant I certainly did not inherit the organisation of the office... but from today everything changes, I promise!
  3. Build me a 'sensible' wine cellar where Franciacorta does not occupy 3/4 of the available places... with 1/4 divided between important reds and extraordinary passiti... more variety in short!
  4. Go for a nice, calorie-burning walk along the lakefront once a day for at least an hour, and not just to get to Lovere's Bar Centrale to eat ice cream!
  5. Lose 20 kg, of which at least 12 kg in the thighs (read 6 kg per thigh).
  6. Eat more fruit and not just oranges in the winter and apricots in the summer (is it a coincidence that I prefer wines with a citrus note and passiti wines that taste of ripe apricots)?
  7. Earn more and save almost everything (read not drooling over expensive handbags, Madeira and Porto sold in triple digits and ankle boots without heels).
  8. Not to work more than 12 hours a day but to devote time to taking care of my body and spirit to feel more confident.
  9. Learning how to recycle instead of despairing at all those little bins with coloured bags (as long as someone explains to me why I can't throw cut FLOWERS where I throw edible FLOWERS... or pumpkin FLOWERS... or cabbage FLOWERS for example).
  10. Finish writing the GUIDE TO BECOMING A SOMMELIER and take the course to become an AIS taster... and pass the exam brilliantly!

I greet you with these 3 extraordinary sentences about life, which I hope you will remember every day of this new 2016:

Life is too short to waste it realising the dreams of others.
Oscar Wilde

Life is a huge canvas: pour all the colours you can onto it.
Danny Kaye

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that leave us breathless.
Maya Angelou

Life is a wonderful gift: never miss a good glass of wine, a kiss from someone you love, a hug from a friend and lunch with your family. Never be afraid to make mistakes, from an early age we are 'trained' not to make mistakes... but don't give up! Making mistakes many times is the only way to get the result you want... unless of course you overdo your BLEEP and get it right the first time!

Happy New Year 2016 #winelover 🙂 🙂

A hug,

Chiara

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