Stage Four. Those aren’t words anyone wants to hear when it comes to breast cancer.
My mom grew up Westchester County, New York, born to South Carolinian parents. She attended boarding school at Madeira, where she was an equestrian. She made her debut at the International Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria, joined Tri-Delta and later the Junior League of Atlanta.
In short, this is not a woman you would expect to shave a faux hawk. And it’s definitely not a woman you would expect to dye said faux hawk pink.
So when she decided that’s what she wanted to do, my sisters dubbed it “The Pink Party” and like proper southerners, we ran with it.
Because when life throws you “The C word”, sometimes you’ve got to throw a little sparkling rosé and joie de vivre back at it.
A family silver tray was polished to present a flight of rosé wine, which was generously donated by Andrew Stover, of Vino 50 wines.
Hillinger makes a delicious sparkling wine, a portion of the proceeds benefiting Breast Cancer Research. For the past 5 years, they have donated 10,000 Euros a year with proceeds from their pink ribbon label- a refreshing secco made from 100% pinot noir. When menu planning and selecting wines, it was the obvious choice.
When cancer strikes, you either accept the diagnosis lying down, or you carpe your diem. My Mom has done the latter.
Since her diagnosis 4+ years ago she has traveled to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, France, Montreal, Scotland, the Grand Canyon. She made the move to Maryland with her service animal and companion, Maggie, a rescue Doberman Pinscher from the Dawson County Humane Society in Georgia.
The affair was civilized as these things go- we all wore pink. A family member, also a breast cancer survivor, sent a mass of hot pink roses. The luncheon was comprised of pink food and drink as we listened to a sound track of Frank Sinatra, Bon Iver, and Norah Jones. The hair dye was applied as we sipped Hillinger in my bathroom, and “set” as the tomato flat bread bubbled in the oven. As one does.
So if life has thrown you a curve ball lately, remember that it’s possible to celebrate even in the midst of dark and scary times. In fact, it is perhaps even more important to do so. So pop a cork, support a good cause while doing so, and live the good life. It’s what wine is all about.
Hillinger Sparkling Rosé, Pink Ribbon Label
Made from 100% pinot noir, this Austrian secco is lightly refreshing with notes of red fruit and strawberry. Enjoy as an aperitif at your own pink party!
Stone Hill Sparkling Rosé
This Methode Champenoise bubbly from Missouri (yes, Missouri!) is a blend of Vidal Blanc and Chambourcin. Its slightly more fruit forward style and dry finish paired well with our luncheon, and even better with the strawberry compote. Only 200 cases produced.
Boe Brookly Oenology Cabernet Franc Rosé
This rosé is comprised of 100% Cabernet Franc. Slightly tart with cranberry and raspberry on the palate, this dry, still wine hails from the finger lakes region of New York. Delicious on its own or paired with light appetizers.
Our chemo friendly menu (no raw fruits or veggies allowed!):
- Sparkling pink grapefruit juice
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Genoa Salami & Cheese (the only non-pink item served, but it’s not a party without a cheese plate!)
- Tomato and feta flat bread
- Strawberry Lemon cake served with stewed strawberry compote
To donate to Breast Cancer Research, click here.
To donate to the shelter where Maggie was adopted, click here.
Update: Though my mother has since passed away, she rocked the faux hawk for as long as possible. This October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and was also my mother’s birthday month. For other ways to support both wine and Breast Cancer awareness, check out the #wineloversagainstcancer campaign.