WLVT: Winederlust ~ When Going Green is Damn Good Fun
Yoga has consumed my life the past couple of years, making my husband a bit of a yoga widower. So I felt incredibly grateful when Michael agreed to accompany me on my trip up to the Wanderlust Festival this year since yoga's not really his thing.
But the weekend of the festival happened to coincide with our sixth wedding anniversary - what kind of wife was I to subject him to a yoga festival when we were supposed to be celebrating the potent staying power of our love? How could I subject him to this? I had one sure-fire trick up my sleeve: Winederlust.
As much as our interests differ, my husband and I share a passion for good wine. We enjoy visiting vineyards around New Jersey, doing tastings and buying bottles with which to fill up our wine rack back home. When I told Michael there would be a wine, cheese, and craft beer tasting at the festival, I saw him excitement on his face for the first time since we had booked our lodging at the Inn at Stratton.
So what does wine have to do with yoga?
So much more than asana, yoga is a way of life. As evidenced by activist organizations like Off the Mat, Into the World, those who embrace yoga as a practice also tend to embrace charitable practices. As yogis discover the ways in which they are connected to all other beings, they feel compelled to give back. To live mindfully. To live in a way that sustains rather than destroys.
The green movement is a part of this yogic ethos, and the organizers of Wanderlust show their commitment to this movement by reducing waste during the festival, offering sustainable food and beverages, encouraging attendees to dispose of compostable materials appropriately... and by serving organic wine and craft beers. It doesn't hurt the cause that the fact that drinking excessively — and indulging in delicious whipped bries and goat cheeses from local farms — both act as a social lubricant, bringing the yoga community even closer.
Our first stop at Winederlust was the table filled with Dogwood Cellars wines. Free of sulfites, Dogwood Cellars was actually chosen to develop a wine specifically for next year's Wanderlust Festival. When it came to this year's selections, however, I was immediately taken by the smoothness of their Sauvignon Blanc, though I eventually shifted to team Zinfandel (their Old Vine Zinfandel is to die for). We moved on to a French label after that, their wines all made with organic grapes. And though we were thoroughly soused by the time we went all the way from their Chardonnay to their Pinot Noir, we eagerly moved on to the Long Trail beers after that. After all, wine before beer, you're in the clear!
And though I'm more of a wine drinker, I was won over by Long Trail's smooth Double IPA, plus their more malty Double Bag. It didn't hurt that they were committed to eco-friendly brewing, including a heat-reduction system that reduces propane use, a water conservation system, and more.
In the end, though, what really charmed me was the atmosphere. Everyone had a nice, friendly buzz on. Caravan Palace was rocking out to their house music in the background. We were making friends.
And there were endless amounts of whipped brie.
~ Steph Auteri is a freelance writer, editor, and vinyasa yoga instructor. You can learn more about her at her two sites — stephauteri.com andyoga.stephauteri.com, follow her on her OMmygod Tumblr, or stalk her on Twitter.