Mollie Openshaw of Mood Swing Wines on the Joys of Menopause
Interviewer & Writer:
Uncorked Monthly Contributing Writer, Kim Brittingham
The Golden Girls
I still remember an episode of The Golden Girls in which Blanche learned she was entering menopause. She felt shame around it and seemed to think it made her less of a woman – even less sexy.
I was a teenager when I saw it the first time in the early 1980s. The characters were all women over 50, addressing issues of concern to a viewership comprised largely of their peers. But as someone from a younger generation, I remember thinking Blanche was being silly. From somewhere or other (certainly not from my mother) I’d learned that menopause is natural. That all women go through it sooner or later. And saying farewell to menstruation for good? I’ll raise a glass to that.
I feel lucky that I can be so cavalier about menopause. For women who came before me, the stigma around menopause must have made it harder to endure. More mysterious and therefore more frightening; more shameful and therefore not a welcome subject in polite company, or even between some mothers and daughters.
Breaking Down the Walls
Mollie Openshaw, 52, remembers the unease. “Our mothers – my mother in particular – they were largely quiet about menopause. I think we’ve referred to it in many cases as ‘the silent passage’. It was really hard for them to utter to words, ‘midlife change’. But I think my generation has been breaking down those walls for some time. And when it comes to menopause, I think we’re very outspoken.”
Openshaw is even more outspoken that others, considering that she started Mood Swing Wines to provide refreshment on a platform of frankness, acceptance and even humor around menopause.
From her website, www.MoodSwingWines.com, Openshaw asks, “Why not celebrate, laugh at, and even make fun of the challenges that menopause brings? Why not enjoy life together and drink wine together, enjoying the ride? Our goal was to create a series of wines and wine-related products that highlight a woman in the midst of real life, struggling with a hot flash but taking it in stride.”
Night sweats, forgetfulness, rages and tears – none of the commonplace effects of menopause need worry the drinker of Mood Swing Wines. Openshaw has created a variety of wines to fit your mood-of-the-moment, including Memory Lapse Merlot, Covers Off Chardonnay, and Zin-O-Pause. All Mood Swing Wines originate in the beautiful vineyards of Lodi, California, and every bottle comes with permission to embrace and celebrate life your way.
On its website, Mood Swing Wines is unapologetic about where it stands, outlining what they’re “for”…:
- Enjoying life
- Embracing change, even menopause
- Drinking wine together
- Being “real” about life and our bodies
- Getting over ourselves
…and what they’re “against”:
- Living in dread of menopause
- Skinny Rita’s (diet conscious alcohol)
- The idea that menopause is the beginning of the end
- Being overly self-conscious
- Women who are self-absorbed.
Says Openshaw, “What you read (on my) website and what’s on my bottle, it’s about embracing life, taking life on the chin, enjoying every moment that you have. And if that means getting together with girlfriends, do it, and have a great time, and enjoy great wine in the midst of it all.”
Openshaw recalls how menopause first snuck up on her. “I noticed some visible weight gain and finding myself in the refrigerator at weird hours of the day and night.”
But Openshaw wasn’t about to forsake her sanity for some stringent, mind-numbing diet that would rob her of life’s joys and was likely to fail anyway. “Why would we give up anything that we enjoy?” She asks, sounding delightfully rational. “Maybe it has to be in moderation, but certainly not give it up all together. That’s not fair. I grew up with women of all shapes, sizes, and colors and placed no judgment on any. I think in our midlife, it is really, really hard. We do struggle with weight, but why should that become a focus?”
Sexiest time in a woman’s life
In fact, regardless of where the pounds may fall, Openshaw thinks menopause can be the sexiest time in a woman’s life. “I feel really comfortable in my skin,” she says. “I feel happier and sexier than I’ve ever been…and certainly women between the ages of 40 and 50, I think we’re coming into ourselves again because we’ve put so much energy into being married, or raising children, or having a career…as women, we do so much, but we forget to take care of ourselves. Now we have that time to take care of ourselves and be everything that we can be.”
If you’re interested in purchasing Mood Swing Wines (great gift idea for mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends) you can contact Openshaw through her website at www.MoodSwingWines.com or email her directly: Mollie@MoodSwingWines.com.
Openshaw isn’t a doctor, but I wondered what advice she might give to a woman suffering from hot flashes. Her recommendation? Drink more wine. You’ll forget you’re having them.
NEW BOTTLE EXPERIENCE REVIEW & RATING:
Bright appearance, with aromas of floral, fruity and savoury. A red with floral, fruity and savoury flavours. The finish is simple-subtle. This day and age you don’t always feel like you – thanks hormones. Some days you just want to kick back and relax in your comfy sweats. Other days you’re ready to put on your highest pair of leopard high heels and strut your stuff. Make up. No make up. Whatever makes up you at this point in time, pause and have a glass of classic Zinfandel. It’s full bodied – like most of us hot flashy women are. It’s also classic, timeless and goes well with just about any situation you find yourself in. Celebrate the day and have a glass, just because you feel like it.An overall good-excellent Zinfandel from California.