Friday, February 21, 2014

From Cask to Casket: A Wine-ing Approach to Celebrating the End of a Life

I have to say, it’s not often that my two main interests – wine and end-of-life issues/cemeteries – coincide, so this is an opportunity I could not resist reporting on.

Hodges Funeral Home - Naples
in Naples, Florida believes that grieving is as much about celebrating a life as it is about the end of it. That is why the business had a wine cellar installed in the basement last month.

Let’s face it, few people want to go to the funeral home, and most just want to move through as quickly as possible. But now those attending visitations, wakes, and services at Hodges, in southwest Florida, have the option to meet in the wine cellar to remember the departed in a less traditional setting.

The Wine Cellar
Most people, especially those under 30, would prefer gathering with family and friends in a comfortable atmosphere, maybe with a glass of wine in hand, and share their memories of the departed. It’s a different way to grieve, and that’s what the wine cellar offers.

While it is not traditional, nor does it meet old-school funeral ethics, it does provide a more relaxed and calmer way to mourn and remember. Amid comfortable chairs, high top tables, and racks of wine, this modern wine cellar provides a laid-back, tranquil vibe.

Of course, this is still about honoring the deceased, but this approach sure beats that line of chairs in front of the body, in my opinion. And no other funeral home is known to have a wine cellar, so this is definitely breaking new ground … (There is no mention of what wines are offered, but I’m assuming Bone Dry Red and Two Angels Petite Sirah are not in the line up: but maybe they should be …)

Hodges Funeral Home is not shy about blazing new trails. They also offer catered reception services as part of the Dignity Memorial Community. (Dignity Memorial
has over 1,800 funeral homes in the U.S.) A reception can be held at the funeral home, or any place you select. Breakfast can also be ordered for the family the day of the funeral, and delivered at a home or church before services.

One of Hodges Traditional Rooms
For those who believe the traditional way is best, Hodges will continue to offer the standard funeral home experience. But for those looking for a new and innovative way to mourn – the wine cellar seems to provide a modern answer.

Hodges Wine Cellar
If this venue is successful at Hodges Funeral Home, expect to see other Dignity Memorial-owned funeral homes offering the “Cask to Casket” experience. Could this be the trend of the future?  We can only raise a glass, and hope.

~ Joy


  1. Not sure how that would be greeted over here in the UK

    1. I'm interested in seeing if it flies over here ...

  2. Wait for Washington and Colorado to offer weed wakes for the friends of the hip young dead.

    1. Ahhh, Bruce - You may be on to something there! ; )

  3. I think this is an interesting idea. I've been to luncheons after a funeral, and this seems a bit more laid-back. Definitely easier on a family if they don't have to host a gathering in their own home.

    1. You are right, Jen. This does take some of the burden off the family and make it a little more comfortable for the attendees...

  4. I think the wine cellar is a great idea as long as no one gets loaded. It sounds very dignified though