I know, I know...Another blog talking about...of all things: WINE!
But why wine?
For those of us who survived wine coolers and Zima, wine has become an ubiquitous beverage. In fact, according to The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil, as of 2015 the US is the world’s largest wine consuming market notwithstanding that 40% of all-American adults do not drink alcohol in any form! Just look around next time you go to a restaurant and see if you can find the table without wine. When was the last time you hosted friends at your house and they did not bring a bottle of wine? If you ever come to mine, that will certainly gain big favors. Baskets, not so much. Please no more baskets or candles!
Although wine is routinely considered part of a meal in most European and other New World countries, in our American culture it has been slow to gain the status of a meal’s accompaniment. Nonetheless, wine in all its glorious manifestations, has been steadily marching into its rightful place because of several persuasive reasons.
Wine lends itself to be appreciated in many ways. It has the layers to be “geekfully” enjoyed but also it can be a drink to happily quaff because it simply tastes delicious…and beyond all the faux poetry of ostentatious tasting notes, that’s what defines a good wine. And here’s the thing: nobody can tell you what is that you should like. In fact, the best wine in the world is the cheapest one YOU like.
Wine tends to have what I call the “power of convocation”: When was the last time you had some friends over to talk and enjoy a nice Diet Coke (and hey, a chilled one is great from time to time…while at work). Wine, like any other forms of happiness, is better appreciated when enjoyed with others. In addition to great food, wine is exalted over great conversation with great company.
And speaking of food, when properly paired, wine serves as the ultimate food condiment. Without much fuzz, often through trial and error, one can readily find those heavenly pairings that enhance BOTH the food and the wine. The only condition to further this enjoyment is to be adventurous. Go ahead and try a light red wine with that salmon or maybe give your steak a break from that Napa Cabernet.
The cheapest travel I can think of is in a bottle of wine. Who has not been taken back to the place when you first had that certain bottle of wine? Although wine will never taste as good as it did on the day you had it on that piazza or picnic blanket when there were no kids, work, or cell phones, its evocative powers are undisputable. Wine can conjure great moments of years past. The opposite is also true: a great bottle of wine can make you curious about its provenance and the people who worked to make it special. Since vines do not grow in ugly places, that can be your next trip.
Finally, wine can be the best relationship counselor. It is over a glass of wine that we can often communicate best with our significant others. And this is not only because it can be some kind of truth serum (yes, “in vino veritas”) but more so because it is what one enjoys in moments of silence and attention at the end of the day. A glass of wine will make you take it down a notch or two.
It is simple: wine is to be enjoyed to the extent that it should be an object of happiness through sharing great meals, conversations, stories, friendships, and the love of those who you hold close to your heart. The folks who solely count points and define the goodness of a bottle by its price are missing out on the essence of wine as a conduit for happiness. Whether you want to think about it or not, wine allows you the choice. Just do not waste an opportunity to use it to connect or just be.
Lorenzo, the wine guy
Friends, food, and wine...I'm happy there.