I am here right now. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing, and I'm about to have a glass of wine. OK I'm lying. I'm really finishing up a white paper and replying emails while Sky1's 'Fat Families' plays in the background. My reality is unfortunately at odds with my fantasy (read: delusion). Someone on the show just called herself a "big fat lazy cow". I think I need to pour myself a big fat drink
#1. Never-ending journey
Wine is a never-ending journey ― there’s so much to learn and try to remember (“try to” being the operative words here). And the more you know, the more you know you don’t know, and the more you know that what you knew you either no longer know or knew the wrong way.
#2. Works of art
Wine labels are works of art. I never tire of observing the way the different producers design their labels ― the typeface (Braille, anyone?), the images, paper texture, the way information is arranged or in some cases, cleverly hidden. Some labels are, of course, downright ugly. These ones I try not to look at.
#3. Design quotient
Wine bottles elevate the design quotient of any space. They add a certain romance to a room. So go on, toss a few bottles into your space and watch what happens. Beer bottles, on the other hand, don’t produce quite the same result.
#4. Closet geeks, unite!
Thanks to wine, you now have the perfect excuse to totally geek out. You can memorize names of places nobody’s ever heard of, doodle a bunch of maps, recite impossible-to-pronounce grape names, create nerdy Excel sheets to keep track of your bottles, and update these nerdy sheets every week.
#5. Special occasion
Wine turns everything, even the mundane, into a bit of an occasion. All it takes is a few candles and a nicely chilled bottle of red wine and you go from eating to dining.
#6. Nice buzz
Wine gives you a nice buzz. It relaxes you gets your defenses down, makes you realize that hey, things don’t suck so bad after all. So yes, I like the alcohol. My mother once asked me if I was becoming addicted to wine. I told her that it takes more than 8 ounces a day to turn me into a raging alcoholic. I don’t know if she believed me.
#7. Hey, good lookin’
Come on, admit it, you look pretty good with a wine glass in your hand. Sure beats the skinny little cigarette between your fingers. Also, cigarettes are smelly and disgusting. No offense, smokers.
Wine is an expression of the place it comes from. This is debatable these days because of winemakers who manipulate their wine to make it taste a certain way, but really, true wine expresses the environment where its grapes were grown and cultivated.
#9. Wine is alive
Wine is alive, it evolves, it changes by the minute in the glass.
#10. Wine shops
Wine shops are funny little places – they can be wonderfully inspiring or they can be horribly dull. They are a dead giveaway of the passion (or lack thereof) of the owner ― you can see this in the wines they carry, the way they’re arranged and presented, the kind of staff they hire. I have seen shops that organize their wines by red, white, sparkling, and even one that had an entire wall labelled ‘Award-Winning Wines’ that carried nothing but Wolf Blass.
Wine makes me more mindful of what I smell and taste. Having lived in the city all my life, this is a practice I never quite developed. Don’t ask me what limestone or horse manure smells like. Brand new leather seats in a car or freshly painted walls, now those I can smell. And diesel. I know diesel.
#12. Wine can be polarizing
Wine is interesting because it can be polarizing. Tradition and modernity, technique and terroir, questionable rating systems (20-, 100- or 1,000-point system?), subjective reviews, controversial blind tastings, big bad branding and marketing, the list goes on. You never fully agree with one view or the other but it’s fascinating to think and talk about.
#13. Two words: wine books
So many wine books to buy, so little time to read them. If I had my way and didn’t need to do things like go to work, I’d happily camp out in the food and wine section at the bookstore for days.
#14. The food factor
And not just pastas and pizzas either. I’m talking about everything. (Maybe my mother was right ― see point #6)
Wine is uber-trendy right now. Therefore loving it makes me uber-trendy too … by association.
Wine is more accessible today than ever before. It used to be that only the wealthy and the sophisticated drank wine; today even unsophisticated noobs like me drink it. From astronomically priced first growths all the way down to easy-drinking table wines, there’s something for everyone, at every price point. The amount of information about wine has also exploded online, which means it’s accessible to all, which means it’s easier these days for us noobs to earn our pseudo-expert stripes.
#17. The heart
Wine is good for the heart. Oh come on, you knew I was going to go with this one. Even if it’s been disproven (it has, hasn’t it?), I’m still going to milk it for what it’s worth.
#18. Wine tastes goddamn great
Need I say more?