Lately, I have been reflecting on my appreciation of beverage options and its evolution. I realized the shifting landscape started to look more like the Passion of Christ, than just an aging palate. Before you all begin questioning my sanity, I had a bit of an epiphany recently and realized my passion for wine has evolved in the last few years and has me wondering if a wine re-birth is in my future, or whether wine salvation is my inevitable path. I apologize in advance to the fundamentalist crowd for the analogy… and to those under 50 – no I am NOT a hopelessly depressed old geezer. This is actually what life is like, when you have the time and inclination to evaluate why and how you and the things around you are changing.
Let me explain…
My passion for wine is nearing its 20th year now and its landscape has encompassed everything from a tenuous personal justification, to an impatient anticipation for the next experience. So many recent factors have influenced my relationship with wine appreciation, it has me questioning where this is headed. I have been through many phases (perhaps you can relate?): introduction, interest, evaluation, searching, awareness, intimacy, financial justification, formal education, serious collecting… what’s next? I drink substantially more spirits and beer, than I do wine now. There have been several influencing factors:
- I prefer red wine, but live in a hot climate – making it difficult to drink wine year round. I am sure there are those out there saying, discover the joy of white wine for the Summer. For me, white wine is much easier to appreciate when drunk with food… Red wine is easier for me to enjoy by itself. Also, beer is definitely the beverage of choice on a hot day.
- We all get older and deal with a slowing down of our metabolism. I remember drinking wine every day and working my way through 200-300 bottles each year… no more. I stopped that habit and lost 15 pounds in a month. Small batch whiskey became my go-to after work to wind-down. Two fingers of whiskey helped me to relax at half the calories of two glasses of wine… which inevitably moved on to the balance of the bottle with dinner.
- My wife became mildly allergic to red wines and the stuff seemed to spark the flame that became a torch, when stoked. Turning down the air conditioning while drinking red wine, became the standard practice.
My wine cellar has moved from some 700 bottles to under 500 in the last few years and now has me wondering (after my favorite wine allocations): how will my wife and I drink all this wine before I kick the bucket? All that being said, I miss the mellow, introspective euphoria that comes with a couple of glasses of classic red wine, or the sensual enjoyment of exotic layering of flavors and aromas… that often leads to other things 🙂 I used to worship at the altar of the wine experience, using wine appreciation to fill my life with friends and entertainment. Now, it has become an opportunity three, or four times a month, to appreciate a great wine-food experience.
So, where IS all this headed? Can I re-kindle that sort of focused passion that filled much of my social life before, or will I constantly be looking for forgiveness from my community and be happy with the “salvation” of an occasional out-of-body wine experience? I have vacation wine travel planned for later in the year. Will it be the spark?