Sunday, July 30, 2023

Falling Out of Love with Wine

This week, I was re-organizing my wine collection. There were several cases of white and rosĂ© wine that had stacked up in the utility room, and we weren’t drinking it that regularly, of late. So, I made room in the wine cave for them. I keep a spreadsheet and was slightly annoyed to be adding to the list, rather than subtracting to it. Why, one might ask? Isn’t the purpose of a wine collection to continually add and subtract, refine and replenish? I suppose so, but with our diminishing drinking habits, I fear I might outlive some of my wines. And that, in my view, would be an egregious offense.

Later on in the day, while I was swimming and thinking in the water, in an attempt to escape the murderous heat that has enveloped this country, I meditated on the life cycle of a wine in relation to that of a human. I also contemplated if my love affair with wine is coming to an end. I’m not sure the two are inter-related, although I do think that if I am “over” wine, there are scores of innocent bottles who have waited patiently for their day, and I worry that day, for some of them, is coming sooner than I have time to drink them, loving wine or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not dislike wine. I rather enjoy it. I’m just thinking about how some of us have gotten a bit obsessed with the liquid. As if it runs one’s life. And for those in the trade or those who write about it, I can identify with that affliction. Wine can indeed take over.

But I’m talking about love. I love my humans, and my furry companions. I don’t love my car or my camera. I love Earth and my country, although there are seldom few politicians for whom I can feel that emotion.

Wine, is another thing, though. It’s a product of love and toil and passion and, yes, obsession. But each one is diverse in their way. Just like the people we know and love, yes? All just a little bit different, even if they’re twins.

So, when did I fall out of love with wine, if indeed I have?  If I have, it might have to do with not being around it as much as I was when I was steeped in it via my livelihood. And yes, it was more than a J.O.B. to me when I was doing it. But now, I am removed from the beating heart of the business, purposely. I have moved on to other passions, like health and photography, gardening and exercise. Wine is not at the center of my universe.

“And you just fall out, just like that?” one might ask? Well, I look to some of those octogenarian politicians who just cannot let it go, and it gives me pause to consider what it is we can really hold onto in this life. And there’s not much on that list. After I lost my wife at 48, 20+ years ago, that lesson was drilled into me. And if I didn’t take the hint, eight months later we had 9/11 in New York. I think I got the message. Love what you can love, but be prepared to let it all go. All of it.

And so, I have roughly 25% of the wines in my closet/cave that are red and over 25 years old. The clock is ticking for them. I will never get to them all. They are my coincidental companions - many of them have been with me for as long as they have been released into the world from the winery. A few of them I even made myself. But their life is not endless. Nor is mine, or any of ours.

I must figure out what to do unhesitatingly. The wines deserve it. Maybe a party in the Fall. Or put together a few cases for friends (or adversaries) to enjoy? Like Peggy Lee once sang, “Let's break out the booze and have a ball.” Something to mull over for the foreseeable (and nearing) future.




In other news: To celebrate the online exhibition “water” juried by Elizabeth Avedon, A. Smith gallery hosted a Gallery Talk Saturday July 29 at 3pm CST.  At the 6:55 mark they talked about my photo, “Lizanne - Learning to walk” which was one of the photos chosen for the exhibition.  Please check it out.

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