Does wine matter at all? I mean that seriously, not as a bullshit rhetorical opening. That question has pulled at me, skimming the surface of my consciousness, for the past 15 years. In many ways, I've devoted my life to it. Wine has taken my money, commandeered my memories, dictated my friendships, and monopolized my attention ever since this one night where I scribbled out a tasting note on a napkin at a little wine bar in New York.
But it's easy to think that wine is meaningless. It many ways, it is. It's something that washes down meals, it gets you drunk, it's what happens when a bunch of grapes sit in a container for a while and start to fall apart. It's a beverage. And that's what I think about when I question why I've devoted my life to a beverage.
The past few weeks have been incredibly difficult. My friends are hiding out with their families wearing masks, learning how to homeschool their kids, and registering for unemployment benefits. We may be undergoing a period of societal change (less gathering, less restaurants, more individualism, more social unrest) that could last for a long time. And that's led me to question wine and its meaning again.
Here's where I've ended up, at least for right now: I don't know that wine has to have meaning. Maybe it just is. I love it, I love the people who make it, I love the people who sell and champion it, and I love that other people love it like I do. And maybe during times like this, that love is enough.