It’s no secret I love my wine. Okay, that’s an understatement. Wine is my staple beverage of choice and without it, well, I’d be on pills.
I often wonder why it’s specifically wine I love and not just any kind of booze. I also wonder where my obsession with this adult fruit juice came from and when it actually started. I feel like it happened somewhere in my third decade when wine coolers and forties no longer seemed suitable for a classy lady. Or a classy lady wannabe, in my case.
Let’s face it – I went to West Virginia University. This girl has had her share of drinks and wine was just another one in the mix. Maybe not for a flip cup competition, but definitely at the bar. All things considered, a person can get just as buzzed drinking beer as they can from drinking wine. Some people even think beer tastes better. Go figure!
So, I decided to test my theory and find out once and for all what this love of wine is all about. Specifically, can I blame it on the alcohol?
Test #1: Pale Ale
There’s nothing more refreshing than a freezing cold beer with a slice of lemon/lime/orange – take your pick. It brings me back to my WVU tailgating days when I could be found shot-gunning a can of the cheapest beer around. Now my bottle of special brew is koozie’d up and sipped instead of chugged.
And I love it. I really do. On a hot summer day or during football season it’s perfection. Yet, a few is all it takes until I’m cheating on my citrus barley with – you’ve guessed it – wine. It never fails.
Test #2: Hard Cider (or “cedar” as the commercial says)
Embracing the unknown was easy with this beer-like drink that took fruit drinking in booze to another (sweeter) level – hard apple cider. When it first hit my lips, I actually felt guilty. I was seriously considering my relationship with wine and thought maybe I’d been wrong all along. Sure, I’d loved my wine, but I’d never known hard cider before. Its cool and crisp flavor put all of my taste buds on high alert. Not only was it delicious, but it was thirst quenching. And with less alcohol, three hard ciders was the equivalent of one glass of wine. Easy peasy.
But as the day went on, I realized my love-at-first sip was simply lust. Powerful at first, and then fading fast. I like cider and I’ll have it again, although sparingly. So, I went back to the one I’d been even more convinced I still loved – my beautiful wine.
Test #3: Sangria (or any typical fruity, boozy drink)
In summer, you can’t escape Sangria recipes on Pinterest no matter how hard you try. They’re everywhere begging to opened and pinned. And with barbecues all weekend long, I fell victim to the sugary pitcher full of goodness like everyone else. I’m one of those people who loves to make sangria for guests, usually having a glass or two for taste, but that’s where it ends.
Thanks to Pinterest, I was armed with a lineup of sangria concoctions and decided that during the first real party of the season I was going to drink sangria, and only sangria, all day long like the rest of my crew. I have to say the wine based drink almost had me. I loved the idea of the summery drink in my hand. I blended in with the party people all sangria’d up. It was a crowd pleaser all around.
Yet deep down inside, I was terribly jealous of the woman somewhere in the world drinking her Pinot Noir – aged and delicious – from her perfect glass. And then I felt sad for my sangria – a poor man’s wine. I recognized these emotions because they seemed absurd.
For goodness sake, it’s just a drink! Or is it?
The love of my liquid life. The one and the only….
In the end, I’ve ruled out alcohol. I can’t blame it on my wine obsession, sorry Jaime Foxx. Drinking wine isn’t about drinking at all. Wine is a full range of emotions wrapped in one perfect package. When lust, jealousy and elation come together, it can only mean one thing. True love.
People may come and go, but wine is there through the good times and the bad. Wine lovers know this whole heartedly. When moments in life are to be celebrated or to be mourned, we bring wine along for the ride. Sure, we’ll have our affair with other booze at times, but wine is our deepest of loves.
And the answer is clear. For me at least. Wine is more than a drink. It’s an experience. An image. An emotion. A memory. It’s a love that I’ll never let go.
I’m (second from the left) with my great friends, including wine, at Working Dog Winery celebrating my birthday.
With this realization, I feel the need to give a resounding “Cheers!” to all of the non-wine drinkers in the world. Because in the end, if you’re getting what you want from your libation relations, then you’re bound to fall in love too.