Saturday, January 1, 2011

why wine?

“In water one sees one's own face;
But in wine one beholds the heart of another.
~ French proverb

Why not beer or liquor? Or for that matter, why drink at all?  Sure you can drink wine to relax, unwind and PARTY!  I maintain that there is something special about wine that nourishes you from your frivolous funny modern moments, down to the very core of your primordial being.
To prove my point, I will not argue wine’s health benefits made popular in our culture by the 60 Minutes TV show’s 1991 French Paradox episode where Dr. Serge Renaud proved the benefits of RED wine, even with a high fat diet.  And continues to be reinforced by countless studies from around the world.  All saying “moderate drinkers of red wine” cut their risk for serious diseases dramatically.

To prove my point, I will not argue wine’s rich history.  Its place in the courts of kings and queens, from dining room tables to smoke-filled rooms.  I will not bore you with how the axis and allies planned the battlefield AROUND the French vineyards. While each side would launch sublime attacks against large populations of humanity, neither side would play a part in the destruction of the vines in Champagne, Bordeaux or Burgundy.

To prove my point, I will not argue wine’s integral role in humankind’s religious and spiritual life.  I will not go back to Ancient Egypt where their god Osiris was known for being resurrected and giving wine to mankind.  Or, Ancient Jerusalem, where a young man, about to meet his own death and resurrection, held up a goblet of wine and said, “This is my blood, take and drink.”

To prove my point, I will not give you a Latin lesson about how root for “vitis” or vine is “vit.”  Which is where we get the word viticulture.  Vit is also the root for the Latin word for life, “vita,” from which we get “vital” and “vitality.”

To prove my point, and answer the question, “Why wine?”  I will present you with a glass of wine to see, to smell, and to taste.  I will remind you that just as a beautiful work of art has moved you, a fantastic piece of music has swept you away, a movie has let you escape your troubles, or a great book has changed your life by changing your mind, the aesthetic experience of wine WILL affect you just as profoundly. Not by seeing it on the wall or hearing it in the air, you experience wine by letting it enter your body; it becomes a part of you.  Wine is an aesthetic experience but on an extremely personal level unparalleled in our world.  You owe it to yourself to become competent and knowledgeable in the joy of wine.  I will endeavor to assist you in this, and you can assist me; through this blog called "lessons in wine."

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