Since the 1970′s when wine became a more prominent beverage on dinner tables and at dinner parties west of the Atlantic its meaning has gradually changed and expanded. Once an arcane centerpiece at the meals of mainly French and Italians with labels as indecipherable as Chaucer to a visitor from Andromeda, people as far away as California, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, Romania and many, many other appellations are making wine a part of their culture and economy in their own ways.
So what are some of these diverse definitions and purposes for wine?
- The last “spice” to complement a dish?
- A medicinal spirit to help one unwind after a hectic day?
- The magic elixir that loosens tongues when friends get together to catch up and share stories?
- A status symbol?
- An investment?
- A complicated mystery in a bottle that still tastes like “red” or “white”? A curiosity?
- An escape? (“Wine hath drowned more men than the sea.” — Thomas Fuller)
To me, each bottle of wine is a delightful personality with which to gradually become acquainted with an open mind. Each bottle is unique, just as every person in the world is unique — based on their own vintage, origin, and life experience. A bottle of wine is a living thing, always changing . . . like its meaning.
What does wine mean to you? I’d love to hear your comments!