6 Reasons Wine 🍷 is the Greatest Beverage Of All Time
Wine is the best beverage known to man. Bold statement? I don’t think so.
See, up until this point, I’ve never fully articulated why I think wine is the king of booze. I’ve studied it for years. I’ve started a company around it. It has helped pay my bills, while simultaneously costing me thousands of dollars. It’s brought me joy, but it’s also caused some serious pain (usually in the form of hangovers). At face value, it may seem I’ve dedicated a disproportionate amount of my adult life to fermented grape juice. So, perhaps if only to validate my own life choices, I am going to tell you why there is no beverage that is more versatile, indicative of its origin, or “romantic” (in the Shakespearean sense of the word) than wine. And hopefully, it will get you to give it a little more thought as well.
1. Wine transports you to a place
Wine is a little bottle of teleportation. It takes you where it was made. The more you drink wine, the more you start to realize this tastes like Italy, or this tastes like France. How the hell can Italy have a taste?! Wine, that’s how. And forget just saying a wine came from Italy; a wine can represent a specific little corner of the earth down to the very plot of land it came from. Country —> wine region —> appellation —> winery —> specific vineyard —> “block” within that vineyard. I can’t afford to take vacation every night. But I can afford that $20 bottle of Australian Shiraz (and perhaps, a rack of lamb) that, on a random midweek evening, feels damn close to a vacation.
2. Wine is locked in time
Wine is a time capsule. It takes the place mentioned above and freezes it in time. Each vintage tells a story, with none being the same as the previous or the next. Each vintage will present different challenges to the winemakers; some will provide feast, other famine. Which leads me to the next point:
3. Wine changes
After all that talk of wine being a time capsule, now I’m going to tell you wine is never the same from one day to the next. It evolves and transforms with age. Young wines are full of fruit and strong-willed. Older wines are rustic and refined. The allure of the eventual change is what causes people to collect wine; the anticipation of the reveal, 2, 5, 10 years later. Some wines can last decades. What other 40-year-old anything would you consume without hesitation?
4. Wine is people and story
There are people behind everything. Wine is not unique in this sense. But the people of agricultural products are usually given a fairly clear goal. This is the best tomato I could make. Once the tomato is picked, the job is done. But not wine. Winemakers have a million and one decisions to make before their job is through. Forget how to grow the grapes, which grapes to grow, and when to pick them; that’s just the start. Oak or no oak? How to blend? How long to sit the wine with its lees? Or must. Or in the barrel. What kind of yeast? How much residual sugar? How long to age before release? Allow malolactic fermentation? The list goes on and on.
There are wines made from the same grapes from the same plot of land that turn out completely different because of which winemaker makes the wine (Burgundy is a good example of this). So in addition to wine being representative of a place and time, wine is also representative of the person who made it, like a work of art.
5. Wine is versatile
The flavor profiles of wine can vary so greatly, that there is wine for every palate and occasion, every mood and food. I often ask people if they could drink only one: spirits, beer, or wine, for the rest of your life, what would it be? There is no question my answer. It’s the drink of kings and drunks alike. It elevates eating. It’s good in the morning, at lunch, at night, or after dinner. It’s a status symbol of the wealthy as much as it’s an excuse for a drunken girls-night-in. It can be over-analyzed or guzzled. It has the capability of being embraced by all.
6. Wine is “romantic”
I don’t mean hot pink fireworks romantic. I don’t mean Marvin Gaye romantic. I mean timeless. I mean classic. I mean never going out of style. Constantly evolving while staying true to its origins. Napa scientists are advancing winemaking techniques as we speak. And yet, there is a growing movement and demand for natural wines, untouched by technology. It’s been used for hundreds of years for special occasions: celebrating a victory, sending off ships, children’s births, New Year’s Eve. And every time one opens a bottle, there’s an excitement to not knowing what’s coming next. The ritual of swirling, smelling, and getting lost in the glass never gets old. But most importantly, it brings people together. To quote a friend, “it’s the only beverage that I know that keeps me at table with the people I love an average of an extra hour every day of my life”. When, with who, and where we drink wine is what truly makes a bottle memorable.
People sometimes ask me…
what my favorite bottle of wine is or was. Funny thing is, I can’t tell you what it was. What I can tell you is why it was. I was in Bordeaux studying abroad my junior year of college. I was at a friends house, whose family had invited a few of us over for dinner. I didn’t know much about wine; only that I wanted to eventually know more. When I expressed an interest in wine, the father went down to the cellar and brought out a bottle of red. My educated guess says it was some sort of vintage Bordeaux, but I know no further than that: I have no idea where it was from, and definitely don’t know who made it. But it was the best wine I’ve ever had. I was 19, in Bordeaux, drinking Bordeaux, eating a home cooked French meal, with a French family and all my friends. I knew how good life was at that moment, even at only 19. If I could find out the bottle, I don’t think I’d want to. I’d like it to remain my “white whale”. Maybe one day, I’ll have the same bottle again by chance, and recognize it instantly. Or maybe it will simply stay the reason, at least for me, that wine is awesome.
Won’t you allow me to prove this to you? Head to V is for Vino to explore wine the way it was meant to be explored; by meeting the people, seeing the place, learning the grapes, and pairing the recipes. It’s 100% FREE to watch our wine show, and I promise, you’ll leave with a new excitement and appreciation for all things wine! Start with our NAPA EPISODE, and then keep going!
Until next wine,
V is for Vino | Watch. Learn. Drink.
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Also published on Medium.