I used to swim with a woman named Mimi, whose husband, Tim, was a winemaker. He even named his winery, Clos Mimi (apparently now no longer in business) after her.
One day Mimi reported to me that Tim had gone to a wine auction to sell some of his wine. While she was in the bathroom, he bid on and won half a case of wine.
She was none too pleased.
“It’s an investment,” Tim told her.
“Tim, it’s a BEVERAGE!” she yelled back.
It’s been just about six months since I quit drinking.
After living in wine country pretty much my whole life and working at several wine label printers and getting to know winemakers, I bought into the wine mystique. Wine was special, wine was magical.
Wine has endless different flavor profiles. I don’t believe for a minute that most of the people who have ever said wine has black currant flavors know what a black currant tastes like, but wine is complex and interesting.
You know what else is complex and interesting? Everything. Everything that has a flavor. People who describe bland things as “vanilla” have never slowed down and tasted the true lovely mystery of the orchid bean.
If you pay attention, asparagus has a layered flavor. And lima beans. And bread.
It is just that, as a culture, we have decided that wine is something worth noticing. And it is. But so is everything else.
After six months of not drinking, I have stepped back far enough to see Mimi’s point. Looking at it from here, wine IS just a beverage.