"You walk in the door. It’s been 14 hours since you left. You drop your bags. You toss your coat on the back of the sofa. Finally, you can get out of these heels."
-Excerpt from The Drunken Sommelier. Purchase the book here.
Once the heels come off, the last thing you need is another cogent thought in your head. I totally get that. For many, wine is medicine, not scripture. It's D'Angelo, not Steely Dan. It's a Quarter Pounder™, not a Chateaubriand.
I get it. I promise.
And, I think that's cool. Like, very cool. It itself, that style of consumption is a valuable context for this beverage. It's all about context. Go ahead, fight me.
Each of us has a certain amount of intellectual real-estate that we're willing to occupy. Some of us want to preserve the natural, barren land and enjoy the quiet. Others want to pull out the backhoe and start digging foundations and piling up the skyscrapers.
I like to integrate the development into the natural world as best as I can. It's a paradox that we grapple with for our entire lives. What's the difference, where's the nuance between having a clear, serene mind and simply not exercising one's noodle? What's the difference, where's the nuance between expanding the mind and building large, ugly, and faulty buildings in the form of stubbornly-held beliefs? Should we leave the land as is? Or should we celebrate creative architecture and development?
We've come so far, without a defined vision that relates to where we don't even know we're headed.
Every so often, I have that moment when I look inside the glass. I think of the myriad events that went into producing this single bottle of wine. The industry. The natural world. The human element. The wars. The civilizations.
And it's overwhelming.
What should we do? Should we go back to just squishing grapes in small batches into seasoned, sustainable vessels and letting things play out as they may? Or is their truly a sustainable place for development that humans can keep in check? At what point in the rabbit hole is it too late to turn back?
I fear that point has been reached, as a cynic. As an optimist...it's hard to be optimistic. Most days, I feel like humanity is lying to itself about its ability to actually progress in any meaningful way that some majority might approve of.
But then, some progression happens. Hey- look at that. And the next minute, an example of something so backwards, so hard to believe, must be reckoned with.
Why do we say things are hard to believe when they are so common?
Where does this glass of wine fit into this reality?
I don't know where this tangent is going, but I do know that, for my own cognitive purposes, it started inside this glass of Rioja.