Money Ain’t A Thang
Wine will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no wine.
It doesn’t matter if you make a bagillion dollars or play the recorder on the subway for small change- wine does not have to break the bank. You can get a damn good bottle of wine for somewhere between 10 and 30 clams. Actually, this is the best price point to experiment with more obscure grapes and styles on a daily basis. Don’t be intimidated by long names and high price tags. Nota bene– McQueen, Lagerfeld, and Chanel play muse to the threads we pull on everyday, but very few wear couture on a daily basis.
What are we paying for in an expensive bottle anyway? Bragging rights and wine-induced transcendence? Well yes, totally. Along with vineyard real estate, time and methods of aging, cost of living and producing on the property, market competition, rarity, importing hassles, government subsidies- you get the idea. Currency is always representation of so much more. But when it comes to what is actually in the bottle, price ain’t nothin’ but a number. I mean you could open a $2,000 bottle, and it could be corked/ cooked/ or simply not to your liking. It could happen, so what does it all mean? A gamble and conversation for the ages…
Of course there are wines out there (and ARE there) that are costly and gorgeous and it takes just a taste at the right moment to consider investing your life savings in the happiness they bring…
But let’s focus here! Wine really is one of the humblest things- whether you’re drinking it to accentuate food, friends, or for inspiration toward something that has absolutely nothing to do with drinking (cleaning, taxes, phone calls, reading, writing…emails, love letters, grocery lists), and no one says it has to be fancy (well, maybe we should define fancy- what matters to you?). I say we follow the lead of our friend, Hem, and drink styles typical of places and people who value good wine. Once you get out there and exercise this pursuit at your local wine shop- or wherever you shop- you will feel more and more comfortable finding out what is good, what tastes real, what speaks to you, even if it only says whaddup. Don’t feel forced to overreach on cost. Overreaching doesn’t work.
I take that back, sometimes it does.
I don’t mean to advocate for cheap wine- not cheap in quality at least- made by industrial and irresponsible producers who may as well be making pogo sticks or sneakers. I’m suggesting to think twice before purchasing that magnum of Yellow Tail/ Mondavi/ Woodbridge/ Vendage/ Gallo/ The Little Penguin for the next luncheon/ book club/ rager. I get it- big bottle, low cost, guests with smiles on faces because alcohol is in their cup. Believe me when I say that there is so much better for just a few bucks more.
In the end, hopefully you’ve got something in your glass that you like, and hopefully it moves you enough to remember that you can dream up beautiful things- and that your heart is pumping blood- and that your lungs are filled with air (did you remember to breathe?). No matter the means, that should be the end.
Socrates’ Prayer from Plato’s Phaedrus
Dear Pan, and all you other gods who live here,
grant that I may become beautiful within,
and that whatever outward things I have
may be in harmony with the spirit inside me.
May I understand that it is only the wise who are rich,
and may I have only as much money as a temperate person needs.