I had a rough day today, but I am sitting here finishing my 2008 Trapiche Broquel Malbec from Argentina that we had with our steak tonight and I was feeling a lot better. Fewer things in life are more beautiful (in my eyes) than a well paired dinner with wine. So, I was bummed when I read this article on how wine is losing ground in French culture.
One can make a parallel argument (one that is my age or older) about how kids today are missing out on a lot of things that slow down time in our culture: downloading songs instead of buying an LP or CD and spending time going over the artwork and lyrics, the days of internet have gotten rid of Sunday mornings with the paper or writing letters instead of email (blogs instead of zines?). But I am not going to make this argument on the basis of being a curmudgeon... nor am I going to denigrate spirits or beer, but...
Wine is different than spirits or beer. And it has been for millennia. I have had great conversations over a cigar and glass of bourbon with friends. I made new friends over pints of Guinness one night stuck in Malahide just outside of Dublin (the suburb U2 is from)... but some of my greatest memories involve wine.
1. Sitting at a Parisian cafe drinking rose with my wife (then fiancee) and people watching the day after getting engaged the night before on the Pont Neuf
2. Sitting with my wife after dinner, drinking Chianti in Venice watching tourists float by in 100 Euro gondola rides and soaking in the Venetian culture
3. Having my first bottle of Chablis with my friend Justin during a brunch on one of my first Saturday mornings living in Chicago
The trend is this - it cements a moment in time. A particular wine, that tastes unique to that day in time, with certain people in a certain place, at a particular moment in time. Tell me you have that memory with Coors Light - or even Bells Two Hearted... or Jack Daniels' (and I love all of the aforementioned drinks, but you get my point).
If the French are losing their cultural connection with wine, who is to save its place in our cultures? I suppose if I have to carry it on single handedly, then I will :)