Let us take a moment here to pause from our usual commentary on films and music and all things pop culture, to sing of the grape—of wine, specifically.
I love wine. I always have, and I expect I always will. And for wine’s obvious therapeutic benefits (when not taken in superabundance), I have been more interested in it than ever before during these many pandemic-addled months in the life of the world. I look forward to each trip to the wine shop on Friday after work, followed by cracking open a bottle that I have not tried before and sitting for an hour or so in peaceful, pleasant conversation with my wife—all the cares of the world be damned.
Apparently, I am not alone! During the peak of global lockdowns in 2020, and despite widespread restaurant closures, wine sales were up by 500%! Now, if this spike in consumption represents the glugging of cheap, sugary stuff that could just as well be bottom-shelf vodka or prescription opioids, then we have a problem. If drinking wine—or anything—makes you sadder or angrier or simply more numb, I would stay away from it. Indeed, in theory, I’ve always admired the “straight edge” lifestyle and have, at times, embraced it. But most of the time, I simply like life better when wine is a part of it. I like the shopping for it, the drinking of it, and the ongoing study it inspires.