I Have Never Met a Miserly Wine Lover

There is little that gives me more pleasure than drinking a glass of red wine late at night while I'm writing. Second in line would be doing what we did on Saturday night. Jacey came over and we sat in the living room drinking red wine and listening to folk music of the mid-sixties with soft, cuddly blankets thrown across our laps while we talked and candles glowed.

Red wine possesses a quality that whites just can't claim. It renders me mellow and soft-spoken. I become more of a listener and less of a talker, and I feel a glow from the inside out. I usually wax poetic, not in the sense of writing prose, but in the way I think and feel. And I wonder about things...

Often, when I take a sip, I wonder about all of the countless people throughout human history, both the famous and the obscure, who have relished that very taste, enjoyed that particular dryness, sunk into that softness.

"To take wine into your mouth is to savor
a droplet of the river of human history."

That's exactly the kind of thought red wine gives me, although I'm seldom that eloquent. I like to imagine being part of this world's creative thinkers who are remembered as lovers of wine: Oscar Wilde, George Sand, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Dylan Thomas, Franz Schubert, the list is endless.

Red wine brings to me images of cafes, candles in glass jars and black turtleneck sweaters. In my imagination I sit at a bistro table with Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. I smoke brown-papered cigarettes while Bob Dylan sings on stage at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. I sit cross-legged on the floor while Gordon Lightfoot sings by the fire. I amble through a French salon while Franz Liszt smokes a hookah with Delacroix. And I am taken back to my own sweet memories of people through the years who have lounged about my various livingrooms talking and singing over basket bottles of Chianti Classico.

But it's true. I cannot remember ever meeting a true lover of wine who was stingy with their affections, and red wine has an especially generous spirit.

"Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends.
It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.
Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of
civilization and the art of living."
Robert Mondavi