Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Is Drinking Wine a Personal Loss or Gain?

One of my favorite writers about wine today is Sharon Bowman. An American living in Paris, her discussion of wine flows naturally into the broader life's narrative.

Well, Sharon hasn't written anything yet this year, so I was rummaging through some of her older posts and I came across this beautiful rumination on whether loving wine is about loss. She essentially posits that, since every bottle is different, drinking that bottle is an act of destruction that leads to a sense of loss. There is some truth to that. I think about it a little differently. I feel that a great wine becomes something that becomes part of me and changes me just a little. In that way, it lives on immutable and it retains its character in my memory. So, there is a degree of loss there, but also an act of creation. As Picasso reminded us, "Every act of creation, is first an act of destruction." That is why I am not melancholy. Wistful at times, maybe, but I remember the words of Pasternak in Dr. Zhivago, "You in others-that is your soul." So, nothing is truly lost as long as it is passed on.

Anyway, it is all worth reading and thinking about, if for no other reason than this line: "[Wine] is a philter, and a filter for our experience and our emotions."

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