03 September 2008

04Sept- stupid, self-indulgent struggle
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I'm struggling right now with whether to buy a half-case of a mildly expensive wine because I don't want not to experience it again. Meanwhile, billions of people struggle with their own, very real, problems. Maybe if I donate some money to a generous cause I'd feel better about buying wine, but here's the thing: so many of us spend money on things that make us feel better. Be that thing a nice meal, a new outfit, a massage, and so on. Is it so wrong to spend money on wine? No, I'm going to say because that's the answer I want to hear.
I don't have a great deal of money and, really, I should be saving for the future. But I tell myself now what I told myself in high school when my interest was fountain pens: if the time comes when I can't afford a fountain pen I'll be glad I bought it when I could. I worked my ass off to buy that Mont Blanc Meisterstuck....I think it's around here somewhere...

The point is, to a certain degree, these wines are investments. Theoretically, if I wanted to sell my 98 Chateau Montrose in 5 years I might make a bit of money. More realistically, if I wanted to buy a fifteen year old Chateau Montrose in 5 years I'd be out of a bit of cash.
These bottles are more than an expensive way to get tipsy. They are wonderful, exciting rides along the tastebuds. They may recall a good time, like the wonderful Carneros Pinot of which I bought a half case. It reminds me of that Mother's Day we had my side of the family to the house. Or the 4 bottles of L'Ecole 03 Apogee I have waiting, which reminds me of little more than how great a Washington Bordeaux-style blend can be.
A good friend was buying Bordeaux in the 80s and 90s, before the Russians and Chinese came in and showed an interest, which made the whole damn wine world more expensive for all of us. He'll bring out something wonderful that would be silly expensive now that he paid only kind of expensive then. A testament to foresight and patience. Through his taste and generosity I've learned so much about wine and experienced 1st growths I could never afford on my own. And I take that passion and try to transfer it to others, which spoils their tongues and leaves them with a preference that can only be satisfied by pricey wines. And so we taste on, palates against the wine, borne back ceaselessly into the something something something. I like the idea that I might be to others what he's been to me. I want to instill and nurture a passion through my generosity and therefore enrich the world with people who truly care about the vine. A hundred people in a lifetime and one might truly get it, and that one could be enough.
So I'm going to get that damn half-case.
And who cares if I have to slice hotdogs and zucchini into angel hair and on-sale spaghetti sauce for a while? The wine will be worth it when it's finally opened and enjoyed.
This is what passion is all about. Sacrifice. If yours is something other than wine, don't be afraid to work hard and sacrifice to realize it; I believe that it'll be worth it.
Then again, who knows how long we've got? This bite on my leg that I earned while camping could be a poisonous spider bite and not an over-worried mosquito bite. If that's the case and I'm on my way out, I'm opening the 98Chateau Angelus for which I think I overpaid.

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