Wine, Why Bother

Wine Bottles

I think I came to wine relatively late.  I only started drinking the grape stuff in my early twenties.  Before that, I had been raised on a (very dilute) Martini Rosso and Lemonade over Sunday lunch with my family and the inevitable university years of Bacardi Breezer and Purple Nasties (snakebite and black for those who are not Loughborough alumni).  White wine became my staple when I moved into the world of work where, training to be an accountant in Bond Street, I was meant to be grown up and sophisticated and asking for a Bacardi Breezer on a work night out just wouldn’t have cut it!  Whilst my love and appreciation of white wine grew over the years, I didn’t get to red wine until turning thirty when I matured a little bit more, was more sure of myself and decided that I could handle the red!  It also coincided with me moving to Edinburgh where the winters are cold and chilled wine didn’t really appeal – I needed something heavy and spicy to heat me up from the inside and make me think of warmer climes.

Now that I know about wine a lot more intimately, I’m meeting others in the industry who are all very willing to talk me through their experiences.  Everyone I meet has given me very similar advice:  read, learn, taste, work hard, put the hours in, make it your life – all things I’m more than willing to do.  They’ve told me about their struggles, their bad times, their good times and, without exception, everyone has told me that there’s no money in it.

Chances are, wine will not make me rich. 

If it’s incredibly hard work and there’s no money in it, why do people do it?  For some, I think it’s the kudos, the social stature, the feeling superior in some ways to friends – I’ve seen a bit of that.  For most however, it appears to be a deep affection for the actual stuff in the bottle which goes way beyond taste: It’s almost spiritual, evangelical, fanatical. People are overwhelmed by it, moved by it and all the great stories seem to have wine woven in there somehow. I think this is the crux of the matter for me.  It’s a drink to be shared, enjoyed together: affordable bottles, expensive bottles, good times or bad, wine makes people smile.  Apart from chocolate (another great love of mine), I can’t think of anything else that evokes such positive feelings and associations among people.  Someone once told me, “do something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life”.  So, wine won’t make me rich?  Only from a monetary perspective – I’m meeting more and more people every day in this industry – I’m becoming rich with friends.  So, it’s really hard work then?  Only if you don’t enjoy it.

“Life fulfilling work is never about the money – when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.”     Eileen Fisher


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