The day I broke up with my Chianti

The day I broke up with the bottle, I was sad. I used to crawl right in there and hide out. Many folks do this whether they realize it or not. The thing is….I had a lovely rot iron wine rack and sometimes could stack it six full in a 12 slot rack. Oh I had good taste too. I knew vintages and specialty grapes. I knew all about tannins and could do a blind tasting and shake out a Rioja from a Chianti before it even touched my throat. Still, let good wine not be the perpetrator here. Lack of coping was the perpetrator here. I never really learned coping because, being the baby, my bed was made for me and anything uncomfortable was sheltered from me early on. Even my first drink of wine was at a wedding not in the back of Pinto with my shirt off. But one thing is certain, wine did not cheapen me, I cheapened wine. It started out a lovely poetic beverage to sip while I soaked beneath silky soap bubbles listening to Billie Holiday. I lived in the land of Pinot Noir after college and knew it as an honest beverage rather than a drug at first. It is both. Wine, a finely crafted time tested, fermented gift of the earth and Lancers, Boones Ferry scored from older siblings and consumed in mass quantities in the trunks of cars while sneaking into the drive-in theatre. One bad deed does not make you bad. Building bad habits, just like Good things takes time. To change from simply a fruit to something to beautify fine crystal, and change your perspective, lift the mood and drop it flat like a piano off of a high rise-well you get the picture. We aspire to be cultured and less American like beer drinkers. Western Vineyards are catching up to the notoriety of the European vineyards. This signals that perhaps Americans are getting a clue, loosening up, taking long lunches and if that includes wine and is encouraged by artisans and health professionals and accepted at household dinner tables everywhere, count me in. Oh yeah I can’t- we broke up. Where oh where did I go wrong? My consumption of it changed more than myself. It worried people around me, my kids even. Would today be the day, I would stagger with my lampshade, sing country songs at the top of my lungs, desperately hoping to purge the hurt, and channel the secret Mafioso thug-the one down deep at my core that black cloud, my mood that would surely linger. It made me happy and then it made me sad. What I don’t get is how it is that something so attractively labeled, something over ten dollars a bottle, something that is touted as good for your heart and something serving as such a lovely hostess gift received on many a doorstep with such eager excitement and get-to-it-ive-ness reception that it can be, for me, such a nasty paradox. Wine is like anti-venom to a snake bite victim. If not carefully dosed it can kill. Well perhaps I will never know, but the day I threw a chardonnay like a shot put into the driveway when my husband asked me if I were going to pour another or just drink from the bottle, well that day changed life. It also changed my marriage and my relationship with the Chianti forever and for the better. And Like they say, “it is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.”

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