Sunday, November 9, 2008

Carpe Vinum

I absolutely support solitary wine consumption. While many caution "drinking alone" as a symptom of alcoholism, I find there are certain exceptions to every person's path (or downward spiral) in life. I often drink wine as I cook, and sometimes even when I'm enjoying take-out pad thai, alone, on a Sunday night. My companion tonight is a 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon from RustRidge Vinyards in Northern California.

I remember purchasing this wine; my husband and I were at a corporate dinner function to support a new up-and-coming winery, and after a fabulous meal, paired with tastings of several different wines, we chose this particular Cab Sav as our favorite and adopted our very own bottle. That was over a year ago. I think the reason we've held on to this bottle for so long is because we were hoping to celebrate something, or wait for that perfect, special occasion, to break it open. Riding on high expectations, the wine has been waiting for us on this pedestal we've created. Through birthdays, anniversaries, a new home in a new city, new jobs, and visits from friends - nothing was worthy of this particular wine.

Until something very unworthy happened. It is Sunday night. My husband is out of town for a business trip. Our two pugs are curled up, asleep at my feet. Snoring gently the way that pugs do. I'm nervous as hell about my work day tomorrow (my first big partnership pitch... cross your fingers for me) and I find myself really needing a glass of wine to ease into my evening. I worry about the repercussions of opening this wine with no one to share it with. Will my husband be mad at me for drinking it without him? Will I regret not saving it for a special dinner party? I shove my fears aside and pour myself a glass.

But something is not right. I've waited too long, and the wine is not as good as it once was. Somewhere on the pedestal, the integrity of the wine has been compromised. I don't know when, or how, but I suddenly do have one regret: not enjoying it sooner, for no particular occasion at all.

Life is short, drink your wine. Share it, or don't, but for heaven's sake - drink it.

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