Thoughts on: Sharing Wine
If you follow me on social media at all, you’ll find that I’m often posting pictures of myself with different people, sharing different bottles of wine around Barcelona. This isn’t unusual in itself; getting slightly drunk with people you like is perhaps life’s greatest joy. However, if you read the description you’ll find that many of them are part of a New Years Resolution I started in..well.. January, of course, which makes it a little less spontaneous. The whole concept is to share 50 different bottles of wine with 50 different people over the course of the year, learn a little more about people I know but only superficially, meet some completely new friends and of course, have some laughs with long term drinking buddies and family. The whole concept was created one evening in late December 2015, when I was getting more fed up than usual with the social media circle-jerk of empty platitudes and wine memes only spat out to garner likes and attract maximum attention. A (slightly tipsy) rant ensued to no-one in particular, and bold claims were made. The result is this wonderful resolution; never let it be said that decisions made under the influence of wine are regretted the following morning (Although the ratio is still largely skewed in that direction, to be fair).
To date I’ve shared 32 bottles with 32 people and it’s looking increasingly likely I’m going to, for the first time ever, successfully complete a new years resolution. Not only has this been by far one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever undertaken, it’s really reinforced the belief that set this off; that wine is far, far better when shared (literally shared, not attached to a meme and vomited onto Twitter). It’s an easy thing to forget in our modern world as the role of wine has changed, from being a simple alcoholic beverage you would drink daily with dinner to being an object of study, discussion and culture. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this and as someone with grand ambitions of my own with regards to wine education, is something I’m certainly guilty of. All it takes is a good dinner and a nice bottle of wine with company to bring this back down to earth, however. The simple pleasure of eating good food and chatting whilst the wine uncoils itself inside you, peels off layers of your external armour and sets you at ease, well, it’s quite magical and so very under-rated.
I already know that I won’t be able to afford to approach this in the same way in 2017; the cost so far is already over 2000 euros and whilst I don’t begrudge that, life is set to get a fair bit more expensive in the near future. It’s not a problem, though, as the real take-away lesson for me is how important it is to prioritise this sort of thing in my life. I want to have more casual dinners, to share more wine, to eat, drink and be merry as part of a local community as it’s something that really makes me very content and I think is a wonderful way of living. We’re set to move flats towards the end of this year, and a bigger space to live in will also mean a bigger space to share with others. The horrible tweets and memes that instigated this whole thing are horrible because they turn this truth into white noise, which is then passed around and ignored, a vehicle for short-term visibility and nothing else. The fact is, in order to experience it you need to make it happen. Get some great wine, cook a wonderful meal and invite your friends and loved ones over to enjoy it. That person you’ve always wanted to get to know better? Invite them for a glass of wine. That old friend you keep meaning to go for a drink with? Show up to their house with something delicious. Do you even know your neighbours? No? Grab a drink with them, you won’t regret it.
I’m looking forward to another 5 months of bringing this project to its conclusion, drinking some great wine and meeting some more wonderful people along the way. I have no idea what I’ll try for my new years resolution 2017 but if it brings as much happiness and fun as 2016, count me in. Wine really does bring people closer together, it just needs a little help from us in order to be in the right place when we open it up. Cheers!