There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
A friend who knows my style in music and wine, recently sent me a podcast of one of Leonard Cohen’s final interviews before his passing last year. In it, Mr. Cohen unapologetically remarked about a time when he would drink three bottles of wine (Château Latour) in one evening to help stave off the paralyzing stage fright he suffered from. “It went so well with the music”, said Cohen. I have to agree, this particular wine is velvet and reflective in nature, just like his versus and voice. Godspeed Mr. Cohen.
As the New Year commences we tend to reflect and set intentions for what we wish to leave behind and grow into. This is in fact noble work to do anytime of the year! January resolutions often lead one down a slippery path towards disappointment and heartbreak. The slide usually happens around week two, with the realization that too many big changes were promised all at once. Often times, a misunderstanding of the root of the habit we wish to break leaves us without a true starting point or long-term solution.
Wine often comes under scrutiny for many people making new years resolutions. It is cast aside as a damnable, thrown out as an evil enemy post several weeks of over-indulgence during the holidays. I am personally an advocate for taking breaks from wine throughout the year. However, I know that wine is for me part of my life long-term, and to cast it aside completely would no doubt be lamentable. I have been privy to too much wonderful wine and too many sweet experiences as a result of sharing food and wine with loved ones. I simply adore the story of wine, the people who make it, and what it can evoke when shared over good conversation. It is the chosen beverage of the God’s after all! It would be unrealistic for me to want to say honestly I would give it up cold turkey for good. I’d give it up if I had to,but I’d much rather give up turkey, or the cold.
I am not going to list all the health benefits of wine here because like most every sense pleasure in human life, there are pros and cons. I will emphasize that wine is one of the most hygienic and thoughtfully made beverages in the world. The love, care and soul poured into a well-made wine no doubt transfers to our own soul and can warm our heart with a sip taken in a moment of presence. The delight of quality wine experience can romance a spirit out of hiding. Abused, it can kill the spirit slowly.
‘Everything in moderation’ certainly applies to wine, when in doubt I drink better, slightly more expensive wine less often. In other words, I reward myself with more quality for less quantity. If you can’t afford a more expensive wine, then drink less- less expensive wine until you can! It’s simple math, right? So why not make a resolution to enjoy a quality champagne once a month rather than once a year on December 31st. I believe that taking these luscious moments can leave you satisfied in the regular day to day, not continually wanting more, or stuck in a state of lack. Besides, Champagne has fewer calories if you’re into counting that sort of thing this month. Much more important than calories, Champagne, like a Grand Cru Bordeaux, also pairs beautifully with the songs of vagabonds and versus of poets.
“I’ve studied all the theologies and all the philosophies, but cheerfulness keeps breaking through” – Leonard Cohen.
Podcast- The New Yorker Radio Hour- Leonard Cohen: A Final Interview