Here in the U.S. you better be 21 before imbibing. In other cultures however, a person starts drinking wine almost as soon as they start drinking milk (mom's or some other type). Maybe that's why they know how to "handle it" better than many Americans. For me...there's a certain romance to coddling a wine glass...a joie de vivre that encompasses my being as I take in each sip and savor its flavor. Sure, I know when I've encountered a "bad" bottle, but normally whatever I have in my glass does me just fine. Malbecs and Chandonnays, Pinot Noirs and Pinot Grigios, Shirazes and Bordeaux, the list could go on forever.
Wine isn't rowdy, maybe it used to be...but it's hard for me to visualize a bunch of people getting looped, throwing things, and punching each others' "lights out," after toasting life and recognizing the sophistication of the wine glass and its contents. I'm no snob (if you haven't figured that out after all this time), and I'm not apt to care about the look or shape of the glass my vino goes in. But lifting up that vehicle by its stem and bringing it to my mouth does make me feel as if everything's good...in fact - pretty darn cool! And...I must admit - even a bit more knowledgeable about the fruits of life and how fortunate we are that thousands of years ago grapes started "going bad" and yet...someone decided to ingest the concoction in front of them anyway! So...I lift my glass to him or her and say, "Cheers!"
Of course I also have the feeling that our original wine lovers didn't figure out, much less care about, what went best with fish, cheese, apples, meat, or any other food at the time. But - leave it to humans to complicate the simple and do "pairings." Not that I mind it in the least - kinda makes it fun. And often those wine rule makers are right. However...I'm an easy to please type of guy, so...all I have to decide is what color will make it to my glass first this evening! Here's to you my friends! No whining - just wine-ing!