The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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16 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2015 { one woman's view } "HOW DID YOU GET INTO WINE?" someone will ask from time to time. The truth is, I hate that question. To get out of answering, I'll usually smile and say something glib. But the really fascinating, intellectually messy question of course is not how one got into the wine business, but why one did. Over the last several years, I've often wondered about that. After all, almost any reasonably smart person could make a lot more money in another field. The whole tech phenomenon has made this blatantly clear. In fact, if you still operate under the old value system where rewards are connected to the concept of deservingness—and for its part, deservingness takes time to earn—then it can be rather disheartening to watch people 20 years younger than oneself make twice your income in their first year of serious work. (Much worse than watching a six year old fly by you on the ski slopes.) What always makes this even more poignant is that so many people seem to envy those of us who work in the world of wine. Many—even those who make ten times more money than any of us do—would trade places in a minute. So what is it about wine? Perhaps it is this: Wine is one of the last true things. In a world digitized to distrac - tion—a world where you can't get out of your pajamas without your cell phone, a world where you can wake up to 100 emails all of which imply (false) urgency—in this world, wine remains utterly simple. Genuine. Unrushed. The silent music of nature. For 8,000 consecutive years, vines clutching the earth have thrust themselves upward toward the sun and given us juicy berries, and ultimately wine. And so it is that wine ineluctably connects us to that earth. We don't have to do anything. We drink. . . and the bond is there. Wine matters because of this connection. Wine and food cradle us in our own humanity. It is perhaps no surprise that drinking wine and eating are communal everyday pleasures. Anthropologically, they are the pleasures that have carried life forward and sustained us through the sometimes dark days of our own evolution. Drinking wine then—as small as that action may be—is an affirmation. Wine matters; and it reminds us of other things that matter, too: love, friendship, generosity. Karen MacNeil is the author of The Wine Bible and the forthcoming The Wine Bible 2nd Edition. Contact her at PHOTO: JUPITERIMAGES/THINKSTOCK Why Wine Matters IN AN INCREASINGLY DIGITIZED WORLD, WINE AND FOOD KEEP US HUMAN by Karen MacNeil

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