I’m inspired to write this post in response to another written by Dove over on her blog titled Magnesium and the Perils of Drinking (Wine too). My intent in doing this is not to nit-pick or poke holes – it’s simply to offer another perspective. The way she believes is right for her, and is to be honored accordingly. Admission that there is more than one truth is a hallmark of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual maturity.
Here are a few ways Dove’s truth differs from mine (taken from her post):
Drinking alcohol, including wine…there’s nothing truly beneficial about it.
Drinking is a triggered by a subconscious desire to escape our “messy” lives. (Paraphrased)
We all believe we’re “sorry, powerless, lowly beings,” which is why we drink. (Paraphrased)
Drinking wine…gives ya’ cancer.
A few of my truths:
- Blanket statements make me uncomfortable, because they often imply that everything (in this case, drinking alcohol) can be neatly categorized as “good” or “bad.”
- Drinking wine (or scotch, whiskey, beer, etc.) is not a coping mechanism for everyone who drinks it.
- Some people drink these things simply because they enjoy the taste.
My entire immediate family and a good portion of my extended family have chemical dependency issues. As for me, instead of getting the “alcoholic gene” I got the “gay gene.” It used to hurt every time I thought about these fates, but now I’m grateful for the personal and spiritual growth each has enabled. One example of this growth is the development of a keen eye for the behaviors and attitudes exhibited by alcoholics. Dove gave a couple good examples of these traits, but fell short when attempting to apply them en masse to everyone who drinks.
In general I’ve never been that fond of alcohol, both because of the taste as well as what it did to my childhood. When I lived in Europe during my late teens I’d have the odd pint of Guinness or Harp socially, but that was about it.
Fast forward to my introduction to wine. Over the last 4 years I’ve come to truly enjoy everything about it – tasting different varieties, tuning in to my personal palette, talking with friends and wine stewards about the different smells and tastes, experimenting with food pairings, etc. I’ve travelled to a few different wine regions in my home state of Washington, and am planning a trip to Sonoma Valley with my partner this fall. My love of all things French dovetails nicely into this new hobby as well, resulting in plans to visit France’s wine regions in the next few years.
The complexity and character of good wine is both a sensual experience as well as a window to the past. When tasting wine I like to contemplate questions like these:
Were the grapes more bitter or sweet that year?
Was this because there was a lot of rain, or not enough?
How does the soil color the overall portrait of the wine? (Because soil content varies by location, so does the taste of each region’s wine. The French call this quality terroir – literally translated as soil.)
It is possible to enjoy alcohol without being addicted to it. It’s also possible to avoid the mineral imbalance Dove mentioned (lack of magnesium) that may result from drinking wine by eating a healthful, well-balanced diet. There’s also a wealth of knowledge about the beneficial effects from moderate consumption of wine (and even beer). I’ll leave it to those interested to dig up these facts on their own.
So, there you have it. A different perspective. 🙂