Dear Wine, I love you.
Ask any woman of a certain age to list the top 5 loves of her life, and I can pretty much guarantee that wine will be one of them. And rightly so. A recent survey suggests that in moderation wine is good for you. Wine makes you relax. Wine makes you happy. Oh, Wine. You need to hear how much I love you…
It is far too early in the day for me to tell you this personally, so please accept my sentiments in a series of letters. After nearly 30 years of knowing you, I feel it is time to express my utter love and gratitude towards you.
I met you so many years ago when we were both young and fresh. I just 19 and you who went by the name of Asti spumante or some German name that I found too hard to pronounce. I think it was willcrysomuchen or something like that. We had only just become acquainted and I was shy around you, you made me giggle with your cute bubbles and somehow always told me the right things to say to any male admirers.
I love you. Thank you for joining me throughout my twenties. I’m sorry I let you down that time when I was 25. Stupidly saying that we would no longer be friends and that I was hooking up with that poser, Soda Water. How silly of me. I should have known that he could never have been the friend that you were. Him and his annoying habit of putting loud burps into my mouth. Insisting that he went everywhere with me in his keep fit bottle. Demanding he came with me to the gym, or on a walk, he even started to suggest that I take him to bed with me. I’m sorry wine, I was young, naive. Blinded by the media. Forgive me.
Thank you for helping me with your soothing words when my husband and I were trying for a baby. You were ever so discreet and let me taste just enough of you for me to be able to relax. I felt by then that we were getting to know each other well enough for me to go ahead and put my legs up against the wall afterwards. I knew you wouldn’t mind.
Thank you for being there on my wedding day. It wouldn’t have been the same without you Wine. You brought so many of your friends along, I can’t believe that I finally got to meet your Great Aunt, Lady Lanson. She was stunning. So elegant and refined, so easy to be with. Some of your lesser known young cousins made the crowd somewhat rowdy that day, but she did nothing of the sort. She was a lady until the end. After spending hours with her on my wedding night, she left me feeling young and giddy. Whether I’ll ever get to meet her again remains to be seen, but perhaps if you see her, after giving her my warm regards, ask if she might consider doing a cashy for my 20th wedding anniversary.
Thank you for waiting so patiently for me while I was pregnant. For reassuring me that those nine months- and then some for breastfeeding, would fly by and that we would, at last, be reunited. I won’t mention that little fling that we had with the fish and chips when I was 7 months gone. You have to understand that I needed you. I could take no more.
Thank you for being there for me when I turned 40. It was an honour to cross that milestone into maturity with such a handsome companion as yourself. Life really did begin for me at 40. I found I could finally be open about our relationship without the fear of being judged or being labelled an alkie. How freeing it was to let everyone know that from here on in we would be spending at least
every single night 5 nights a week together.
Age has brought with it an ease that surrounds you. You are happy in your own skin. I find that you are as equally happy being poured into a French tumbler as you are into a crystal glass. It’s true that you draw the line at being put into a builders mug, but Wine, my dear friend, what is a girl supposed to do when she’s camping with the kids and they insist on tripping on guy ropes and spoiling my evening with you? I knew you’d understand.
I love you. Thank you for being so supportive of me and the children. I have lost count of the times I have been sitting at the dinner table, ready to spew verbal diarrhoea onto my husband about how naughty the children have been. Only to find you gently whispering into my ear, encouraging me to talk about that time I made 20 grand on the first property we ever sold. You know me so well. You know that when I talk about making money, it cheers me up. You are a clever thing.
Thank you for understanding that I wasn’t allowed to take you onto the aeroplane with me when we emigrated to New Zealand. I know I promised you a special trip around the world, saying that we would sit in the window seat together and look towards our new destination, but you have to understand, there are little miniature wines that work on these aeroplanes. They give themselves away for free. They made me feel cheap and tight arsed on that flight by emptying themselves quickly on purpose so that I would have to ring the bell and ask the air stewardess for more.
I thought about you a lot on that 27-hour flight. You, who holds his head high with such stature. You, who lets your bottle empty slowly over the course of an evening. I was nervous about landing in a foreign country, worried that I would never find you again. But there you were, waiting for me when I stepped foot on to my new land. Dressed in your New Zealand label, looking so proud and handsome.
Thank you for taking my hand and leading me past 45. I sometimes don’t know what I’d do without you. You are part of the family. If you’re not present when Brian and I sit down to eat dinner, the room feels empty and dismal.
Seeing your handsome face between our plates every night makes me feel so happy. There’s no one I would rather spend an evening with than you. I know that you and the candle stick have become very close over the past few years, no doubt you have both heard some very intimate conversations, But I know that I can rely on you for discreetness.
I’m sorry that you both had that falling out over where you were to sleep at night. I can completely understand that you thought it unfair that you were to be shut away in the pantry overnight while she gets to sit on top of the piano, but you know you don’t like bright lights -especially now that you’re older. It only makes you cloudy. Please just accept that you have to remain between the balsamic vinegar and the sunflower oil at night time.
I am incredibly excited about the new stage of life we are about to enter. Please know, that I honour your friendship and sincerity. No other friend has been this loyal. Not even cheese spread who I have known since I was a little girl. She sold herself cheap in my eyes when she gave up her dainty triangles for that big fat greedy tub.
Oh, Wine.I love you. How I laugh when I think of the changes we have been through together. Me with marriage, homeschooling the children, emigrating and travelling. You with your beautiful popping cork being replaced for the plastic screw top. I know you don’t like to be reminded of it my friend, but we got through it together, didn’t we? And although you no longer make that deep, rich, earthy popping sound to signify that the evening has begun, rest assured, having a little crack and a screw before dinner still brings Brian and I so much joy.
It’s time for me to go now, but before I do let me say one more thing. Don’t ever listen to those naysayers who bad mouth you. Questioning your absolute beauty, and your medicinal properties. You and I both know that your ancestors go far back to ancient civilisation. How I love it when you tell me of your great great, great, incredibly great, Grandfather from China, who was born 9000 years ago and was made of rice and honey. You fascinate me wine, I will never bore of getting to know you.
Pah! Those silly fools who prefer the likes of Soda Water in his silly modern green recyclable bottle. They need to understand that for a great friendship to survive, one must invest time. You must first become familiar with the little idiosyncrasies each party possess. For you, it’s knowing when it is time to get back into the pantry. For me, it’s remembering that it makes you sad to be shared with egg and chips. Like any true love affair, you have to give the other space. This is especially true of you, I know how you need your time to breathe.
And so dear Wine, until we meet tonight over Nigel Slaters lamb stew ( I remembered that he was your favourite), Please know that I am, and always will be dear wine, truly madly and deeply in love with you.
Disclaimer: Please note that wine should always be drunk responsibly. If you are under 18 and reading this post, don’t even think about trying to get into a relationship with Wine. He only prefers older women.
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