What is the greatest commodity in any market in the world? I’d argue that it’s TIME! Whether it be ease and convenience or a clever life hack, people are always interested in how they can spend their time better. In that vein, how many of us have suffered from a debilitating hangover that leaves us worthless for a day or even more? I sure have. What a waste of time that is! I’m not saying that this is never going to happen, but, I do feel that there are better ways of drinking that ultimately allow us to save ourselves for the next day. The real question is, “how much is your time worth to you?”
There’s a lot of info out there about the health benefits of wine. I won’t weigh in on the nitty-gritty science of the stuff as I’m not a doctor and I don’t want to get sued, but I will say two things. One, wine contains alcohol and alcohol is a toxin that at substantial quantities becomes a poison so we all must be careful to pick our poisons wisely. And two, cheap wines, like your £4.99 bottle of supermarket standard, are mostly made up of bulk juice and the chemical compensation required to combat the myriad of enemies that may arise while the bulk-wine overlords are trying to make a tightly controlled house style on a grand scale. At this end of the spectrum, it is a profit over quality game. Overall depth of complexity, richness and unique character play second fiddle to the idea that “this is kinda tasty for what it is.” And they get away with it by offering perceived value.
Think of it like this. You’re hungry. If you are on the go and want something quick and reliable, a burger from your favourite fast food joint will certainly fit the bill and you can have one for less than a pound. Awesome and even a bit tasty. Are you going to feel great afterwards? Probably not. Is it going to fill you up a bit? Absolutely. Should, every time you need to eat you have a burger? Not if you want to maintain normal body function and live well for any amount of time. Along the same lines, the fact that you think you can’t drink wine without having a crushing headache the day after probably means you have had: A – too much, and B – Wine that’s filled with sulphites and other nasty stuff that counteract lack of quality.
The fact that you can see the golden arches and the thought of exactly what you’re going to get from within is a testament to the brand as opposed to the overall health benefits of the burger. If you’re after more than just a cheap bite or a cheeky-cheat-day treat, you’ll probably go somewhere else. You can order a better burger and you’ll probably feel better because of the ingredients used and the care in the production of that burger. It’s got less of the junk in it that your body won’t like even if you do. And, when it comes down to it, it’ll taste better. And again if you eat 10 burgers, you’re not going to feel great anyway, so that part of the analogy holds true too.
If your typical tipple is a supermarket wine, the benefit is that it’s convenient and, hey, it’s only a fiver. There’s nobody there to tell you about the styles of the other wines, so you’ll go with what you know. You’ll grab a bottle of a New Zealand Sauvignon, or an Argentinian Malbec because they are reliable and they still seem a bit classy because at some point a friend ordering a bottle said, “What!? You haven’t tried a Marlbourough Sauv? It’s amazing!”
What you may not realize is that by only ever choosing these wines, you are missing out on (conservatively) 98% of what the rest of the planet has to offer. The flavours and characters in the wine that you love will most definitely be found in other bottles that you haven’t tried yet. We are specialists that know all of the bottles inside and out and can cater our advice to your particular palate. So you can trust in us to help you select the perfect bottle. You won’t even have to spend much more, but isn’t it worth it to have peace of mind that you’re getting something that you’re really going to relish? And it will no doubt enhance your experience to be the friend that says, “What? You haven’t tried a Grauburgunder from Germany? You’re missing out!”
Wine can be an amazing experience for almost all of your senses. Part of its appeal is definitely that it contains alcohol. I know you will feel better and almost always have a better experience with a wine that gives more back. You can have a better time while you’re drinking it because you can actually enjoy it and savour it that little bit more so that you can justify spending a little more (time=money). So you can think of spending that little bit extra on a quality bottle of wine as an investment. Not only spending the time with the bottle, but then, the next day, you won’t have to have any time with your head in the toilet.
In the immortal words of Jim Croce, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day, ‘til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.” He probably wasn’t talking about wine, but maybe…
Drink well and better.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Sommelier,
J Corey Evans