Could You Stop Drinking Wine?
Could you stop drinking wine for a month? Would it be difficult? Would you be able to let it go with no thought at all to the wines you are missing or the meals that you aren’t enhancing?
Writer Jeannine Stein of the Florida Sun Sentinel has an interesting story about a group of very physically fit people who, on the request of their "coach", attempted to give up drinking for a month. The article is very good and thought provoking. But the most interesting element of the story, to me, is this quote from Lala Alvarez, one of the participants in the month long waggoning:
"I didn’t anticipate the pressure. If I stated that I was staying away from alcohol, that’s when I felt that people were uncomfortable with me not drinking. If I didn’t say anything, didn’t make a big deal of it, they were less likely to notice."
I’ve noticed the same thing on occasion. Usually when, for whatever reason, I tell my dining or tasting compatriots that I’m not in the mood for wine or that I’m only having one glass, they all ask the same thing: "Why?"…And it’s not just a casual "why"? It’s a slightly accusatory "Why?" laced with a bit of concern.
I think this is probably a pretty common occurrence and I think it’s also a way of expressing our natural need for group affirmation as well as the vestiges of prohibitionist thinking that appears to be a natural part of Americans’ souls.
On the one hand, approval and affirmation of your lifestyle is a pretty strong motivator. It surely has something to do with people looking at you askance with drink in hand and surrounded by others with drink in hand and who ask, "Why?!?" But there’s more. Beyond this natural tendency to look at the maverick with an inquisitive eye, we also understand that Alcohol alters us. And there is something about being altered that is both exciting and lascivious? There’s something about consuming a mind altering substance that is "wrong". I know that sounds odd from the proprietor of FERMENTATION: THE DAILY WINE BLOG but here in America with our 21 years of government-imposed sobriety, our MADDs and the media’s attention getting stories on "Binge Drinking" there is a tendency to put alcohol consumption on a slightly askew pedestal.
This gets us back to the accusatory and concerned "Why?!?!"
Lala Alvarez certainly bumped up against the affect of people wanting the other people around them to engage in the same, slightly naughty event.
Why this should be, this importance of the "group drinking together", isn’t that important. It is what it is. What’s more important is how you react to such circumstances. It strikes me that if you are the type
of person who always succumbs to the requests of the group to drink, when you don’t want to,
you probably shouldn’t be a drinker.
That said, could you go without wine for a month?