The Chilly Mistress Has Something To Teach Us

Chilly Mistress This last weekend at a gathering of friends, the issue of "Love" came bubbling to the surface. There was a cynic among us who assured his friends that love can not be measured, can not be observed and one cannot prove they feel love. What bothered him most was the cavalier way the term was thrown around, despite its transient and unresolved nature.

The conversation got me thinking about how people so often profess their "love of wine" and the differences between "loving wine" and "loving Ms. Right".

The difference should be obvious to anyone and if it is not then that person needs a crash course in the concept of "Consciousness". It is understanding the difference between loving wine and loving someone that should drive home the fact that Wine is a Chilly Mistress.

I happen to disagree in part with my friend. I think one's professed love for another person can be measured. I think we can measure it in the way the object of our loving feelings reacts to our confession of love and the acts we take on behalf of that love. The measurement of their reaction cannot be precise, it cannot be measured with a rule, but it can be evaluated in the same way we take the measure of man upon assessing his capabilities, his compassion and his morals.

Wine, on the other hand, never reacts to our love. It's cold in that way. Chilly. Wine neither spurns us or gives itself to us. It does not deflect our advances, embrace us, make long term plans to be with us, nor throws itself at us in wild fits of passion. It does nothing. For those of us who say they "Love Wine", this cold, sterile reaction by the object of our affection makes it a very chilly mistress.

Now, this all might seem like I'm just putting a shiny bow on the all too obvious. And surely that's true. But this coy little observation also serves to remind us wine lovers that if we really are looking for some sort of vital and profound meaning to life, we are not likely to find it anywhere near our love of wine, but rather in the presence of another person who can react, in some way, to our confessions of love.

However, I wonder if our love for the Chilly Mistress serves as a trainer for a future, more real, more permanent, and personified sort of love. I wonder if our "love of wine" trains us to look at something with greater care and greater interest. I wonder if the care and interest that we focus on the Chilly Mistress carries over to the way we look at a person for whom we profess to hold love. If it does, then my cynical friend perhaps should not be so concerned with what he sees as the cavalier way in which the term "Love" is thrown around—or at least the way it is applied to our appreciation for wine.

7 Responses

  1. Catie - April 20, 2009

    In the last 15 years I’ve discovered that when it comes to wine, I can usually depend on it. It never leaves the house late at night or on a business trip without me. All it really wants to do is make me happy and it has usually been faithful to me unlike – –
    Never mind. Sign me,
    Alone with a large collection of wine.

  2. Benito - April 20, 2009

    A passion for wine might be better described as lust. Whereas most of us have settled on some form of serial monogamy for romantic partnerships, wine throws one into the role of a sultan with a harem.
    With moods and tastes that can change in the blink of an eye, the wine luster can gaze upon a cellar and choose from older, more experienced French wines or plucky young American wines. Perhaps the brassy Aussie white was not quite right, so it’s discarded and forgotten in favor of an exotic Italian. And years later, the luster will reminisce about that first bottle, the greatest bottle, and the one that got away. Regardless of circumstance, there are always those treasures just slightly out of reach, due to location or financial means.
    Most notably, the collector will search high and low for these wines, guard them, and only share them at the right moment. How many wine lusters would open their cellar to a dozen random strangers off the street and hand over glasses and corkscrews? How many prohibit access using some form of lock, a veritable chastity belt?

  3. Samantha - April 20, 2009

    Yeah, what Benito said. I hate to admit this but I find my “lust” or “passion” for wines drives me more intently than say that of the human flesh. It almost never forgets to take out the trash and while it may please another I feel it understands me more…maybe I have been in this business too long?

  4. Anneliese - April 21, 2009

    A good bottle of wine can make you spend your last $45 on it. A great bottle of wine causes you to spend $100+, but you want to show it off with your friends while sharing in the consuming it.
    These two scenarios do not translate into my dating experience. Perhaps I’ve not dated the right man to cause me to lose all sense of reason and spend my last $45 on him or to share and indulge in him with friends.

  5. 1WineDude - April 21, 2009

    Uhm… look, I *really* like off-the-wall combinations and comparisons when it comes to wine (check out just about any post in my blog for an example), but WTF are you talkin’ about here…?

  6. Dylan - April 22, 2009

    This is bordering more on philosophy than wine, but I’ll bite, there is such a thing as unrequited love. Unrequited love by its definition does not illicit any reaction other than rejection; it is, after all unrequited. Now, does that mean the measure of the person’s love for the other was not sufficient?

  7. Kevin - April 23, 2009

    I do love wine and love women but I do agree with your friend that love cannot really be measured. The same way that I do not believe that a husband and a wife love each other equally. Wine is like a mistress that I could never leave(aka elliot spitzer) it is a permanent part of my life and no woman I marry could ever get in the way. cheers!

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