Why You Should Collect Wine
I tapped open my iPad last night to get back to a book I am in the process of devouring and noted the many books that are held in that device. I hadn’t noticed it before then, but the display of this collection of reading material reminded me of something I hadn’t looked at in a long time.
I got up from my reading chair and paced into the next room, flipped on the lights and there it was: a collection of books. A few hundred, all stacked neatly on shelves and somewhat coherently divided subject matter: Law, fiction, how to, gardening, baseball, golf, reference, etc., etc.
Perhaps it was the time spent staring into this abyss of the pulpy archaic, but upon moving to another room in the home to choose a wine for the evening I gazed upon my wall of wines and realized that it was similar to my shelf of books, symbolically and in reality.
I was a collector...of both books and wine. Not a “collector” in the sense of “Oh, well, I’ve been collecting mid-century modern object d’art for quite some time my dear.” But rather the kind of collector that most people would relate to: “Yea, I like wine and books, so sue me”.
And it was standing in front of that wall of wine that I immediately understood the most important purpose of collecting wine (and books): Not to read or drink; rather, to mark a trail of where you have been, what you admired, how you live and what was important.
We think our walls of wine have been built to provide us with choice. And I suppose that is one explanation for having more than 10 bottles in our home at any given time. And I suppose keeping hundreds of books on shelves provide the benefit of being able to go back and find that piece of information you need. But this is secondary.
The wine collector with all that wine ready to be drunk is really just writing a personal history; they are displaying where their interest in wine has led them; they have place bottles on racks to remind them what they’ve learned about wine, what they learned to like about wine and to preserve moments when their love and interest in wine has motivated them to act.
This archival approach to out intellectual and wine lives, symbolized by our shelves of books and racks of wine, is one way of marking time and profiling our lives. I recommend it.