wine and you

Posted: March 4, 2010 in ABSTRACT THOUGHTS /rendering of madness
Tags: ,

Pour it. Swirl it. Sniff it. Drink it. When did wine refuse to be just another drink and became a cultural phenomenon? Maybe it happened right when the grapes got smashed. Maybe it happened when the grapes turned sour. Wine has always hogged the mindscapes of the modern world. There is something about wine that creates an aura behind the whole act of consuming it. If the communists had to comment they would call the wine the bourgeois means of upholding the class divide. Does wine drinking necessarily depict the class difference? Does wine drinking show an ever changing lifestyle of the modern age?

By the very fact that wine is indeed an expensive commodity, it becomes an object beyond the means of the average ‘aam admi’. The exclusiveness of the product by virtue of its price makes it an exotic commodity. But the modern day has found its own means of bridging the gap between the have and the have-nots. Yet India is still not ready to give away its fascination with the eroticization of wine.

So where does that place me? Do I take up the fight against the bourgeoisie and shun this means of class divide as my pseudo-comrades of Jawaharlal Nehru University would like me to? Do I have the ever awed fascination of the expensive liquor? Well I made friends with wine long back. Wine came into the imagination with sentences like older the wine better the taste and same wine in different bottle. Times I would come up with my own conspiracy theories. Maybe these were the attempts by the western media at cultural domination of the east. Getting educated in a communist infected university can very well make one utterly paranoid. But it wasn’t about the western media or otherwise, it was indeed about me as the tag says “Wine and You”.

All the while it was about me. Where do I see myself? Where do I place myself? “Wine and me.” Wine drinking is not a modern day phenomenon. Yet somehow it is/has become the one big symbol of modernism and most of all modern lifestyle. The elaborate wine tasting ceremonies almost gives it a scared air. Therefore wine drinking becomes a sacred ritual to be enjoyed by few. I do agree that that kind of exclusiveness seems to be disappearing in this modern day yet it is hard to deny that wine has always had that elevated distinctness to it. Right from the production to consumption, wine is treated differently than any other liquor with almost a feel of reverence. My essay seems to find more questions than answers but there lies the whole mystery of wine drinking. (One may assume that I talk about some secret dark magic but all the while I indulge in, one may say, wine drinking.)

The Greeks of the antiquity praised the secret powers of the wine. They even prayed to Bacchus, the God of wine. John Keats in the “Ode to A Nightingale” wishes to fly away with the help of Bacchus. The creation of the aura around wine which has trickled down into the modern day is indeed a creation of the ages behind. It is a culmination of the years of fascination.

When the world started looking towards a world of sophistication, a world of polite manners, a world of art and culture then started the world of wine drinking. The German Football lovers took up the beer. But what exactly fascinated the modern world about wine. It is indeed difficult to find out. Has the modern day grown more used to the pleasures of slow life? Does it want to in someway imitate what is considered to be the good life?

The media is somewhat responsible for the modern day influence of wine drinking. The media depicts and tries to fashion what is the ‘right’ lifestyle. And in many a ways, the whole act of wine became the reflection of the good life. Taste apart, wine became the status symbol. Wine became the favourite accessory to the ‘perfect’ life. The rat race became all the more faster with the ‘new’ toy. And they said that one needs to develop the taste. And they said that one must enjoy the subtle flavours of the aroma. I get that wine tastes great but isn’t the place of wine in the modern lifestyle about something more than just the taste. Isn’t the fascination more about the fascination rather than the object? The object just becomes the means of desire rather than the object itself.

I am not hinting at the communist line of thought that wine is the means of class divide. I am actually hinting at is that wine may have to come out of its old casket and refuse to fake as something else. Well my essay doesn’t make much sense. It is contradictory and hugely ambivalent but then writing about wine drinking can get results like this. All said and done, I don’t really have any idea about the influence and Lifestyles of modern day Wine drinking.

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