A Grateful “Thank You” to Wine

wineYou may have heard about a new book, “365 Thank You’s,” written by a guy named John Kralik. The story goes that he was hitting rock bottom in his life, and instead of inviting himself to the world’s biggest Pity Party, he decided to focus on the things in his life for which he could be grateful. Every day for a year, he forced himself to find someone he could thank with a hand-written note, and in so doing turned his life around.

His point is well taken. I’ve discovered that finding something (or many things) to be grateful for is the best way to stop being ridiculously self-absorbed and start thanking God and my lucky stars for all the ways I’ve been blessed.

So today I want to be thankful for wine. Not just for drinking it, although that has been fun. Sometimes really fun.

And not just for selling it, although that has provided me with gainful employment and (usually) decent profits.

I want to be thankful for what wine does to bring people together. In my life, wine has often been the excuse for family and friends to get together, maybe for a wine taste or perhaps a dinner. We taste, we eat, we talk, we get to know each other better. Wine helps break down barriers and helps relationships grow. Wine has created the opportunity for us to connect with each other and enjoy many, many memorable moments.

I know there are folks who would disagree. They may think wine is “snobby” (they’ve obviously been attending the wrong wine tastes) or dangerous to one’s health and safety (and alcohol certainly can be, if we abuse or overindulge in it). My own grandmother was such a person: she was a life-long member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, thanks mainly to the misadventures of a Black Sheep uncle who not only drank excessively but played honky-tonk piano in a seedy bar.

But honky-tonk and overindulgence aside, wine is about family and friendship, and not just about aromas, flavors, and finishes. I would ask that all of you do the following: say a “thank you” of your own for whatever has recently blessed your life, and then pick up the phone and invite six people over to taste, talk, and share wine, joy and fellowship.

Now that’s the way to be thankful. Cheers!

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