“Shit, I kicked the bucket”, I whispered to my giggling friends, and bloody loud it was too in the cavernous space of the winery in Margaret River in Western Australia.
It was the tenth time I joined the ‘Cabernet Tasting’, one of those delightful events, where one meets like-minded people who enjoy good quality wine. Let’s be honest; how often would I be able to afford, taste and drink some of the best wines produced on earth? The first Chateaux Lafitte I ever tasted was just wow… what a nose, what a palate!
Wine tastings show what a pleasure responsible drinking can be. They are mostly blind tastings and conducted in silence. That might also be why small and quiet wine bars are becoming very popular around Australia.
Compare the small bars with the thumping loud boozing binge-drinking Friday night culture in the big barn-like hotels and clubs, where many people go to get blind drunk, and one soon understands the difference.
Cosy wine bars, with soft music in the background, and good quality small meals, encourage conversation and respect, while obnoxiously loud ‘watering holes’ don’t allow for civilised conversation.
It is a shouting match that becomes a shrieking mess, as more and more alcohol is consumed at ever faster rates, with some people on record saying they started drinking spirits because wine and beer do not make them drunk fast enough.
Statements like that sadden me. Why would one get all dressed up and go out with friends to get drunk, instead of going out to have a good time, fall in love, meet new people, and have inspirational conversations? Is the heavy drinking driven by insecurity, introversion, or desperate escapism?
I love sitting around with friends, drinking good wine in moderation and solving the world’s problems. It gives one a deep sense of belonging and satisfaction.
And it’s great to remember the next morning every word that was said during the evening. It’s so much better than waking up not knowing where one is and what happened the night before.
I know, I have been there and done that, I think,… if only I could remember.