It seems as we get older birthdays become less of a celebration and more of a time for reflection.
A few months ago I turned 30 and ever since I’ve experienced a great deal of clarity, which ultimately gave way to knowledge. It was probably a long time in the making but it hit home around my 30th birthday. As my knowledge (of self and of my environment) increased my relationship with the world around me evolved a great deal.
As I approached 30 my relationship with wine evolved as well. The more I came to understand myself the more I came to understand wine. Ironically the more I understood wine the more I came to fear learning too much on the subject. Mainly because I don’t want to morph into some pretentious wine snob.
I am, by nature, both frugal and without pretense. Unfortunately wine can be very expensive and very pretentious. Still, I’m smart enough and grounded enough to know this: high-priced wine doesn’t always signal high quality. In fact, there have been many occasions where I’ve tasted wines that were expensive and terrible. There was something that didn’t feel authentic about the taste, the place, or price. As I entered my 30th year I committed to remaining cognizant of wines that naturally speak to me, to who I am and to what I value, regardless of price.
Plus, I don’t ever want to know so much about wine that I can’t walk into Trader Joe’s and buy a $7 bottle of red wine to enjoy with people whose company and thoughts I value.
The idea of authenticity carried over into the non-wine aspects of life, too. When things didn’t work out for me in my 20s I’d spend countless days – sometimes months – blaming myself and diving into a deep introspection that centered around my shortcomings. Spoiler alert: That’s a waste of time.
When I turned 30 I stopped doing things that didn’t feel right – partially because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, but mainly because I didn’t want to waste my own.
Once I stopped taking life’s rejections personally I was able to, finally, see things clearly. If something didn’t fit, I was more than prepared to let it go. That goes for wine and life. At the risk of sounding like an inspirational Instagram meme, what’s for you will always be for you.
With that being said, I’m pairing my 30th year with a special bottle of wine that’s most definitely for ME. It represents my unique being – everything I’ve learned thus far and everything I hope this year will come to represent. It’s not fancy or even hard to find, but it fits my personality perfectly. Check it out:
Bogle 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel: It’s spicy, like me; affordable, which is great; and it goes well with tacos, which I LOVE. Mostly, I like that it’s not a traditional bottle of red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir might be. It stands alone in that its taste is somewhat unexpected. What makes it most like me is that it is proudly all of those things. It revels in its uniqueness and, ultimately, that’s what makes it good.
If you had to pair a bottle of wine with a milestone birthday, what would you choose?