My first exposure to wine, or, “why I think about it the way I do”

I write this not to share an opinion or fact about wine, but to explain my first exposure to wine and my impressions of it at that point.  Essentially, this post sets the basis for what I write in the future.

When I was a young boy of 9, my family moved to Italy.  In Italy, everyone drinks wine from a very young age.  There is no social stigma about it, in fact, going back as adults with our own child, we found there’s a stigma if you don’t give your kid wine.  There’s a story there for a future blog post…

Back to me, though.  When I was 9 & 10, I lived in Italy – Rome & Tuscany.  Wine central!  The norm was that when the adults had a glass of wine, so did the child, albeit, a much smaller one.  Since we were there, my parents figured, “when in Rome…” and with many meals, I had a very small glass of wine – just like the big people!

From that point onward in my life, I guess I looked at wine as part of an event or a social occasion, even as simple as the family dinner.  It certainly was never forbidden fruit as it is here in the United States, and I never looked at it that way.  It was never a means to a buzz.  Quite the opposite.

Even as a small child, I suppose I could see that it was part of the social norms.  People always brought out a bottle for others.  In Italy, it was more important to bring out a local bottle than a good wine and there was much pride in the action of sharing your local wine with others.  It was a part of every gathering.  It was a part of every conversation.  It was a part of every dinner and many lunches.  It was almost omnipresent, but rarely ever abused.

I think that’s why today, I still look at wine as a key part of social situations.  It is what you have a conversation over.  It is what you tell stories about (I found this bottle when I was…).  It is something of which you savor, discuss, and debate the qualities.  It’s very interwoven into the fabric of life and has been for 7500 years (researched) of mankind’s history, perhaps even longer.

This is how I look at wine and that’s what will form the basis for opinions and thoughts I share going forward.

Thanks for reading.


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