Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm Not An Addict Anymore

The wine world is a fantastic place to visit but I'm glad I don't live there anymore. The job of selling wine is an all consuming one. New wines are released all the time, new wines arrive in your portfolio, sometimes from regions unfamiliar and a new vintage arrives twice a year.* The work is mostly pleasurable and taking it home can be delicious but the world is insular and even casual acquaintances want to talk about wine.
The insidious part, and the slippery slope, comes in the selling and recommending. I can't speak for everyone in the business but I sold wines that excited me...that I enjoyed. In advocating for these wines I became more enamored of them and bought my own product. Constant exposure to new vintages and new wines pressed my collector button too.
Cult wines never did much for me. I did not accumulate museum pieces or investment bottles but my purchases of wines to drink piled up. My wish list extended far beyond that. While my wallet could mostly keep up with my purchases, there was a never-ending supply of wines coming that I "needed" to buy.
Yes, needed. The rush associated with buying new wine fueled the desire for more and gradually the cheap stuff didn't satisfy like it used to. After getting out of the business I realized how expensive some of those wines had become, especially if you have to pay retail. Even that didn't quench my desire for those wines, just the rate at which I brought them home.
Finally, after a few years out of the game, I appear to have shaken the monkey off my back. I still buy wine but it is mostly low end. I still drink wine but with less regularity than before. I still get offers for wine, among them Burgundy futures, but I no longer act on them. I no longer salivate and my heart no longer palpitates when the offers arrive.
I'm out, I'm no longer an addict...but perhaps I'm only a taste away...

* Yes, twice a year. I'm not talking about release dates from various wineries but harvests. Vineyards in the southern hemisphere are harvested in our early spring while our growers pluck their grapes in the fall.

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