A Wine Attachment

I could recognize the look in his eye. I had been there before, and so I can testify. The customer walking into Rouge was asking for wine recommendations. Eric and I had been describing several of our recent favorites, and the person just walked away with a list of preconditions in his head. He was pre-programmed with wine blinders. We have all been in this state when we are obsessed with something, but have we caught ourselves in the act? At any rate, no matter how many wines you try to introduce to this person, he is over-focused on reviews, predispositions of flavors or that perennial search for the holy grail of vino.

No wonder then, that, in the Thai language, the classical word for an “object of consciousness” (the object of your attachment) morphed into the modern word for “mood.” Your attachments, or your inability to satisfy them, can determine your mood. If only language were always so revealing. The Buddhist goal, therefore, involves being aware of attachments so that they do not overwhelm you. I am not inviting you to cut your attachment to wine; just try being aware of it.

It was Andrew Weil (anthropologist-turned-health guru) who reminded us to make sure that we are having a good relationship with the things we think we enjoy. We might add that we should see if associations with such things also lead to good relationships with other people. Look around at the invitations you get to sip. Get out of any rut you might be stuck in by trying a varietal suggested by a good friend. That person may know you better than you think you know yourself.

The Wine Nose (February 2009)