Things to Be Thankful For
Posted: Nov 26, 2008 12:59pm ET
Remembering that the purpose of Thanksgiving Day actually is to give thanks for what we have and share it with friends and family, not just eat a ton of turkey and nap through a football game on TV, I have been adding things up in my mind.
Like everyone else, I am daunted by the current financial crisis, which threatens to change our standards of living for some time to come. Most of us will have to pull in our belts. Some of us will see our businesses severely impacted.
But we are all alive, and we have loved ones to share our lives with. That’s the most important thing, no matter how easy it is to forget when the financial world takes a dive.
In the wine world, I have a long list of people, places and wines to be thankful for. I am sure you do, too. This is a good time to be thankful for those who seek to make the best wines they can at prices we can afford, for friends who share their favorite wines with us, for chefs who think about wine when they create their dazzling new dishes, and for sommeliers who can pluck a great choice from their stash when we are dithering over what to drink.
Thank you, New World winemakers, for pushing the boundaries to give us more choices. Even if sometimes you go over the top, there’s nothing like the excitement of a new wine that works.
Thank you, Old World winemakers, especially those who maintain the essence of their regions while upgrading quality. Even those who sometimes rely on tradition at the expense of sound winemaking, your best wines are still the models for everyone else.
Thank you, growers who do the hard work, pruning in freezing weather, nurturing the soil and picking in all kinds of conditions to make the vines produce the most wine-worthy grapes they can.
Thank you, glass makers, for giving us so many choices for showing our favorite beverage at its best.
I am also grateful that I have a cellar full of good wine, paid for when times were better. Like most people who have been accumulating wine for years, I don’t have to buy another bottle for years. I can just drink what I have already. I will keep buying, of course, but my pace will be slower and I will be more judicious about how much to spend. That probably makes me fairly typical.
I don’t buy wine as an investment. I have never sold a bottle of wine from my cellar (although I have traded a few over the years). I have been eyeing the two remaining bottles from a case of 1985 Jayer Burgundies
, wondering if I can bring myself to drink them when they were selling earlier this year for thousands of dollars each. They’re probably worth a lot less now, just like my 401(k). I am thankful I still have them.
Feel free to add to my list as we celebrate an unambiguously feel-good holiday.