Last week, I came across a lot of essays, wine-related or not, from folks waxing poetic over all the things they had to be thankful for. (Not including the ability to end a sentence with a preposition if one darn well pleases.)
And I thought seriously about writing one. But there's such a sameness to them -- even, or perhaps especially, when the writer is trying to spice things up.
But I'm here to tell you right now about are two things that I'm really thankful for: a predilection to laugh a lot, and an ability to continue to approach wine as a wonderful learning excursion.
Of course I'm thankful for Sandy, and Zuzu, and cool, crisp mornings and all that kind of stuff. But I believe we ought to feel thankful for the attributes that help us enjoy this great big wonderful thing called life.
Especially the little things, like Shafer's delightful Line on Wine
missives. I've been getting these factoid-filled, humor-and history-laced Q&A-format correspondences for several years, and they always brighten my day. The latest arrived last week and included these gems:
*The ancient Greeks considered it the height of barbarity to drink wine without doing what? "Mixing it with water."
*The Church of England is making what recommendation thanks to Swine Flu? "No more shared chalices."
*A study by Cornell University researchers found that restaurant patrons are more likely to buy an expensive bottle of wine if the price is listed without what? "A dollar sign."
Until recently, the "Line on Wine" compilations came on large postcards, but now they're sent via email to the trade and customers. Previous entries are accessible via the link above.
Shafer media/communications poohbah Andy Demsky compiles the "Line on Wine," and it's a true labor of love. "It's the funnest part of my job," he told me last week. "I love trivia and history. What you'll often see is a reflection of what I've been reading.
"I also have a weird sense of humor, so I wanna be sure there's something in there that's off the wall."
"Line on Wine" debuted in 1994 and was founder John Shafer's idea. "He wanted to send something out that wasn't just waving our own flag," Demsky said. "He was, like, we're in this business because we like it, because it's fun. And we think our customers are like that.
"People like it, especially if they're genuinely into wine and kind of a geek like me. When we're out and about, we'll see it tacked up in the employee area of a restaurant."
And of course, there's feedback "if there's something somebody disagrees with," Demsky said. "But I don't thing anybody has dinged us."