The fruit of the vine has many functions in human society, and one of them is as a signaling mechanism. Wine is the sign of Good Times Here. Stock photography is full of smiling people raising glasses to each other, clearly having the times of their lives, and we buy that because we understand on some level that Drinking = Some level of bliss.
Maybe this is only a thing you see if you happen to move in the circles of womanhood, but there is this meme that women love wine. Love it. If you're out with the girls, you're drinking. If the kids are wearing us down, we're having a glass. Is it too early to start drinking? people ask one another, ha ha. If you're a woman and you're not having wine, you're probably wishing it was time to pour yourself a tumbler.
This is all very amusing, of course, but it's mostly meaningless to me. I'm going to come out and say it: I'm not all that into wine. I don't hate it, of course. I drink it when it's offered, and sometimes I even prefer a glass with dinner. Having wine with friends is fun, though it's more the friends than the wine. I can tell when I've had just enough that I feel easy and relaxed, and that's nice, I guess. It's not a torment to drink it.
But to tell the truth, the taste of alcohol is really something I can take or leave alone. If I've had a hard day and I open the fridge, and I'm confronted with a choice of a bottle of crisp white wine or a bottle of flavored sparkling water, the kind that's just water that smells of lime, I'm going to choose the sparkling water, because I like it better. If I'm on my own, no social compunctions, I'm picking water. I'm a slow drinker, always a glass or two behind everyone else, and that's the way I like it. If I hear myself slurring a word, I put the glass down and I'm finished.
But you know, I feel like I'm outside of some great brotherhood of man, where everyone is loving their alcoholic beverage and counting down the minutes until their next drink of vinous goodness. I do like a hard cider, and there have been times where I've thought, "Oh, hey, I have a hard cider in the fridge, yay!", but as I can only drink half of one before it goes flat, there's a natural limit to the fun there. I'm trying to think if I've ever walked to a bottle and poured off a glass just because it was there, or because it was 5:00, or because I needed a drink, and... I'm not coming up with much.
And I start to wonder: is this all just a big marketing scam? Are there other people out there, like me, who really could care less? (Don't get pedantic on me here; we all know that "could care less" and "couldn't care less" mean the same thing, phrasewise.) Are there others who join in the joshing about the vino and then go home and make a cup of tea instead? The whole purpose of the internet is so that like people can finally find each other and band together. Wine-Neutrals, stand with me, and raise a glass of the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice, the one you pick when you really have your druthers. Cheers.