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In my last post, I talked about the perils of being too serious. Not only have I become too serious with regard to my profession, but I have become too serious, also, on this blog. The whole premise of my blog is that libraries are a reflection of life, and there’s more to life than libraries. That is why I (used to) write about life and libraries. But I looked back, and I haven’t written anything non-libraryish since January. No recipes! No parenting perspective pieces! No anything but library stuff. That must change because there is so much more in life that deserves attention and discourse.

One thing I am not serious about is wine. That’s not to say that I don’t love wine because I do. It is a simple pleasure that adds a touch of elegance and indulgence to the end of a busy day. One of the most satisfying rituals of my daily life is coming home from work–or at the end of a relaxing day on the weekend–and pouring myself a nice glass of wine to drink while I make dinner. I’m not even sure I could cook without a glass of wine (or 2) as my sous chef. However, 99.9% of the time, that wine will be a chardonnay. And don’t expect me to apologize for it.

Chardonnay, and white wine in general, gets a bad rap and is associated with all sorts of clichés relating mostly to middle-aged women, which–guess what!–is what I am (if I live to be 102). Funny thing–I Googled “chardonnay clichés and middle-aged women” and I came up with this blog post, an excerpt from which states:

“The dominant festival trend, however, was the Bored Housewife Collections. At some point between the ages of 43 and 55, many married women seem find their artistic ‘gift.’ With Oprah and chardonnay as their muse, they put oil or pastel to canvas to express all the beauty, passion and feelings they’ve repressed during 20 years of PTA meetings, carpools, soccer games and thoroughly unsatisfying marital sex.”

Well, I won’t comment on the bulk of that rant; however–guess what!–Oprah and chardonnay are, or at least have been, my muses! Consider me a cliché, and let’s put that to rest. I didn’t Google any further because I think this passage clearly conveys the prominent condescending attitude toward chardonnay drinkers among many wine snobs enthusiasts.

I know wine snobs enthusiasts revere red wine as the epitome of sophistication and class. I have tried over and over again to come to enjoy red wine. I have come to appreciate red wine; however, I have never come to enjoy it. And why drink something that I don’t enjoy when I can drink something that I thoroughly enjoy, which is a nice, cold, dry, buttery, oaky chardonnay?

Any day, give me a chardonnay, or a viognier, or a sauvignon blanc, or a brut champagne, and I will take it over a pinot noir, cabernet, or merlot. It’s not even a close call. I know what I like, so why change now?

Well, you say, there are the purported health benefits of red wine. And, yes, those are hard to deny. But are they conclusive? Perhaps not. This graphic from Prevention Magazine shows red as the clear winner in the healthy living race. However, this article from Livestrong.com certainly doesn’t discount the benefits derived from drinking the green grape, either. I’ll take any validation I can get because I know for sure that red wine has less natural sugar and contains more antioxidants than white. My response to that is this: I don’t care.

That’s why I eat healthy foods that contain the vitamins and nutrients that my body needs to prosper and flourish. If those vitamins and nutrients are not contained in my wine of choice, then so be it. I drink wine for the pleasure, not for the health benefits. So there.

To all of you red-wine believers I say this: Let me enjoy my chardonnay without fear of condemnation. For better or worse, wine is wine. Can’t we all just get along?

I will not even attempt to venture into the realm of vintages, varietals, vineyards and all of that. Give me the driest, oakiest chardonnay you have–chilled as long as possible–and I will be happy whether it has a screw top, a cork, or was bottled within the last six months. If a bottle is on sale, it passes my label-reading test (oak), and it is a chardonnay, I will buy it, drink it, and hopefully enjoy it. I won’t let the bottle breathe; I won’t swirl my glass; and I won’t smell the cork. I will simply drink and relish the civility.

I have a friend who is a wine snob enthusiast. Last fall, I was excited to tell him about my new wine refrigerator, built into our kitchen island by my husband. His response? “If you drank red like a civilized person, you wouldn’t need to chill your vino.” He went on to say, “The thought of a cold, white wine makes my head hurt, on both sides.” Of course that was simply benign teasing that made me laugh, but it is also an indication of a deep-seated (incorrect) belief. He has given me the names of many red and white varietals in an effort to expand my wine horizons. I tried. I do venture into new, uncharted territories, but I always come back to the homeland.

No one should have to defend their core beliefs: politics, religion, and wine. Instead, let’s drink to our differences and to the fermentation of our individual preferences, distilled to the point of certainty. In my case, I am certain that I love chardonnay above the rest. At least for now.

Cheers!