Modern life can be hard work and very, very stressful. What I like after a week of it is to relax with a bottle of something red; a bottle that a soft, juicy blend of grapes has been lovingly squeezed into. If that blend includes Merlot, all the better.
Just what is it about a bottle of wine that can make all the bad stuff go away for a while? Modern life, as we have seen, is tricky to negotiate. The world is being tailored ever more towards convenience, so how come everything seems so difficult? We have to work longer hours to stay afloat, prices of everything keep going up but salaries don’t, and we have to work the tills ourselves in supermarkets now. Everyone is more demanding – kids, parents, friends, bosses. It’s no wonder we’re stressed.
Somehow, a bottle of wine on a Friday night is perfect. It’s not about the alcohol either – well, not entirely. If it were just about the alcohol, a bottle of anything alcoholic would do, but I’m not drawn to beer, vodka or vanilla extract in quite the same way. Something about the sound of the word Merlot can have a relaxing effecting on me, even if I’m nowhere near a wine glass: “Mare loh”. It’s like ‘cellar door’, a combination of syllables that just sounds lovely. A bit of phonaesthetics for you there.
It’s also about the ceremony of it; opening the bottle and taking in the aroma, and the irresistible ‘glug’ on pouring the first glass. Then another good noseful, before tipping back the glass and taking the first sip. As the smooth, nectar-like substance slides down my throat, something happens. Suddenly, everything is somehow right with the world. Apparently there are health benefits in wine, it contains antioxidants which can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Merlot, like so many other good things, should be taken in moderation though. Luckily, a bottle of wine is even nicer when shared!