My “wine theology” has many facets, but one of the cornerstones is that wine facilitates community. Some will immediately think of “drinking buddies,” the camaraderie that forms when sobriety is lost, or the fact that wine is one of the most acceptable “social” drinks. But none of these experiences captures the deeper realities of authentic community. One of the main reasons that I am an Oenophile is that I cherish the relationships that can be nurtured in the love, learning, and consumption of wine.
Authentic community is such a rare thing in our modern culture. All too often we become isolated in the small spheres of our individual “worlds.” Community is the antithesis to isolation. Rather than “me” language, we use “we” language in authentic communities because we find ourselves inextricably connected with others. The nature of community is that it provides a place where our true identities can be revealed without fear of rejection and that others who risk the same become part of us. “Family of choice” is one way to describe this unique way of being connected and committed to each other.
In the simplest of terms, wine facilitates this kind of community because it becomes a starting point for conversation and offers a common ground of shared experience. Sharing the aromas, tastes, and even language about wine can lead a group of people into deeper connection with one another.
But it’s not just about the wine. It’s about what the culture of wine can help create – authentic community as an alternative to the prevailing individualism of our culture.
More on this later… I cherish your thoughts!