Along the way, in my thirties, I discovered wine. Its unique and wonderful taste captured my imagination. Before long, I learned that my favorites were red wines and champagnes. Over the years, I narrowed my focus to cabernet sauvignon and only the most expensive champagnes. As a result, I rarely drink champagne, but I have unearthed many excellent cabernets at reasonable prices.
As my experience as an oenophile grew, I took pleasure in the paraphernalia of oenophilia. I paid a cabinet maker to create for me a grand wine chest. It’s over four feet wide and three feet high and perhaps two feet deep, constructed from medium-light maple, with sliding doors on the front. On the right side are six drawers large enough to hold two magnums each; on the left are seven drawers, each sized to hold three regular (750 milliliter) bottles. In the middle are two side-by-side sets of three shelves cut so as to allow me to hang 18 goblet-size stemmed glasses.
The glasses are the best crystal I could afford. They all ring beautifully when rubbed around the top rim. And I have a collection of corkscrews that make opening even the most recalcitrant bottle easy.
So these days in my retirement and working full time as an author, I have come to terms with my fear of alcohol. I allow myself a small grass of cabernet sauvignon when I’m eating food complemented by it. And I enjoy a gimlet (vodka and sweetened lime juice) before dinner. I no longer worry about becoming addicted to alcohol. I’ve passed the test of time.