There is a time and a place for extravagant stuff.
I usually prefer to take a common thing and elevate it to the point that it is special to me specifically. Life's too short. I want to like what I get. When I was younger, I wanted to keep up with the Joneses, but now that I'm older, I realize that I am a Jones and I frankly don't give a hoot about that. So if you want to keep up with me, I've set the bar to a comfortable low for you.
I'm also really short, so there's that. Don't take the bar so seriously. It's Shetland pony height.
One cosmic rule that I have internalized is the simple fact that buying expensive drink and liquor may be good for status, but at the end of the night it just goes through my gut and out my pecker and is then only an experience that's just as good as my memory, and I'm working to keep that maintainable.
So most of the wines I buy to enjoy with my meals and keep my blood thinned out are usually less than a fiver, and for me, they're pretty much orgasmic.
I took a wine-tasting course once from one of the foremost international wine authorities in the world. He spent so much time cooing about the subtle taste of ashes that I wanted to end my day putting a lit cigar in his mouth to shut him up.
This whole thing may have started when I was a kid. I remember the work that was involved when my father got a bright idea with a Burpee catalog and a smile on his face like a kid on Christmas morning. I should have suspected from the pure joy that I was soon going to be put to work.
And that was exactly what happened. First the post hole digging like we were trying to reach China through the crust of the Earth, a feat I had attempted once with Lindy across the street after we watched The Rescuers on the big screen. Except there was real equipment this time. This guy was serious.
He surveyed the back yard like he was George Washington, or perhaps Lewis and Clark, and then metal T-shaped bars were created, welded, and then plopped in the holes. I got to practice mixing concrete again. And pouring it.
Because, what fun are kids if you don't watch them work?
We strung them all together with wire and cranked it down like an agricultural pair of braces. The local orthodontist would have been proud. It was all preparation for the big day when his nine grape vines of different varieties finally were delivered by the boys in brown. He was so excited.
He handed me a shovel.
The Concord grapes and the Niagara ended up growing the best that season. I think he first planned on making wine out of the Concords, but the crows and I fought over them and there weren't enough left. Dad stated that the finest wine was Manischewitz, and that was that.
Niagara was a different matter, and the rosé he made from that one was nothing short of majestic. That batch of wine was made with champagne yeast, and anyone who has ventured in this art form knows how that ended up. He was proud, excited enough that he let me have some on a couple of occasions. I was in my twenties when he gave me one of the last bottles as a gift.
The price of the wine is not what gives it value. Just like in professional sports, the name on the label has nothing to do with what's inside the shirt. Or bottle.
I've had the expensive stuff. I want what goes with the food, or the company, or the sun as it slides away. For me, I like the cheap and smooth instead of the costly and snooty with the bad hairdo.
It just goes down better.