Having been raised Roman Catholic, I know wine. Having seen a mere beverage raised to sacramental and metaphysical importance by all my elders, it always struck me as odd. If you believe in transubstantiation, why would the incarnated deity’s bloodstream be infused from the fermented juice of grapes? Why not directly from some more simple, elemental fluid, rather than one that’s been polluted by the waste products of micro-organisms? Why not from mineral water, perhaps with a dose of oxygenation and carbonation? That would echo the infusion of iron, oxygen, and life into the tissues of inert matter—in other words, the miracles of life and spirit.
Anyway, having addicted myself to carbonated caffeinated cold beverages from a young age, it always struck me as odd that people should quibble over which was best: Coke or Pepsi. For the life of me, I’ve never tasted enough of a difference to care. Likewise, fussing over the merits of various strains of non-sacramental wine feels similarly pointless: a bogus sophistication that serves only to impress others with your pretensions to worldliness. Similarly, I have no time to indulge in the other beverage cults—such as those around designer coffees and micro-brews—that pervade our post-modern culture.
I like all of those drinks, and have no beef with sacramental uses of any intoxicating substance. It’s just that I don’t personally regard beverages as worth analyzing to death, and don’t spend much time trying to cultivate whatever magical savvy will help me savor these drinks to the fullest of my powers.
I’ll take whatever’s available and/or on sale.