Much is written these days about lifestyle. When I was younger, the show everyone loved was called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Until that show, I don’t remember much talk around our house about lifestyle. We just lived our lives, not giving much thought to it. Television was our only window into the way other people lived and even that wasn’t reflective of ‘real life’. Media has taken a larger portion of our time and attention lately and social media has exposed more possible and alternative lifestyles than ever before. Because there are so many lifestyles portrayed wherever we look, it is now common for us, who were previously contented with our lives, to become dissatisfied. This leads us to an array of choices that we either consciously, or subconsciously, take on in the hopes that our lives will be better. So it is a fact of modern life that we are influenced by the abundance of information and visual images. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means that we should examine from time the value of this information and how it influences our particular lifestyle. For me it means that my relationships, my activities, and my values are influenced by a overriding vision of the good life.
We all know someone who is defined by a particular lifestyle. For example, the sports fan. She wears the official sports team jersey at every opportunity. He frequents sports bars, and engages in sports talk at the water-cooler. A large portion of the weekend is devoted to watching sports on the television, retrieving scores on their mobile device, or driving to college games and participating in a tailgate party, if possible. Many of my friends are into this and I think it is a fun and family-friendly lifestyle. There is also the shopping lifestyle, the runner lifestyle, and the foodie lifestyle. Lifestyle is promoted everywhere we look. Our consumer society is fueled by lifestyle promoters. Something to think about the next time you are tempted to buy another Seahawks jersey.
My business is wine, so it is obvious that I would live a wine lifestyle. But even before I became a wine geek, the wine life appealed to me. There always seemed to be a bit of mystery to it in its use as a holy sacrament. Wine drinkers seemed a bit more reserved and thoughtful in their partaking, if not a bit snobby sometimes, but the liquid mostly evokes conversation and discussion— talk about flavors, vineyards, trips to wine regions all over the world. The wine lifestyle is subtle. I don’t see a lot of swag, even among the rock stars of the wine world. What also is enchanting to me is the interconnection between wine and the place where it is made—the vineyard. The wine lifestyle always involves visits to different wine regions. Northwest vineyards and wineries are springing up everywhere, so no matter where you travel you will find a place to taste wine, which in turn leads to an enjoyable experience and meeting new friends. Of course the wine lifestyle includes imbibing in wine often. You are not living the wine lifestyle if you only partake during special occasions or when you go out for a nice dinner. The wine lifestyle demands that you drink often—in moderation of course—because it is good for you. It makes every meal taste better, it slows you down, it’s good for your heart, it encourages conversation, and frankly, it makes you feel better.