Here I start my blog, at the end of the French grape harvest season and at the beginning of the now ever lengthening run up to Christmas.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone but I won’t be taking part in “Octsober”. I do not feel the need to go sober for October as I never actually get very drunk at all anyway. I do understand that charities have to get publicity, of course, but Sobtober isn’t for me.
I have several issues with it;
For a start, my birthday is plonked right in the middle of it and I do not wish to drink lemonade on my birthday.
Then, I have to admit that I am deeply uncomfortable with anything that resembles peer pressure, even when it involves items that are essential to my trade such as bottles or ice buckets.
Most importantly, I don’t think that wine should be demonized.
Of course I am biased. This is what I drink and what I sell after all. I don’t drink everyday, sometimes it’s just not practical, sometimes I actually want to just drink water with a quick meal but I do drink most days: just a glass of wine with a nice meal. Because to me wine goes with good food like pens go with paper, cups with saucers, handbags with glad-rags… you get the idea.
When I first arrived in Britain, as a young French assistante in the 90’s, I was quite shocked to discover that young people here had a real fascination with alcohol and getting drunk. They were very surprised when I told them that I had grown up above hundreds of bottles of wine and that it had never occurred to me to get some and get drunk with my friends. This, for me, was a very strange concept. My dad is very interested in wine and he has always had a cellar. He used to go on what he called “pilgrimages” to his favourite producers and then bottle the wine himself at our home. When I was a teenager, he tirelessly tried to educate me and to teach me how to enjoy good wines. For me, wine has always been something you share and discuss around a meal. An enjoyable experience in itself, not a mean to get drunk, I still find it very disappointing when people buy a bottle just for that purpose, it seems a total misuse of a liquid in which people have put such a lot of hard work.
I think the idea behind “Octsober” is to show people they can manage without a drink. Actually, I don’t think the people who really have a drink problem can do it on their own and I bet that some of the people who will be doing it are unfortunately going to go on some big binge drinking session after 23:59 on Halloween night. In the meantime, I think it’s great if money is raised by charities but personally I prefer helping charities in my own way. I won’t be judging people going sober for October either (except if I am the only one drinking on my birthday!) but I ll still think that moderation throughout the whole year with sober days every week could actually be more beneficial for everyone.
Now,” sober for October “doesn’t mean that you can’t order some wine for later on. Something nice and organic to have at hand in a few weeks to help you cope with your other half doing Movember for example…