Alcohol has always something I have been afraid of in my life. I was raised to believe that alcohol was a taboo or something to be feared. These lessons where not without reason. I have had two close family members who have struggled with alcoholism. One was taken by it, and the other struggles to escape its grasp on a daily basis. Further adding to my dislike of alcohol, it seems that my generation abuses it. To them, it is just another substance which is just used to get high. I have heard so many people tell stories of the stupid things they have done while being drunk that they later regretted. Alcohol has destroyed many relationships and life. All these instances have shaped my fear of alcohol.
Despite these fears, I have discovered an unlikely interest in my life… wine. What caused this unlikely interest? A tour at the Gialdi-Brivio Winery. This winery is located in Mendrisio and specializes in Merlot. Killian, Pam, Brian, and I arrived on a snowy Tuesday afternoon. Upon arrival, we meet one of the owners, Guido Brivio. He led us around the inside of the winery. We saw the bottling machines, the fermentation vats, the storage cellars, and the old storage cellars. Along the way he told us about his process which to me was very fascinating. At the end of the tour, we were allowed to sample the wine. We tried a white merlot and a merlot. I liked both of them. While we sampled, we talked to him about different aspects of the wine manufacturing process and the economics behind it. We learned that he was a fourth generation wine maker. I learned a lot, but I think that it is only the tip of the iceberg.
This new interest scares me. Alcoholism runs in families. I am afraid that I may be standing on a slippery slope. It is refreshing to see a culture in which alcohol is appreciated and not abused, but I fear genetics is against me. I hope that I too will learn to appreciate wine, but maintain who I am. Only time will tell.