The Road to Happiness is Obvious


I was going to write a 2014 vintage report, but that got interrupted because I just read Monday’s Wall Street Journal article on happiness.  Happiness, according to the experts’ research, is achieved not so much by how much money you make, but by how you spend it.  Here is the kicker:  If you spend it on experiences instead of tangible goods, you will be happier.  You’re welcome.

So where does wine fall into this category?  Simple– wine is an experience and not a material good.  Yes, there are material aspects to it, but one sentence from the article explained:  “We adapt to our material goods” according to Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University.  This has some correlation, I would imagine, with a recent TED talk about a study done (total lack of proper citation here) that showed recent paraplegics and recent lotto winners both pretty much returned to their normal state of happiness after only 3 months.  Happiness, it turns out, is a very Kerouac-ian venture.  It is in the moment and then we re-calibrate all of our surroundings back to our par.  If we create or find something that we know can only happen in a fleeting piece of time- with certain people, in certain places, certain weather or music or… wine… then we revel more in the fact that it can’t be recreated.  We glean happiness from the rarity more than we do from the actual goods.  We appreciate that we were there before the end.  The yoga ball in my living room is definitely no longer special, but any one of the wines in my cellar is.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The chemical makeup of any wine alters from the moment you pop the cork, hell from the moment the grapes are picked.  And that process never ceases. The wine you open on September 10 is different from that same wine you open on November 10.  For that matter, the November 10th wine at 6 pm is different from the end of the bottle at 8 pm.  And then, though perhaps remembered, it is gone.

According to Douglas Adams, the answer to life is 42.  That may be, but I think we all now know that the key to happiness is a fleeting bottle of wine with the right people.  How’s that for a helpful blog post?

I hope you had a great weekend, Ashley

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