Dear Wine: Thank You For Always Being My Ride Or Die

by Kayla Inglima

Hi Wine,

It's crazy to think that our relationship truly only began, say, seven years ago because it feels like you've always been a part of my life -- and, in many ways, you have.

I remember when I was a kid, having my parents drink you with almost every meal, and my being the curious child I was, asking them for a "pinky dip" only to shudder in disgust upon your sour, mysterious taste. I would proudly proclaim "I'm NEVER going to drink wine!" Oh, me, how wrong you were.

I can't look back on our fruitful (ha!) relationship, without thanking sushi. Sushi was the catalyst of our coming together.

At age 17, BYOB sushi restaurants became my favorite places in the entire world and I would wait all week until I had a sushi date with my friends, where we'd get someone 21+ to buy us a bottle of wine.

Amazingly, at that time, one 750 ml bottle of you would do the trick and get all four of us drunk... how times have changed.

And so our relationship started, and I realized I was not alone in my love; all my best friends loved you just as much! You were a part of our circle, and I knew this was a forever kind of thing.

Fast forward to college, where, between my fake ID and actually turning 21, our affair became even more impassioned. I would make frequent (and by frequent, I mean nightly) runs to the store to get a bottle of you.

It didn't matter the occasion: dinner with friends, pre-gamming the bar, a "Golden Girls" marathon, you were always down. My ride or die.

Our relationship became so intense that, for a long time, I swore off all other types of alcohol, even ordering you at nightclubs while the rest of the population was drinking vodka clubs.

I didn't care: You represented class and sophistication; you tasted better than vodka and you made me happy. What more could a girl want?

The feeling I get from your first few sips isn't the hit-by-a-train-like experience I get when I drink the harder stuff. It's a warm, glimmering, toasty feeling that I imagine is probably what it is like to hit acid.

Everything seems to glow in tones of amber and I feel completely content with the world. It's fermented-grape magic.

I know we are not without our hard times, like when I stopped talking to that guy, decided to drown in a whole bottle of you and ugly-cry for a few hours before passing out.

Or at Christmas Eve dinner when my entire family got into a screaming fight over something I can't remember because we were all so drunk.

But I'm willing to erase all that from my memory (it's actually quite easy given your, ahem, abilities to do that) because the good times outweigh the bad times, and my love for you is unending.

As I've gotten older, you've matured with me, and my tastes have gotten more refined. While a $10 bottle of Pinot Grigio will always do, I now explore other options -- why not the $21 Malbec? It seems like there is always something new to learn about you, you always keep things exciting.

I don't know where the road will take me, but I know you will always be there with me in the passenger seat (unopened, obviously). You're a staple in my group of friends, and we still bring you along to every sushi date.

Whatever lucky dude dates me next will have to, at the very minimum, enjoy you -- it's a prerequisite.

You'll be the drink of choice at my wedding and, although I'll take a nine-month hiatus, if I ever have kids, you better believe I'll be having a celebratory drink of you that night.

Really, wine, I just wanted to thank you for everything you do for me and tell you that I love you... and I'll never give up on you... unless I end up in AA.

Love, Kayla