Raise a glass in a toast to love

Raise a glass in a toast to love

4 minute read

Looking back, I think it’s clear to me where I went so very wrong.

My parents identified in me a tenaciously stubborn streak of independence as a three year old, which used to provoke my father to howling despair, and from my perspective all I can ever recall is wanting to be a grown up, and to be at liberty to determine my own direction in life. As a result, when at 10 I was given the opportunity to select my secondary school, I struck off in the direction of an ancient establishment in East Sussex, far from the nurturing parental bosom. Here, I believed, shorn of my family, I would naturally become an emancipated adult overnight.

Nothing could be further from the truth of course. While I remained a child, removed from the stimulating and ebullient company of my family I became crushingly, devastatingly bored. Five years of long dreary weekends dragging myself through listless team sports practice, stodgy meals, and the mute sufferance of juvenile sadism indoctrinated me with an near pathological fear of tedium. Since then I have done everything, anything I can, to stave this off.

There is nothing less boring than falling in love. Nothing as terrifying, overpowering, and real.

There is nothing less boring than falling in love. Nothing as terrifying, overpowering, and real.

To say it is life-enhancing is a fabulously crummy piece of self-deceit, which pretends the state of not being in love is in any way an equivalent state of existence. It is a lie. The nervous, adrenal, edgy potency of every agonising moment is not an enhanced form of living, but the feeling of really being there, the absence of which is simply deathly.

I would make a similar case for drinking wine over anything else. Wine is alive. It’s a grape’s juice, grown as any other grape, which when transmuted by the alchemy of fermentation becomes a wordless poem to its particular point of origin. It is vivid, alarming and profound. Like being in love, wine cannot be politely ignored or denied. Wine, when I drink it, dominates and guides my attention, sending me spinning of tangentially along all sorts of interesting and unexpected conversational paths. In it’s balance of vigour, acidity, vitality and venom it takes over entirely one’s mood and general purpose.

Of course, as we know, any fool can fall in love, just as any fool can get drunk. The trick is to make it last, to make it sustainable. In this spirit, I implore you to consider limiting good wine only to special occasions with much the contempt one should reserve for the notion that romance is just for Valentine’s Day. Vivacious, galvanising and challenging wine pours liberally at every price point, in fact many of my favourite wines are cheap, energetic and rustic, low in alcohol, high in vigour, perfect for everyday quaffing.

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It is to my great joy that my wife takes as much pleasure from wine as I do, and with the benefit of a far superior palate. By appreciating every moment shared with her at the same intensity as the moment when I first saw her, falling hopelessly, terminally, and irreversibly head over heals, I hope I have the great luck to share the rest of my allotted time with her. With wine to accompany us in all those shared moments, I think we have a better chance than not.

Every one of you, whether blessed to have found someone to marvel at, or searching for that confounding state of self-possession required for to give oneself utterly to another, should open a bottle right now to toast fortune that you should ever be so lucky.

A glass or two of wine renders us all by turn emotionally courageous, and determinedly convivial – it is the very essence of romance. Just as we should not wait complacently for love to appear, we should also not take it for granted once it has arrived, and as wine should be pressed to ones lips daily, so should romance be seized and reaffirmed at every opportunity. Wine cannot make you fall in love, but it’s the closest you can come without going all the way.

I am pouring a glass of Ohsomm Bordeaux right now, to give thanks for being so very alive. I implore you to do the same.

Jackson Boxer.


A note from Ohsomm: The ‘I still do’ Ohsomm Anniversary label is now live. It’s perfect for an anniversary celebration or when you simply want to remind someone that you love them.

Available in a Red, White, Rosé and Port wine colourway and with and without the ‘I Still Do’ story as below! Add to any wine once you’ve added it to your cart and don’t forget to add a personal dedication to your loved one before you check out.


Try my Wines

Pinot NoirAude, France
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ChablisBurgundy, France
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BordeauxBordeaux, France
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