I love traditions. Loosely held traditions to break or invoke at will. I especially love wedding anniversary traditions. We are firm believers that every day is worthy of celebration. It makes our wedding anniversary that much more special when we make a big deal about it. One tradition we’ve invoked is traveling to a place we’ve never visited together. This tradition became challenging to fulfill when I attended graduate school. Exhausting the supply of desirable nearby destinations has made rigid adherence to this tradition tough. Anniversary celebrations should be fun and not tedious. So sometimes we break the travel tradition and invoke a different one: drink a bottle of wine from the 2004 vintage. It is fun to enjoy wine that was born the same year as our marriage.
As our marriage matures, the supply of 2004 wines dwindles. We learned this in 2015, when I ordered bottle after bottle of 2004 wine from a restaurant’s list, only to have our waiter return with the bad news that the wine was nowhere to be found. After explaining what we were trying to do, the waiter brought out the last, lonely pair of bottles from the cellar. We chose the one from France. As our waiter removed the cork, he explained that such old bottles required extra care. Gee, thanks. But, the wine was delightful and, indeed, had a character only time can provide. Quite different from the early years of our marriage when 2004 wine was cheap, young, and abundant.
Months passed and I began to fret about the availability and increasing cost of 2004 wine. In searching for special bottles that I might want to buy now and save for future milestone anniversaries, I discovered online wine auctions. On a whim, I bid on a case of highly-rated French wine. Lucky for us, 2004 was an exceptional vintage, suitable for years of bottle aging. Surprise! I won that auction and a few more, indulging my new hobby. We grew a small stockpile of 2004 wines–enough that careful rationing could last us more than twenty-five years of wedded bliss. We’ll sometimes ponder the taste of that wine and imagine our lives in those years to come. One of our secrets to a marriage that lasts is to keep finding reasons to stay together–our thirst for new adventures and that cache of vino are a couple of ours.