Weekly Photo Challenge: CULTURE

Maybe we read the word Culture and automatically think — country, or ethnic identity, or any of the arts, or a book —

But there are many different kinds of cultures. For example, academics live in one kind of culture, athletes in another. (And each of those cultures have cultural subsets within them.) That’s all by way of introducing you to a culture you might never have thought of as such:

High Spirits, Lowered on Sale!

The world of spirits amounts to a culture — with beer drinkers, wine drinkers, and hard liquor drinkers making up different subsets within it. (If you’re doubtful, reflect upon this: people who have a serious problem with alcohol and turn to Alcoholics Anonymous for help quickly discover that they need more than abstention, they also need new friends and new recreations and new interests, in other words, a new culture to replace one that’s been toxic for them.)

For those of us who’ve been luckier in the genetic lottery, however, spirits in their various forms add pleasure to life. Poet A.E. Housman spoke out for the beer drinkers when he wrote:

Oh, many a peer of England brews

Livelier liquor than the Muse,

And malt does more than Milton can

To justify God’s ways to man. 

Malt does more than Milton can ...

I’ve been an English Lit graduate student and I’ve had to read John Milton; and like Housman, I’ll take the beer. In this case, an organic microbrew:

Peak of Perfection

I don’t particularly drink hard spirits. (I do have a fondness for aquavit, the  “water of life” from Denmark, chased with a beer, but dare only indulge in one round every few years at a smorrebrod lunch!) The Hub really enjoys wine and wine culture. All the different regions (“terroir”) where wine is born and brought up, all the tastes, all the food pairings, all the sippings and the swirlings, he really grooves on it all.

Str8 talk about wine ---

As Edward Fitzgerald wrote in his Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

And much as Wine has played the Infidel,
And robbed me of my Robe of Honor Well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy One half so precious as the stuff they sell.

Me, I can take ’em or leave ’em. I have my favorites, though: lush, thick, golden honey-sweet ice wines and Sauternes, which, perhaps fortunately, are so expensive I can rarely afford to drink them. (Can you tell I grew up on sweet sacramental Manischewitz wine at religious rituals?) When we were at a trendy restaurant in Portland, Maine, this summer, though, I did enjoy an excellent glass of German Riesling:

A splendid Riesling

Beer, Wine, Liquors: blessings when well used. Never abuse a blessing! but be grateful for it instead. So we’ll raise a glass of the beverage of your choice (sparkling grape juice will work just fine) and toast good spirits universally. L’chayim, Slainte, Cin Cin, Prosit, Kanpai, Santé, to LIFE! 
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30 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: CULTURE

  1. Very good – I like it!

  2. Colline says:

    I agree – drinking is certainly part of a culture. Think of all those groups who do not let a drop of alcohol pass their lips; and of course those who cannot let a social event go by without bringing out the beer, wine and spirits.

  3. Enjoyed your post…. and a discerning culture too, palates and all that!

  4. super post. Well written on a favourite topic of mine. Cheers.

  5. Great post. My thought was to go this route as well for this challenge.

  6. rutheh says:

    Cheers! Hope you saw my Beerman Delivery photo. xxoo Best from Ruth in Pittsburgh

  7. A great choice for Culture, and always a favorite topic in my house. 😉

  8. Tina Schell says:

    I guess many of us went with something spirits-oriented. Mine is here: http://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/weekly-photo-challenge-culture-travel-theme-light/ . Like the beer slant tho!

  9. Big part of island culture, tho’ I don’t indulge. You can tell the social class by what’s being poured;-) Good post1

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Checked out your blog, and came upon your family fish market.
      Oh, do I wish I were there to shop for dinner!!!!!!
      Very little fresh fish here, and almost no fresh shellfish.
      😦

  10. I what a great take on the challenge. Ahhhh beer! As Ben Franklin said – “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

    New York City is certainly beer country. In fact, the New York Historical Society had a wonderful exhibit last year exploring the city’s long history in the beer brewing industry.

    Also, your post reminded me that I have an incomplete post, in some notebook, regarding the top 20 signs that you no longer live in the (affordable) “hood”. One of the signs was when the beer selections change in your local grocery store. Also, when the beer no longer fits on a few shelves, but needs an entire climate controlled room – the end is nigh. When beer gets its own room; make room for rent increases. The culture of a community is changing. Ask me how I know? :-/

  11. jfb57 says:

    Very thought provoking about the definition of culture & how we use it.

  12. Stef says:

    My husband is a member of the wine culture; I’m a member of the abstaining one. 🙂

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