When I ponder, I reach for the red.

I received an email from a colleague of mine saying this person was resigning from a position which was near and dear to this person’s heart. After reading the email, I subconsciously reached for and then, actually grabbed a bottle of Robert Mondavi’s Private Selection Malbec wine.

I needed to think about my colleague’s situation — to do some pondering and I reached for the red wine.

Then, as I sipped the malbec, I asked myself a question. Why did I have a yearning for a red wine? And why malbec? Why?

Why do some wines attract us at certain moments? Why, when I need to think about a situation, do I reach for a red wine? Why not a white wine? What’s feeling got to do with a bottle of vino?

Additionally, what does our “mood wine” tell us about ourselves? I’m sure psychologists have all sorts of answers but let’s just you and me work through all these “why?” questions.

Going back to the email I received from my colleague and thinking through why I mentally wanted and actually reached for a red wine, I came up with this answer. A good red wine (Mondavi’s Private Selection Malbec is a good wine.) relaxes me. And, to just make sure someone just doesn’t sniff and say: “Yea, it relaxes you because you drink a lot of wine,” let me say this: nope, that’s not it.

I drink alcoholic beverages for their tastes and do so moderately. Red wine has always been comforting to me and it puts me in the state of mind to slowly ponder what’s happening at the moment. Therefore, sipping the red opened my mind to realize that my colleague’s resigning would be a good thing — for the individual and for the family.

So, as I consumed my glass of malbec, I began to think how wines reflect our moods and here’s what I’ve come to understand. Please know these reflections are based on years of solid scientific research! Yea, I hope you don’t believe that but it has been years of thoughtful consumption!

When I’m in a funk, bring on the Pinot Grigio. Think how you feel when you’re in a depressed mood and then try to think of a wine that would help you out of that mental hole. For me, I’m changed by the citrusy taste of pinot grigio. There’s enough acidity to jerk you to attention and the lemon-lime flavors are so welcome that the wine brings me back to a more central mental position.

Let’s say I’m feeling sad. That state of mind is a bit of a downer and I want a classic rich tasting and well balanced pinot noir. It would be an overstatement to say that just the wine brings joy back to my life but it’s like the red wine’s soft cherry taste silently tells me everything will be better – those antioxidants help to restore a more joyful outlook on life.

As I write this column, it’s late and I’m getting tired. What wine am I desiring in this tired mood? For some reason, I want a Sauvignon Blanc It’s a lightly aromatic and delicious tasting wine that usually lifts me from the depths of being tired. It may not keep me awake for a long time but, it helps for a while and that’s usually good enough.

A couple of days ago I attended our local boys high school basketball game. The team plays an ongoing in your face full court defense that is quite disruptive to the opposing team. It was exciting to watch them play but, for me, it was how they played as a team that was so interesting and, I arrived home in a happy mood. The wine I desired at that moment was a riesling. Why? Because German Riesling wines were some of the first wines I ever tasted and, I tasted them with someone special. To me, a riesling equates to happiness.

Speaking of happiness, when it comes time to celebrate an occasion there’s only one type of wine that fits my mood — a bubbly wine. It doesn’t matter if it’s a champagne, a cava or a prosecco. As long as there are bubbles that will tickle your nose and make you smile, it’s good. How can you not smile as you look at the glass and see those bubbles float beautifully to the top of the glass?

I’ve saved the best for last. After a long day of work or socializing, I want a cabernet sauvignon. It doesn’t have to be the big oak aged and heavily fruity type of cab because I’m not looking for that big of a melatonin rush. Give me Edna Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon — a luscious medium bodied lightly fruited aromatic wine. After that long day of work or socializing, I’m seeking comfort and Edna Valley has never failed me.

So what does this all boil down to? I really believe that to some extent, our moods dictate what we want to drink at a certain moment in time. Our experiences of receiving satisfaction, joy, comfort or just feeling good relate to our choice of beverage because they fill a need.

I needed to ponder why my colleague would leave a position that matched her passion to serve others and my hand, once again, reached for the red.

Next week, why temperature matters.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!