Posts Tagged With: wine world

8AM, and with 2,000 words

logged.  Have to enter some pieces and entries into my new writing ledger, that I have to keep up andIMG_7042 maintain.  On cup 2, all words written to novel.  Feel like I need a break, this morning, running fast, changing station, Thievery.. sip more coffee, that’ll motivate me.. what to wear today on my mind.. thinking and over-thinking.. fell asleep upstairs last night listening to jazz, some artists I’ve never before heard or appraised.  Yes, I’m getting exhausted in this writing, and want to stop, but I can’t bring myself to.  Why.  Why not.  I don’t know, that’s my point.. my feverish craving for my statements on a page and then post them to some goddamn blog– Mom was right, take a break from writing.  But just now, Mama.. I can’t for long.. this is WHAT I am, not just what I do or want in come fashionable way, manner, or tilt.  And I go typhlotic, just viewing things and scenes and other places in my head, returning to Paris and vacation somewhere, back to Santa Barbara, or that nearby town where we stayed for Nick’s wedding.. ocean and new characters and drinks at that lounge bar.. coffee in the morning, looking at the waves and hearing people go back and forth, from the pool to their room and back again, not knowing quite how to take in their vacation but they know the time is limited so they just go with gut impulse and urge and reaction.  Good for them–

Tonight, dinner at Mom and Dad’s.. do I sleep there or only have one beer and one wine and come home here to enjoy the quiet of this castle, this new Autumn Walk base, as I won’t have this much concentrated quiet for some time again I’m sure..

Developing mmc, rather proud of how I developed my business last night, sending out emails and taking notes, starting cards for each prospect (on pieces of paper taken from winery, or that Kevin gave me, old tasting menus).  They work quite well, these card, constant reminders of where my efforts are.. a real business, me, and if it all to fruition forms, and my money is properly budgeted (obviously with Dad’s help), I’ll get to my office.. want a small space somewhere in Healdsburg– but that’s expensive, and I know Dad would advise against that.  I’ll talk to him tonight, see what he thinks..

8:22– just realized, I met my goal, 3 pages before 9.  huh.. forgot I gave myself that deadline.. love mornings like this.. nothing getting to me today.  I’m controlling the story, my business, my blog, and my direction and marketing momentum.  What will I do till 9?  Maybe just get in the shower, have even more a headstart on the day.. where’s the iron and that little board?  Garage I think.. still unpacking.. like Massamen in the novel.

-get cash, ATM

-write a poem

-post pictures

-keep moving

-wine notes

-get new little notebook.. so then yes I have to leave the house early to go get one, corner store, Coffey & Piner


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A writing retreat. 

IMG_7028Or at least pause.  Have been working on mmc since I walked through the door, after watering the lawn as Alice requested.  She in Monterey with my little Beatnik.  didn’t touch the novel today, but I will in the morrow.  Bought a bottle of my favored sparkling lemon water, large size, to rid my system of this wine before bed, or at least thin or dilute it.  Just opened a bottle of the 2012 Mikey Merlot, or Cuvée.  Pretty sure it’s the Merlot, as Alice took the unlabeled bottles from the labeled boxes and put them indiscriminately on the rack int he downstairs closet, my new mockcloset.  The house to myself and I don’t know how to react– my first night alone in this castle, this new abode and safeplace but I’m unsure, and uneasy, so I sip more wine and plan more prose and not in my journal or type– me the write, in love with wine and all the vineyard stories and calls, like today when Andy and I walked the Two Birds block and looked for veraison and didn’t find as much as we estimated would be there, or at least I didn’t, even at one time saying, “We should come back in a week, this is bullshit.” The vineyards are everything to me in my story and my relationship with what I sip, and my Beat and musical qualities as a wine scribbler and torrential terroir typist– on my Road, on my hike to equilibrium, and all through wine, should ask my sister how she came to where she is and her character and wine is to her now, which might seem like and obvious query with an even more estimated response but it’s not to me–

So many quick shot from after work and right before, the vineyard, where I should be writing after work.  I’m sure Al and Janice wouldn’t mind– sweet people like them and their sons would and have only encouraged the Beat and his writing about wine and where the grapes develop their stories and flavored ferocity–  The wine lowers in my glass, I sip and pour more and think about the days at Sonoma State, studying under Bob Coleman and coming home to my San Carlos house in the hills, Bayview, and sharing with Dad and Mom my new knowledge.  Only reason I could go there, and am here, in the Autumn Walk safe, because of them.  I must do the same and more for my children– yes I’m a dad with worry and with vision and with the story, a story of one wanting to rewrite his story.  So much on this kitchen counter again, the tightrope I walk, wait, careful– slow and rightly ridden.. slower…..

A writing retreat.  But there’s no retreat in this writing warrior– ever. No, my beat is one of high bpm and spoken word and confident recital looking down at the audience while I whirl rimes and songs and talk my convictions whether political or wine-coded.  Another sip…  Whichever it is, of my wine.. pretty sure the Merlot…..  Has me deciding the next path for mmc, my little boutique ad station. Me, in advertising and marketing, sales and PR– who knew.  Definitely not me, a novelist.. but this will allow me to do just that, finish the Massamen proyecto.


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Opened a Merlot



from a potential client, mmc.  And honestly, mmc has been all that’s dominated my cognition and persuasive inner-imagery today and this evening, even what at dinner with Alice at Roberto’s, where the service was oddly slow.  This Merlot, much better than the one I produced in ’12…  I can tell there’s more new French on it, this one as well a ’12, but made by a professional wine-wielder.  This translation having more of that “gothic” grittiness I like in a Bordeaux, and the prose I write should reflect that in that I just want to finish my novel here tonight and not go in tomorrow but just stay home, dive headfirst into the coffee and that cinnamon latte blend and end the noel where it is, in one day, so I can grow mmc.

I need to relax with my visions, my mmc dreams and those of the novel finally finishing.. oh, and making wine this vintage, as I boasted in earlier entires, do I want to do it?  Uh– I don’t think I can, with all I have going on, in, on–  Want more of this Merlot and I will, it’s 4th of July weekend, the time when Americans claim to revel in being a free nation when really they succinctly set themselves to sip wildly, get drunk, and say ‘fuck the rest of the world, this is how you should be doing it!’ Really.. okay.  I never get political on this blog, but I had to follow with that framing of my thinking.  Someone asked me today, “So what are you doing for your 4th?”

“Uh,” I started, “staying home and writing, and opening a nice bottle of wine.” But then I remembered I’m spending my 4th with Mom and Dad, so I added and amended–  “Well, with my parents, I’ll be opening nice wine and having a home-cooked dinner with family, nothing crazy,” I told Kaz, also a prospective mmc client.  I see my office, and me in there planning everything on a board, one animated and enjoyable and engaging for me.. my business and livelihood, what I thought about today while going to Alice to hear M2’s heartbeat…  The consolidation, continuing with confident continuity…..


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MOCK SOMM: Handley Cellars, Anderson Valley, Chardonnay, 2012

IMG_7008And the Handley Chardonnay, more than just a stream of me being proven wrong about the grape, the varietal, that problematic genre in oenology– no, this has its own -scape, and diction, and curvature with its apple-ized code and symmetry from scent to acidity to tactile ebb to its overriding message.  And I get the sense it wants me to survey its entity and scene, how it intends on greeting all my senses and receptors– the bottle, and this last glass, knows I’m writing about it– it uses me as a translator and courier of its thesis, and it says, like Amy Tan, “It’s a luxury being a writer, because all you ever think about is life.” And this bottle and its producer and the Anderson Valley AVA bring life with it to everything it contacts.  I’m smitten, enamored, befuddled, and seized by its synecdoche of notes and plays on my perception.  Yes, it’s Chardonnay, but so many, especially sommeliers, talk about “varietal integrity”.  Well here it is.  What more could a wine chaser demand?  Seriously, this writer wants to know. This is more than Handley at their best, this is the AV producer being what I would note equitable, candid, conversational– speaking through the Chardonnay varietal and showing what it wants us to know about its feel and voice, and tone, octave, beaming character oscillation.

I’m now more open to Chardonnays as you may know but this one teaches me even more than I ever expected to learn about the Burgundian loop-grape.  This is more than just “stylistic”.  It’s honest.  Declarative.  Instructional and comedic in how it appears to mock other Chardonnay attempts and projects.  “This is Chardonnay, real Chardonnay,” I say to myself, here at the kitchen counter, staring at an empty glass.  And I’m not “scoring” it as I don’t have to.  This is just a note denoting and connoting that I respect this wine and the producer and how it makes me envision the Road and what I’ll write about so many tomorrows from now.  Fantasized glass apparition presence–


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MOCK SOMM: Handley Cellars, Anderson Valley, Pinot Noir, 2012

IMG_6979Not at all coy with its confident composition– cherry and some plum-esque suggestion coupled with ripe earth and softly-sequenced black spice– but again I find a Pinot far beyond the simplification and convenience of descriptors or some obscure adjectives.  I’m with that Literary shape of Pinot that loves its dance and its beat and the valley it calls home, most notably shown in its finish– chocolate chant and cherubic chime.  Everyone knows I love Pinot and that I follow it and when I find one I love I become childlike.  And now I’m childlike, again, but more than I was with the last Pinot I tilted into my talking, whatever it was…  This glass’ song folds my introspective bend to something which screams for more connectedness to Pinot, but also warns me that most of them aren’t this coherent and convincing.  Cummings said that “Kisses are a better fate than wisdom.” This Pinot kisses over, over, over and places me in reflective maelstrom, spinning till I can only hope to land for another kiss.

Gentle put persistent texture and a terrific turbulence about the concluding curves to the wine’s IMG_6980measures.  And that has to be the winemaker’s love for 2012, and Pinot, and Anderson Valley, and all stories connected to narrative wines like this– I’m bedazzled by how the oxygen just pushes more from the glass, a step-by-step calculation of the wine itself, taking on cognitive actions and orations of its own– this is what makes it obvious, convex and complicated.

You might read this and think, “So Mike just writes about wine and drinks it and drinks more and that makes it easier to write.” At times, maybe, but not with this wine.  It’s codified and inviting; defensive and seductive; sealed lips, but still eager for kiss next.  I’m challenged by this evasive dark dancer, and I follow her.  Wherever.  A coherent contradiction.  And that’s why it lasts and echoes and has the tremolo’d traipse about my IMG_6981Now.  And my fate, better than any sagacity, or kiss– it’s this, this moment, the standalone second about how I scribble and sip, and sip…..  Tomorrow I’ll fall or roll or stumble from the sheets thinking about that color, the darker-than-I-estimated shade of Burgundian beatific syncopation.  I hear and taste the music again, carry it with me through the day, and I thank my favorite AV winery, and know I need to get back up there, someday, when I’m not writing.  All wine writers or critics should write about wines they love to this extremity.  “No you have to be objective,” says some wine mag galoot.  But I don’t care, proud and posted in my partiality.  Corking the bottle, sad as I sit, like that last kiss on a date, only to drive home remembering the meeting over, over…  So I write a letter as soon as I’m home, to Pinot, to Handley, to AV, to anyone who’s had a wine like this.  And hope I hear back.  And if I don’t… then… then……..

I sip, write, imagine the kiss.  Again, again…



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Pommard Perambulation

IMG_0990The walk told me everything, and the vineyard told me more. That block by the entrance. Accumulating clusters and characters and the air with its brushy and coy song whispered through the canes, leaves as they fiddle with and taunt light. And I just watch, just like the visitors, tourists from Southern California to South Wales. Everywhere, just to look. The pace, unaffected by time its reminding me that I have to be at work soon. Not concerned, only connected to the green echoed visuality and the raw earthly dark tint of the cordonsIMG_0996 and soil and that sound again, the littlest thin muffle of atmospheric dialogue, it moving the leaves again, toward me and back and I just watch. Take a meek colony of still shots then throw the device back in the carrier and repeat watch, walk, hear and heal in the scene; what the world visits for. Vines, growth, the story and the past to their present and when IMG_0994they sip and look out from the tasting room there’s the realization; that connection, and I’ve always been taken by that. I walk further toward the gate and see a leaf, discolored which I’m sure says something, an ailment maybe or virus, I don’t know. I just stare, look and wonder at the colors, and am I supposed to like this scene or feel some empathy or compassion for the leave, or guilt that I’m photographing it with my phone like so many who see accidents or tragedies or some misfortune and internally are pushed to film it with a phone? Am I that? Am I doing that to this poor leaf, this poor cane, the vineyard? Am I THAT tourist? I put my phone away and walk more, to the gate but stop only feet before and go right, then down another row. Taking a closer look at the clusters I meditate on what glass they’ll be in, where, celebrating what. That tie with the people and the tables and glasses, someone’s house, someone’s occasion, someone’s something… someone’s family. IMG_0992 That’s the significance, not the photo, not me, not some magazine that throws scores at the bottle, utterly negating all the effort and time and sunlight and gusts that passed through the vineyards’ expressions and dimensions. Significance and the story of this 2 acre block involves the people coming to harvest these forming wee bunches, in the earliest of A.M.’s, leaving their families at home to arrive just before the sun makes even a slight statement, then they’re trucked off to be crushed, produced and shaped for sipping, leaving behind desolate vines, new end and start. And people will migrate to see that as well. They don’t care what the vines look like or where they are in their “season”, they just want to see, and keep seeing.
IMG_0989Then I open the gate, walk back to the tasting room. At least four looks over my left shoulder, see how the wind pushes those canes and the leaves, and that one leaf, the discolored, moving as it wants and me just staring. I go back. One more shot. And another. Now I guess I’ll work.


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From Remain


My brother Kevin, inspecting the Pinot block…..

IMG_690710:04,  Mom and Dad left, and me here with the Pinot, the one a “friend” at work aside for me set.  Listening to classic rock tracks from dinner.  Dishwasher in full focal, and me here with this keyboard, indeed influenced, and more than likely not running in morrow.  And why should I when my wife was enough celestial to get my some coffee for rightafterwake.  MY wife, building her teaching career, and not settling, only advancing, having her progression ascend and never comfortably stabilize, she’s always moving and advancing–  I’ll use that as the model, her as idol, like the grapes of this vintage that continue their maturation, their storying.  This morning, walking the rows with a friend, I noticed, it came to me, the inevitability of a vintage.  It will happen.  Their will be grapes pulled and wine made.  The writer must develop as nature does: inevitably.  Tonight on the porch, sipping the Pride Syrah with Dad on the porch as little Kerouac played with his friends in minutes remaining before they were called away to bath and or bed.. he said, Dad, “It looks like something could come from these clouds,” meaning rain or some front.  That’s natural, that’s more than just simply predicted– it’s definitively systematic.  The writing need be the same, part of my climate and system and yes the wine to me codes but I entrench in my convictions and out carry my mission.  Again at the pictures, the onset of real pigment and life and visual– me lost in the night and my session, looking at bottles on counter, by kitchen– the SB and the Pinot, SRJC, that I opened a couple nights past.  And now this glass of barrel-borrowed Pinot, 2013, oh that amazing vintage– why are so many so quick to IMG_6922forget about 2012?  I’ll never get that.  And I’ll never get the innerworkings of the wine life and world and circle.  Tired, and bent from Pinot and not knowing where I’m going with this narrative– can’t wait for the novel to be done, what Mass’ does with his life and how he figures all into his story, what he wishes and what he sees, what he does wit his adjuncted reads.  My mind’s not the most sound it’s ever been, but I’m writing looking at pictures I shot this morning of Kevin and I walking that block and how the story correlates to my permanency here in this stage and moment– wish I were on travel, on some street and in some hotel unknown– is that not the life that we all want, the unknown and the unexplored?

IMG_6910Last sip–  Yes.  I know I’m one with wine and I can’t get away, not from the biological effect but from IMG_6909the character code it poses to my persona and Personhood.  I remember the first wine that really told me something, something– a 2000 Merlot, from a larger producer– An old song, Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”, comes on, and I think and think and imagine me, the world and the time and whatever– confused and contorted– others talk but I don’t listen, at all, because they talk.  I want to feel and think and postivize, that’s me and my aim, disposition.

Can’t thank my wife enough for the coffee– can’t wait to wake and not run but just write and look at these pictures more.  But now, I drink this Pinot that my “friend” set aside for me in “her office”.


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Walking to the adjunct cell,

where I now sit and write I heard a student behind me, young girl with two other girl friends, say “Well I want to be a teacher.” Not sure what I thought or how I thought what I thought after hearing her say that, but now I think “good for her”.  It’s a positive that some still want to educate and do what they’re passionate about in education.  Again I have no idea where I’m going with this or where I wanted to go but her words stuck to and with me–  Now I’m tired, and not in much mood to do anything but relax, with wine, with words and a book and read for once, only ‘cause I want to, not to review the assigned chapters I assigned for lecture’s sake– and now I can’t concentrate.. real life.. insurance and life.. life, always with its intrusions–  And Alice calls back to tell me everything is fine.  Now I need a glass.  Of something.  Pinot most likely, the Shone Farm Pinot I bought yesterday at Oliver’s.  The MOCK IMG_6863-1SOMM piece I wrote this morning has been for the most part edited, so I’ll post that soon.. was quite active at the winery with taking quick pictures, no notes as I wanted it all, the tasting-through of those Pinots and other discussions, the wine scores to the vintage and weather and what the vineyards could yield, to be kept in head.  To simmer and develop.. closer to my company, elevated thinking and visualization for the blog, and this ‘mikemadigancrEATive’ idea.  Having two wines sent to me from and Anderson Valley winery for review on blog, then more wine from another winery.  So, then you’ll ask, do I want to be a wine critic or judge or journalist?  I don’t know!  I just understand about this Mike Madigan, the one sitting here in the adjunct cell that I want to stay close to wine and I want to write about it and represent certain brands, or labels, in some new creative way.  Definitive and decided; punctuated with passionate forward with my own oeno-fervor.

IMG_6864-0My lecture for the night, for 100, planned, and I listen to this music and collect myself, and know I’ll do my best, and I think of Poe in his Philosophies on Compositions, on how convictions and the Artist’s sentiment is delivered and derived.  And, like Him, I won’t reveal too much.  Why should I?  Ask a winemaker how they did what they did, they give you the convenient version, the one they want you to hear and the telling they’re assured you’ll accept.  And good for them.  Why reveal too much?

I remember when I would walk campus and tell my friends one day I’ll teach at the college level, be a ‘Professor’.  And here I am, not with the demeanor or actuality I saw myself having..  But I AM teaching.  And I have wine.  And moreover I have my words and pages–  The MMS to greet this world.


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wine thought 4

Sometimes I just stare.  At the vineyard and the wine in the glass– IMG_6549sometimes it’s not about tasting or drinking, but just observing; all the people at the counter or bar or whatever you want to call it and just listen to them talk about wine and what wine means to them.  THEIR wine thoughts.  The Peace of it all, the Zen behind the glass’ contents; observation and thought and reflection, and I mean real reflection–

And this could be wrong but who’s to say, who’s to say anything about how one reacts to and interacts with wine?  I still just watch the puddle, that deep purple, or black, or dark dark purple sea, and it stares back at me, with grateful docility.


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