Posts Tagged With: wine

Out early and now I sit

in the conference room here at SRJC thinking of everything I have set in motion, and how I turned the day and my mood, and a mood that could have demolished my day if I let it have its way.  But no.. the new blog/startup is up and running, one post only as of yet, and so much more material, visually-driven material on its way.  Tomorrow’s the freeway flyer day, where I drive to Fairfield, stop for a quick break in SR, then head to Mendo…  Won’t look at it that way, though, but more of a day of gathering content, translating everything on the drive and at both campuses as a winemaker.. my “end-game”.  So…..  Right now in the conference room, it’s bland, no flavor, not a lot of life until I see a full-timer walk in, Anne-Marie, who used to be an adjunct like me but hung in there and refused to let the system deter her.. she attended professional development workshops, sat on panels and committees, and now she’s resolute, one of the tenure-track team.  So how would I translate her in wine terms?  A gentle but assertive Viognier, oak’d but not to a point of interrupting fruit message, to symbolize her strength, supported by her experience and dedication to students and her teaching practice.  I would not ferment it dry, my personified Viognier, but leave just over 1 gram of RS to bolster floral suggestion and convey her amiable and sweet disposition..

This room is not a wine, but more the barrel for someone like me, the confident and nearly confrontational Cabernet.. robust, bold, nearly cocky but with poetic principles..

No wine tonight.  Maybe a beer on the patio with the little Artist for tradition’s sake, but nothing from the oenoverse.  Going to search through my material, wake early tomorrow and write about the wine I’ll sip this weekend, maybe invite people on the block over for a bit of a tasting.. perhaps in the garage– no, the kitchen.. I’ll pour five wine.. two whites, three reds, see what they think.. a wine event on the Walk.

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And for once, for once

I talk myself out of a mood before sitting down to write– and consider this wined rant very much a brainstorming about wine and selling it and through a blog, creatively– I won’t lose site of the creative compulsions but I will be aiming my Literary wheels for sales purposes, endorsing certain stories and bottles and wines I believe in.. and watch them move, move out of the tasting room or warehouse or wherever they are.  I’ve had this idea for a while now but have only lightly dabbled in it, or something like it–  But here I am this morning, tired of the semester already like you wouldn’t believe and swearing I’ll never do it again.  And I can’t.  Not with a daughter on the way.. there needs to be more singularity to my efforts and maybe I shouldn’t be putting all this out there into the whatever-sphere, but I have to have it noted, not just for you but for myself to read and re-read.

I’ll be in the shower just before 10, then to campus where I’ll quickly grade through the Kerouac papers.  Then let each section go early so I can return to this brainstorming, and I know what bottles I’ll start with.. not going to note that here but just know I know.  MY mocha tastes a bit off, odd but I’ll keep sipping.  Think.. think.. I tell myself and wonder how to do it– sell bottles from a blog.. I know I shouldn’t be taking up time here thinking how to do that.. but that’s what I want to do.  When someone buys a bottle, why do they buy it?  Yes, some for prestige or something thought that buying this bottle provides a certain image for them, like when people walk into a tasting and the first words out of their mouth are “I’m a wine club member.” Most people buy wine, I find, from identifying with it, in some way.  Yes, how it tastes, but as well where it comes from, the character imparted from the wine– and no this isn’t theory, and this isn’t imagination, this is an observed actuality.

Just had an image, fantasy of me calling in, both classes, just saying ‘fuck it’ and staying home.  I won’t, but it crossed my thinking just now, and with radiance and a bit of rancor.  Have to channel what I do, the effort I materialize, for the classes (all fucking 4 of them this term) and rack it over to the selling of wines through the blog, the ‘vvv project’.. now I see something else but I can’t note what it is entirely or even partially and not just from wanting to it secret keep but as well not wishing to douse it in any accidental hex.

9:47– nearly time to run upstairs and into that shower.  Thinking.. thinking.. more about wine and how to move it, crEATively.. just posted something on a small SB/Cab producer, something and someone (along with his biz partner) that I’ve written about before.. nice story and website, and winemaking style, a little more grit and varietal character than I think most American consumers are used to.  Which I like.  Which is why I would love to sell their bottles on the new blog–  Now the ideas fall like determined rain, precipitate piously…

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Wined Loved Easy’d

Now in the adjunct cell of Solano and I just can’t motivate myself as I’d want, realizing that now in this stage of my story I only want to be surrounded by wine and wine artifacts, scents, scenes and sensory strings.  And not just for the sake of alliteration I note that, but truth and noting the realization this morning.  I type without thinking, not caring what comes out as these colleges that profess to be so accepting and supportive and community-oriented care nothing about the adjunct.  So at this stage in my story I have to walk away and approach wine like I haven’t anything else in my day, not baseball when younger, not Literary studies when at SSU or Hayward/East Bay.  This is a new stage for me, I thought while on Napa Road, passing Scribe tempted to pull over and take some pictures, but didn’t as Time was pushing me to just stay on 12 and get to Solano, driving nearly more than the class’ duration– in fact, yes, the class does not match the drive time.  Now, anyone, any reader reading this must recognize that as a problem or at least something to think about especially if you’re considering doing any freeway flying.

I’m starting to wake more, after finishing the last of the 4-shot mocha in the parking lot, here, right after pulling my bag from the trunk.  Going to type here in this session and sitting till 11, where I’ll walk over to the overcrowded cafeteria which reminds me more of a prison scene rather than somewhere for the writing adjunct to snatch a snack, get my coffee then come back here and quickly grade the papers.. for 370, the class I “teach” here.  I breath deep and wish I wasn’t here, but then am so glad I’m here with these other adjuncts who don’t write, or at least aren’t now, bogged and tied and hogtied by the papers they have to grade, lessons into which they’ll pour the whole of their hearts but less than 50% of the class will be engaged.  Sad, education in today’s thought climate.  But I can do nothing, I realize, so I move on, wouldn’t call it surrendering just a dismissal of sorts.

I stop to ask myself what I want from today…  Well…..  Some wine content.  Not wine tasting or drinking, at all really, just more content, more for the story and these blogging efforts and putting the story and conversation out there, all wine and wine dreams and tastes of this reality here in Sonoma.. the family business– oh! That new tasting room in Kenwood, should stop by, and possibly even the old Kenwood winery, just stop in to see how they’d react, see what they’re pouring, see if theres any content there for me, for this, the story and the continued curiosity of wine and its whirl, whirlwind, whirling rile that always pushes me to put its pulse on page.

Thinking I may have to do a bit of free “guest blogging” to get my name out there.  Just an idea, but anything to keep me from this, out of this adjunct’d pattern.  We’re just added junk, it feels.  Look how they corral us like this, in here, this shared “office” which is nothing more than a pen for us, like crowded cows or mice in an aquarium for the passing students to look at, on display the academia zoo.  This is what I turn my back to.  And why wine, then, for the rest of my life as I proclaim?  Because it’s life, it’s joy outside in the vineyard with family and at the dinner table with the bottle open.  There’s no bitterness or bullying.. only the color of the wine in the glass and the stories perpetuated joyfully.. the entrepreneurial creativity of it all.  NONE of that is here.. NONE.  But, more ideas precipitate to my Personhood on wine, and wine’s presence.. the glass on the table with me.  How I wish I had one with me here in this adjunct’s hole with these other drones around me.. can you imagine the looks on their masks?  If I pulled some bottle from my bag, like that St. Francis Merlot that I bought the other day from Ronnie, and just poured it into a paper cup or emptied water bottle?  Oh.. one day maybe, if these full-timer pigs and USELESS trustee members keep pushing me.  But they won’t.  They won’t have a chance to.  No.. I’ll be gone before that happens.  My mood rises like this morning’s wine country skybulb over tired vines, no fruit only stares from Highway 12 commuters like me.

Have a piece in mind to submit to a ‘big time’ blog.  Have to edit it over once more.. wife just texted her tired writing husband, parents coming up for inspection of new home, may bring over dinner.. good!  A wine-pairing opportunity, not everything from notes aligned to what echoes back and forth between wine and food, no matter where it’s from, in fact the more pedestrian the better.

I’m struck by a wine opinion piece but I have to get this vent to a thousand words, my inner obsessively compulsively actually frantic frame and form of fruition fortitude.  10:44, so 16 minutes left before having to get coffee.  Excited about submitting the article I wrote the other night about today’s wine, the corporate promulgate bottles versus the small family ops that show more life and story and what we are all after– the connection between winery and what we sip.  You don’t get that from Mondavi, or Gallo, the Terlatos.

Ugh– time just passes me and makes me chase it.  Bastard.  Well, I write on and edit minimally if at all, no not at all so you see feel and read hear here the urgency in me, this adjunct in this pen of class beggars, always looking for that next section, that next gig.. “feast or famine” on adjunct described it to me long ago, much like a real estate agent.. well, that’s why I’m a writer.  I’d much rather be living by my pen and these keys than in this context and consistency, going from semester to semester with a family to support.  I know I’ll always have subject matter, content to produce, something to report and a story to tell, alongside wine.  So, as I said, the back turns.  The story develops.  I grow as a character.

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Rather than being up

last night with Jackie from him being sick, or coughing, or just restless and needed mama or me, he wanted to play; he wanted to talk and joke and show off his funny voice acts.  At first I went into this room from hearing slight coughing and him citing some ache in his leg.. but that faded, quick after some sped cartoon screening.  Then I pulled out the mattress under his bed, set in that large holder or under-cabinet.  He quickly fell into his joking mode, talking to me and asking if I remembered certain things, bits and jokes we share like throwing his stuffed animals from the bed to the floor, over me on the pull-out bed pretending they fly.

So now we’re up, all us, and the only one with energy and vocality is he, little Jack, my little Beat, now watching cartoons so he’s contained and content, and I struggle with no coffee in the house.  Can barely wait for that larger than large cup of med’ roast from the Yulupa spot.  I have to push through this exhaustion, like the winemakers I saw at the crush pad that one day, a couple weeks ago, my jovial and ever-theatric friend Hardy smiling and saying how nice it was to see me, moments after conceding how tired he was but I couldn’t tell.  He seemed just fine, flying around the pad going form bin to bin and barrel to barrel.  I have to shift and re-shape my attitude this morning as PARENT, writer and soon-again-winemaker.  Keep my Self in movement’s lip…

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Handling Lots

Once all the fruit was in, she let breaths escape, but only for a minute, two maybe.  There was the fermentations and everything in her mind going about all ways which and it wouldn’t stop.  Harvest was over but wasn’t.

It was 2:52PM and she wanted to go home, just to take a nap, rest her eyes at the very least.  But it was still going, there were brix-and-temps to do and two of her interns called in sick.  So it was really just her.  She hadn’t done this many B&T’s, soon wouldn’t have done, since harvest before last.  Did she still now how to do it?  “Let’s see,” she thought, “Chard tanks.. Merlot.. barreled Zin…” So much on the plate but she couldn’t duck it.  Not this year with this kind of yield.  So she pressed on, went to the coffee machine made a double and went forward.

“How’s everything looking?” the Winemaking Director asked.

“Haven’t gotten through ‘em yet, I’m on my way,” she said.

He rolled his eyes, walked away, so did she.  To the tanks, barrels afterward.  The first tank, F-24, was a smaller tank for just a over a thousand galls of Cab.  Sample.. 6 brix.. 87 degrees.  Already strong fruit and texture conviction.  She tasted again and saw something different for the wine than what they wanted, what they thought would be marketable.  But she followed orders.  “This is a small business,” someone told her years ago when she first started in the lab, “you don’t want to develop a bad reputation.” So the reputation she feared and always wanted to preserve, stay away from, maintain and polish, keeping her ideas at bay and in the basement of her mind with other wines she’d made and wanted to forget about, the ones they made her make.  She dumped the rest of the Cab out, down the drain between the larger 5,000 gal tanks.  And to the Merlot.

On the Merlot, she decided to lower the temp a bit, hoping it would still be what they wanted but just a different way of getting there.  Brix, just under 3, and already with a bit of detectable alcohol, which she didn’t usually like but it did something to the fruit’s momentum, allowing that true Merlot voice, what the old world wants conveyed, to be conveyed.  Slow stroll around the tank farm with her glass about three ounces full, swirling and smelling, not too many sips, forgetting where she was and the timetable, their bloody timetable.  She was a winemaker with a relationship with and in wine that they could never have or understand or ever hope to appreciate.

After everything tasted, and everything noted and recorded, she could go home.  But not before opening a bottle from three vintages ago, a Chalk Hill AVA Chardonnay, one on which she offered some insight to her friend, the winemaker.  Pouring about four ounces, maybe less, she swirled, just watched the wine fly and dance on the glass’ sides.  Forgetting and remembering, more stories and harvest thoughts placed in a sipped pause.

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With all these wine thoughts in my head

and on a night where I’m set on not having any wine I find myself at a bit of an impasse.  And why.. well, I want to explore some of those Pinot bottles Ben gave me, but I’ll wait, and I’ll think, and I’ll imagine myself on the Road, in some New York hotel, sipping one of my wines before doing a winemaker dinner like my friend Hardy.  I need to carry around my little notebook more religiously– or more SERIOUSLY, like a real writer of wine; what fruit suggestions I want from my eventual SB and Merlot, and how I want them oak’d, and stirred (yes I want to stir or rotate rather the Merlot barrels, spread those lees around and speed up primary..)

So much in my head and all for wine.. have to budget like a winemaker, figure certain things out concerning the MASTER TIMELINE– M2 on the way, 12/15 the set date, so time just dissolves like the characters around Esther when in the bath.. cleaning off this desk tonight, file stuff away.. like Kerouac said, “The Sea Is My Brother.” And so wine is my lens, my story, my voice and seismology; my scope and sense and push and pull; not “bottled poetry”, but free-roaming poetry everywhere in my character and out of the glass and through my fingertips to this entry..

Wine is everything now, and now seeing myself as a winemaker touring the country and writing while I do, how many bottles I sell I do care but don’t I’m writing a story first, foremost, for most and the rest of my life.

Upstairs my son asleep and he doesn’t know that I’m down here brewing all these thoughts– fermenting them ever onward for him.. that I refuse to nap during the day and won’t sip that Pinot tonight– to bed early and early wake and back to this key colony where I’ll even more storm in brain– and I hear him upstairs, say something like “yum yum yum”.. maybe he’s hungry. 

So, a warranted break.

6:57PM–  On the couch with Jackie, talking and eating a quesadilla, wondering what wine would pair with a plain cheese quesa’.. That Estate Cuvée Blanc from SFW I tasted the other day for sure–  then the idea of incorporating more food address into my wild wine written wanderings.. so this means I have to cook, and when do I have time to prep for that?  The obsessive oscillation in my mounts and surmounts, more and ideas fly toward me like buzzards to carcass.  And this Master Timeline, like my Master Plan to get out of San Ramon and the insurance agency, and away from my ex-girlfriend.. and that all seems like so long past, distant from my now and this quiet moment with my son.  So again I focus.. the blog, the podcast (when I launch it..), the articles I submit if I do– but maybe not as my whole approach to wine and writing is independent, indepenDENCE– the small label, the family-owned luminary business, like Arista…  So I think further into wine and food and writing, then I realize I have material in my night out with Ms. Alice the other night, that beef cheek pasta paired with the Hawley Zin.. great, well, that’s one.. now I need more.  So I have to prep meals for me, the family.. provide my own material and whenever I’m over at Mom and Dad’s and have a pairing, I’ll leap to and upon it like Kerouac to his Road sights and moment, to his brother The Sea.

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Sunday, my new regularized day off. 

Just back from coffee run with Jackie, and I feel that angst again, that stress or anxiety about my writing and business ventures–  So today I do a couple things differently.  First, no posting to bottledaux blog, or at least not right away (though knowing me I’ll change mind on that.  Then, play with and post wine images and then brainstorm on paper, around and about them.

When the morning started Jackie insisted I go with him to the backyard to inspect the downed umbrella, that was actually taken from the table, out of that little hole and thrown a few feet to the left of it.  While outside I noticed the reality of the morning air and how clean the morning was post-wind, how all the tree aromas and other terrestrial scents were everywhere, all encouraging my senses.  I then though of how there’s no coffee in the house and how the air’s feel would pair perfectly with coffee.  So we were off.  Now Jackie sits on the couch watching his new Spiderman cartoons that I bought him the other night after Alice’s and my dinner outing, now I sip.. think about my wined businesses, and how I DO want more than one– diversify in my wined leaps– maybe a wine writing workshop.. that’d be interesting.. but where would I hold it?  For the brainstorming eventual.

Snacking on waffles, 2, imagining the rest of the semester, tomorrow touts and tumbles week 8.  Have to check account bala–  No more saying what I will do, only what I AM doing.  I look over at Jackie on the couch while I work and he stretches.  “You like your cartoons, buddy?” I ask — “Yeah, superhero one!” he blares.  I’m holding to these Sundays off, a way for me to get writing done, and some grading maybe but I could wake early tomorrow and do that–  Yeah, right, famous last words from an adjunct.

So much to wine and so much to my story with it.. so I develop on what I have, the familiarity I find myself in with wine.  Met a guy yesterday whose dad owns a wine shop, or wine brokerage rather, up in Cloverdale, and his father started the business after leaving from someone else’s similar-model.  And now he’s been in business for well over 10 years.  Nearly 15, to be truthful.  I’ll research them and– no, no more saying what I will do.. just know that today is all about brainstorming, organizing, planning, setting money aside for the growth of mikemadigancrEATive…

This morning, all in resounding syncopation with my mood, optimistic and eager to see the Road, travel for and to new wines and wine stories– and that’s what I have to remember, what brought me to the wine world and industry.. the stories, all the stories that people, the owners and winemakers, can’t wait to share.  And now I share mine, the wined storyteller, sharing and showing everything that I see and feel in Sonoma, and if I venture outside to Napa, all recorded, all documented.  Honesty and visuality.  And all for and about wine.

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MOCK SOMM: Interview with Arista Winery Winemaker, Matt Courtney

I started by asking him what his “oenological voice” was, rather than just plainly what his style was in IMG_8912his mind.  He smiled lightly, and said that would be a question better suited for someone like me, a writer.  He then added that he didn’t think that most winemakers approached making wine with a style in mind, it’s more a matter of making the best wine you can, the most expression of site.  The “style” that so many address is more an understanding from the consumer’s mentality.  He said he can speak on what his goals are, his approach, and that is about as close as he could get to answering me–  But more than anything, he noted, “I want to make wines that are delicious, that are profound, but that are balanced.” And if you taste the Arista lineup, the appellation blends or single vineyard translations, Chardonnay or Pinot, you’ll appreciate this methodology and practice, as it’s palatably executed.

Matt’s character is empowered by his synthesis with his favored varietals, not inoculating with any commercial strains of yeast or malic bacteria.  You can blow out the nuances of a given site if you overwhelm it with commercial yeasts, he stated with low-volume, easing and nearly poetic rhythm to his speech.  The emphasis is on the vineyard, and doing an unprecedented familiarity with the vineyard site so that when the fruit comes in, it’s only a matter of shepherding the wine, as he said, through vinification.

“You are stripping something away, even if you improve it,” he says about fining and filtration.  Maximum amount of material in the bottle, he stressed.  I told him I found his style of winemaking as more “truthful”.  He preferred the word “transparent”, that gives the sipper the most optimal picture of the microclimate and geographic specificity where the wine comes from.  You’re stripping less away, you’re adding less.  It’s clear Mr. Courtney values the site where the Pinot and Chardonnay come from, and how that site can be tasted and the picture needs to be maintained, shepherded as he said.  “We’re measuring three times before we cut.”

Chardonnay and Pinot to this winemaker walk a funny balance, in that they can be light on their feet, as he specified, but also be complex and layered.  It’s a magic trick, he said, trying to have either of those varietals be that delicious dichotomy, keeping them interesting and captivating.  “I want people to go back for that next glass.”

He likes Chardonnay that’s diligent and develops in the bottle.  And with the Chardonnays he’s produced for Arista, since his start in 2013, we see this bright presence of fruit but yet this interesting palate weight and unique complexity, layered and savoringly compounded with flavor.  He said that Chardonnay and Pinot can be all things to all people in ways that other varieties can’t.  And that ties into this assertion of the magic trick.  There’s a special relationship with this winemaker and these two potentially moody varietals.  And his Pinots demonstrate the same verisimilitude and ardor as the Chardonnay, just ten, twenty-fold.  His Pinots provide this tasty spacial awareness.

Our talk was briefly interrupted by one of his crew members coming in to ask him a question, something about malolactic fermentation, or something.  Can’t remember precisely but it reminded me I was taking him from his day, that these winemakers, especially of this stratum, are always moving, always measuring three or four times then deciding, deciding…  So I had to close, quickly.  Of course Matt being the convivial chap he is didn’t say anything of any dire or rushed tenor, but I intensified my momentum. 

“Really quick, thoughts on ’15…” An interesting year in his mind, partially because of the drought, but as well attributed to the early bud break and the challenging weather during fruit setting.  Diminished yields in some sites, and some vineyards hit much harder than others.  But, in his words, “very variable”.  This will affect the amount of fruit yielded.  He also cited the uneven ripening and the heat spikes have provided challenges in their own arena, making it “interesting” as he said.  But he assures the wines in tank and in barrel are tasting quite good.

I told him that I heard some people, some winemakers say the shatter out there is “winemaker shatter.” He smirked, and said, “I don’t even know what that means.” But Matt expressed optimism about the wines that were fermenting and vinifying, and he again returned to this subject of shatter, and said that in some of his vineyards it didn’t harm the pick and eventual fermenting wines that much.

We returned to the topic of Arista, and what the winery, or label has done for him as a winemaker, and then I had to ask him which of his wines, notably the 13’s, is his favorite.  “That’s like asking which of your kids is your favorite,” he said.

“Which of your kids is your favorite?” I said, laughing, then he laughed, but he then disclosed that he holds a beaming affinity for the estate wines, the Two Birds and Harper’s Rest Pinots.  If you’ve ever had these wines before you can see why–  bold and complex, the volume and layered magical beauty of each…

We closed our conversation with the new production facility on the Westside property and getting the vineyards to where they want them to be, to always push the envelope of quality, getting the vines in better health, year to year.  Again, only optimism and a soft, understated but still vibrantly visible confidence about this winemaker, and for anyone loving wine, it rubs off on you.  You’ll walk away from the chat, length no matter, feeling closer to wine, closer to Arista if you’re already a fan.

“It’ll be a huge help for us in the cellar,” he noted, when the facility is on the property.  Getting more precise with irrigation strategies… vine-water status…  “There’s no limit to how good we can get, that’s what keeps it fun.” Again, the yay-saying sentiment I expected from him toward the end of our talk.  So his “style”, or his voice, if I can attach a new “descriptor”– balanced, just like what he aims to bottle year to year.  And, profound, whether he intends it or no.  Balanced in his tone, his demeanor, and his explanations.  Profound in his presence.

Oh, then there’s the extraordinary, magical wines he brings to fruitful fruition.  There’s that, too.  So, I, the writer, goes back for that second glass.


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My morning anxiety beginning

to dissipate.  Have to get a key from the department so I can use the classroom’s tech during class today, then up to Mendo, which I plan to let go early.  I’m starting to calm down, as the whole drive over here I Self-pestered with the questions like ‘am I doing enough’, and ‘I’m writing enough, right?’, and WHY CAN’T I WAKE AT 5AM LIKE I WANT?  I will tomorrow, I have to.. in the adjunct hut right now, the two Math’s talk loudly in that hokey conference room, which for the first time with the door open I see there’s a flatscreen TV on the wall.  And, why?  That could’ve gone toward some pot meant for hiring another one of us on.  But that’s not my battle anymore.  I’m set on writing for my life and developing my creative business…(es).

The rest of the St. Francis Merlot last night sipped, and it still had structure and palate posture, and expressed quite a bit about the ’12 vintage.  I’m having trouble concentrating at the moment as the Math people laugh and joke loud, almost as if they’re boasting their presence in the room, in that room, the conference room.. they’re important and they’re having an important conference.  I’m ignoring it, now their volume increases so it gets a bit more difficult.  And annoying.  So I put in my earphones, and Mr. Hutcherson plays me a song, one that makes me forget where I am nearly and I think of wine, my perfect world where that’s the dominant artifact and revolution, what revolves in my scope and senses.  Ah…..  They go away, with just a little music from my good friend.  Too bad there’s the Mendo section tonight, as I’d love to visit this one tasting room in Healdsburg.  Of course, Healdsburg. That’s my town.  Tomorrow night I take Alice there for our anniversary night–  I’m thinking.. I don’t know.  Well, I do, I just don’t want to misspell it.  I look up and see the Math man’s mouth moving.  I smile to myself as I can’t hear a thing, thank the Craft.  But for some reason my mood returns– have to focus on that world, my wined world, where I write about nothing but wine– and that’s the magic of what’s in the bottle and the world, culture, industry, especially in Sonoma– the airy nature and melodic movement of everything in its grip.

Tomorrow morning, waking before 5, as a matter of…  Have to, and I’ll start gathering these short writings; the stories, the sketches the essays the notes and written rushed bits of thought I have from time to time.  And to be printed, I just decided, here at this adjunct table of the odd shape– not just thrown to a blog, or to some ebook site, or anything like that.  Pages.  Actual. Printed. Pages.  A bloody book.  The Math people still talk.  Looking at them and their odd pedagogical varietal sickens me.  The adjunct life sickens me, what sickened me on the way over here to flat Fairfield.

Today’s lecture.. on of the formidable female form.  The Math’s come out from the room, woman leaves man stays– the depressed-looking chap with the gray hair, sweater, stacked black bags on that pull-thing, like a luggage piece, like he’s going to travel, but no he’s going nowhere– ‘nother note to Self, back to my thoughts and visions of the Road and what it has for me– wine will get me there, this will not, this teaching, this hoping for assignments term to term.  And there– my last statement on this, this term and the adjuncted spot I’m again in, flying on the freeway and not like a falcon or anything graceful but like a hobbling pigeon.

Tomorrow I set out on a mission for Chardonnay.  To find one that continues this new white Burgundy skate I’m on, and all to my bewilderment and baffle–  me, Chardonnay, how?  But here I am, and I have to listen.  I will.  And I’ll learn.  Angst, stripped.

Now:  The drive doesn’t bother–  I’m too busy relishing the Road.

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And here in

the home office, quiet with Delilah playing from Mr. Hutcherson, and I wait for a video interview with Glenn to finish its upload or download or whatever.  SRJC soon, both 1A sections, and later with the winemaker interview or piece to my blog, send links to Mark and Ben.. then.. then what.  The coffee has me moving quite quick and I can’t overthink any of this as much as my character tends to, wants to, nearly does but I don’t let it.  OH!  Business cards.. was paid from Arista, and Solano to my surprise so I can alas order those cards.  I’ll do that just as soon as this video effort’s done.. and what else.. always something, but I quite very much entirely love it.

Launching the vvv idea tonight.  Why wait any longer?  Get the conversation going.. see what everyone else out there is seeing, wine-wise, what they’re drinking, just get a mammoth and encompassing conversation on wine started.  And that’s it, nothing overcomplicated as I’ve said just adoration of wine and wine thoughts and musings and maybe, occasionally, some of my wild wine writings just to add a certain flash or electrical edge to it.  I don’t know.  But I see the site and business venture, which it very much is, taking on a life of its own– and so much to add, content-wise, with my visit yesterday to SFW, picking up 4 bottles; SB, Chard, Merlot, and Cab.  My cellar, or wine closet becomes more compact and trapped in its own content, and I become more a wine writer and trapped in my visions of wine, crazy and artsy as they may be.  But that’s me.

Jotting project targets on a piece of scratch paper.  Don’t want too many on there, but I do have to be honest with myself and work harder, harder, and somehow get myself in the habit of waking at 5 like Glenn, or even the earlier 6’s like Ms. Alice.  9 minutes left in the time I have set aside for my personal writings and bloggings and mmc energies.  Then, to prep for classes, the Tobias Wolff short stories and why they’re so profound, and the intentions behind the last four we read.  Tomorrow the long day, Solano and Mendo.  So far today’s been only a melodic stretch of moments and occurrences, and now writing like this in the home study– where is the Wolff book, my journal for the semester, and…  In bag, now I feel more centered and ready for the 4 hours or so of lecturing professing my passion for literature and the short story– thinking more about my story and how this semester is moving along quicker than the writing wining adjunct thought it would.  My daughter’s on her way I keep telling myself, and everything will be more musical and love-laced, and effulgent in joy and growth, for all of us in this Autumn Walk writer’s station as we begin a true Autumn– and what an Autumn stage it is out there, with the gray, thick overhead, and the subtle but still assertive gusts from moment to moment, a couple drops on windshield taking little Kerouac to school. En fin, la météo confortable.  Helps me write better, I think.. no, I know.  Only two minutes left in the time that’s truly mine, but what can I do, I can’t stop the clock, it has a job to do.  And there it is, the knell.. I have to halt in this typing and get to work.  I should welcome and embrace it and not fight it I know but I’m a writer before anything else so it’s not as easy as just saying, “Okay time to stop, time to get ready for work, time to get in the shower, and and and…” I don’t function that way.  I mean I could, but I wouldn’t be living, more or an automaton act.  And, well, yeah, not me.

10:02.  Already late.  Ugh.. so I complain and grieve but I can’t, I think of all my winemaker friends, my sister whom I finally saw yesterday– how tired they all look from working harder than hard, from just giving their lives, truthfully, to what we drink, what I write about, to the story that precipitates to so many of us.  So I halt finally, and move my mode.  Take a sip of coffee, and go–


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