3/17/12 – 9:46am. Barrel tasting, Sonoma Valley. For sure this time. Feeling tired from the wine I had last night. Mom brought over some incredible Chicken Cacciatore-esque dish over. [See? I said “over” twice… Too much bedazzling Sonoma County wine.] Paired well with the Pinot they brought, but even better with the 2010 Sonoma County Chardonnay.
Glad the rain’s gone. Wasn’t at all enjoyable driving to the offsite pouring in Fountaingrove with the drops screeching down on my windshield, vengefully. Can’t remember the last time I saw it rain that hard. Was nice pouring for those guests, though. From all over the country. Kansas, North Carolina, just up the freeway in Sacramento, Alaska, New Mexico… And again, that’s what wine’s supposed to do, bring unfamiliar characters to the same stage. Didn’t have time to write at the hotel, but I did scribble quite a bit of valuable notes into the mini-pages while at St. Francis. Have a new article for 1Stop, that I wrote between pours. Speaking of which… Think I have another new idea. Need to write it down before I forget, before this slight hangover disrupts my attention’s reach, further.
Looking forward to the crowds today, and I will have my video camera on me, for capturing glass tilts, conversations, my co-workers in their roles.
11:14pm. Now, just thinking about the day, the wines, the characters. Kelly, consistently on thought. Why don’t I just write her a novel? My Creative attention span, maybe. Can I change it? Tonight’s Chardonnay, leftover from last night, calms me. No hangover tomorrow, I’m sure, as I’ve stopped responsibly, enjoying the transference from early sips, the Burgundy brilliance. Me, finally free.
3/18/12. 9:54am. More barrel tasting frenzying. Writing rushed. Don’t like this time squeeze, but then I do, very much. Last night’s Chardonnay, produced by Prof. Katie, has me, the writer, thinking of an article on Chards; what the styles are, those trending, pairing potentials. Think that’s the first Chardonnay I’ve sipped here at home, and for night’s cap, in well over a year.
May buy another Comp Book, make a project out of it. Just notes, scattered paragraphs, whatever the ink paints. I have too much reliance on this little monster, my flashy, “pretty” laptop. No one would need to borrow it, ever, no one could hack into it [speaking of the new Comp Book, if I lost you], it would be REAL writing, not a preponderance of types. That’s what real writing is–PEN, PAPER, INK. Just as graphic design is not real drawing, or painting, at least in my mind. What if your computer crashed, then what would you do? I know, back everything up on a stick or whatever, or an external hard-drive [is that hyphenated?]. But what if that fails at the same time, or shortly after? What if you lose you memory card, or stick, or chip [have no idea what people use, think I may have one somewhere here in the desk’s innards]. Either way, I’ll stop by the drug store just a block from base, snag one on the way home.
Tried finding my memory piece, but can’t. And I don’t want to throw away time on a frivolous excavation. But do you see what I mean, about technological dependence as a writer? Now I’m completely frazzled, with concentration severed… Dug one more time into the overwhelming clutter of one of my cupboards,. Found it. Going to “back up” [right phrasing?] my writings. I’ll be typing later, after the barreled stage. Wonder what Kaz is pouring. The Lenoir? That ’07 Syrah? Or will he break out the Tempranillos with the contrasting yeasts? Excited to be surprised. Still love his wines, his approach to winemaking, his views on wine life. Profoundly and universally Artistic.
Sun, struggling to get through clouds, through the blinds in front of me. Had a thought, but lost it. About wine… Kaz… Tempranillo… Can’t remember, have to move on, type on.
Now I remember. No wine tonight. Although it massages me into a spirit freer, it also excellerates my relaxation, intentionally or inadvertently blending it with the purest form of laziness and exhaustion I know. I don’t take back the Chardonnay sips last night. But, if I would have ahad one of my sparkling waters, or a Diet Cherry Coke instead, I wouldn’t be so behind on my writings. Haven’t updated my word log in days. Shame. I criticize the box for all its ridiculous policies and Stalinist statutes, but They made sure our logs were done each day, no fail. I’m further shamed typing “no writing logged” for a span of 3 days when I know I wrote. Maybe that’ll be an effective motivating mechanism.
7:08pm. Back from winery, tasting a few barrels. Loved the wines, as did everybody else. My Kaz crew and I even engaged in a little blind beer tasting, which was my first if you can believe. Kazzy had a couple wines so new that even I had never even heard of them. One of them being the 2011 Pinot/Sauv Blanc Rosé, which was amazing, like nothing I’d ever before sampled–EVER, anywhere. Was hard to get past the intense cold, only made more fierce by the indignant wind’s chill.
Luke and I kept pouring, with me shooting footage, taking pictures, and tasting what he recommended. One urgency he had was to blend the ’07 Syrah with the ’09 Petite Sirah. Hypnotic, naughtily, and it’s wonderfully entertaining to play with the percentages. Was in more of a Literary mode today that a journalistic one. Met new friends from the Wine Truffle Boutique, and saw one of my favorite Sonoma Valley chefs, Mr. Steve Rose, owner of Vineyards Inn, just down the street. I mentioned how much I love his calamari, and sure enough he only a few minutes later brought some by for us all to enjoy. Never get tired of it. Before the barrel event began, he had some paella prepared with some sauteed garlic clove internally-garnished bread, pairing magically with the ’06 Red Said Fred.
The wind kept with its vision of chilling us all to our skeletons, so Kaz called us all inside the tasting Room, where we poured the featured wines of the day plus others we usually put into guest glasses. I spoke to a few guests about their favorites. No surprise, all over board. No consensus. It was as though each of Kazzy’s wines had their own loyal militias, I remember thinking behind the bar, only minutes from 5p. Then, thoughts of the writing, of my character, this new Comp Book, my wine in tis barrel, invaded my concentration. What do I do with her in pages? She’ll tell me, when she’s ready.
A tasting Room, of my own. Thinking now only 2 varietals. Sauv B and Cab. Don’t know if I’m connected enough to Syrah to produce one. In fact, many times I find Syrah an aggravating varietal. Too loud, too wide on palate’s mid, and just too attention-seeking; Not much seduction, most of the time; little finesse, swagger. Thinking the money I set aside for Self-publishing the chapbook may be put towards a purchase of fruit. Is that what I should do? Wine, controlling all my thoughts, all my writing. I’m obsessed. I don’t want to be an “expert,” as the learning’s intoxicating in a way the wine could never be. I want to remain an invigorated novice, always on a mission to decode my adored bottles. Right now, day’s end, sipping Racer 5. “Wined out,” as some tourists’ll tell me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll pop something, give mySelf a set of tasting equations to solve. Like that ’09 Petite Sirah today. From nose to its formulated formation of a finish, I’m a newly and freshly-motivated Me, like after reading a Joyce novel, or a Plath poem collection. Tonight, in bed, going to write till I pass out. Tomorrow, a day off. So I’m in no rush to fall into sleep. A joke, a waste, this whole sleep concept. It’s a hole. A close relative of death. So why would I rush to it when I can write? I’m thinking all pen2paper when with the pillows, sheets. Clocking out, returning for a push to 3 pieces, 3000 words. Nothing else more I want that to write. Well, Mr. Jack’s well-being, total merriment tops any of my aims, facilely.