And why wine.. for the narrative, for the story, for the love and life of her. Across varietals, wines should be described as character and story, story in character and characters in a multitude of stories. Like the blend I sipped last night, one I made in 2012 with a buddy, and now I’m here three years later still learning and evermore appreciative of the Roman-like presence of wine in the world’s collective and individualized momentums. Wine’s its own scholar, its own study, and I don’t want to be anything more than a student, ever-learning and ever-growing with the ebb of innovation, from the Earth to winemaking approaches and methodologies– Wine provides the writer an escape and a tally of rewarding inner-storms.
Stopping in my typed mayhem, I remember the first day working behind a bar, pouring wine for guests coming from everywhere it seemed in the world just to be at that counter, at that moment, to taste those wines. That’s always provoked me to get closer to wine’s epicenter and intrinsic palatable parcels. Wine is always inviting the lover and curious sipper to get closer. It doesn’t exclude, it doesn’t judge, and I don’t think it very much wants to BE judged. Just enjoyed. Yes, I know, wine judgings and competitions, scorings, publications, blogs like this one.. I get it. But at its most principal of principles, wine wants communication; the occasion. That vie, cet amour.
When I drive from my home in Santa Rosa and east on 12, I’m reminded, that it’s everywhere, this story, and I need to commit to the story. The story, wine’s narrative and cascade of short imagist disclosures, has done its part, very much, in fact ten times over and over; Repeated again from pure civil urgency, an exhausting kindness. So I need to answer and keep driving, to Sonoma, over to Napa, stop in Calistoga in some tasting room I’ve never been in and taste, and keep tasting, write what I feel and capture the moment and know intimately this ‘why’… Why I’m here, why wine wants me here, and why I want wine to want me here writing about her.
My notes from last night, on my own winemaking effort, reading them this morning after a rushed-sip sequence of coffee, teaches me to move slower with her, that she need to be listened to, not string-pulled, not steered, just let to speak. My notes read like some cookie-cutter tasting room menu, “Wild Cherry, Chocolate, slight cinnamon, milky texture.” ‘What the hell’, I say to myself. Wine deserves much more than that. She needs MORE than ‘more than that’. She needs time, measure, attention and always a more wanton writing than I last night gave. She gave me a story, chapters and dialogue, images, and she knows I’m not the most wild plot enthusiast, so she lets me decide that. She’s kind. I need to be more a mirror, and reflect what’s on the other side, in that vineyard over there off Adobe Canyon Road, and over there off 29. Everywhere and everything. For her, me.
Wine, writing… “Wine,” I call to her, “I’m still writing.”