My focus on this wine, the attention it forces me to wage as it wages its focus on me is something lovingly strange. Given to me as a gift but I didn’t expect what catapulted from my senses and thinking in moments following. First, Merlot was what made me chase wine in any regard– it was the first voice I noticed in wine, the first narrative shape and flavor arrangement. It was its own climate, and it just spoke to me. This bottle had the same impression, like I was that impressionable 22 year-old again, just getting into wine, learning about it. It wasn’t a business to me– just fun. Me buying a bottle to learn about it, any Merlot I could find at that store on Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon.
The deductive quality of it is strange, something I’ve never met before but am so immersed and submerged in the moment we created that I’m further catapulted. I’ve always thought that when wine connects, it convinces. Not necessarily convincing or coercing you to like it, but it shows you that you’ve been shown something– new liquified language with romantic utterance. This ’10 Merlot Debra gave me had me sculpting thoughts of colorfully encouraging madness– each its own intriguing incendiary. It definitely connects with all its varietal octave, it’s not “varietally correct”, as so many self-said experts and these pudgy-piggy slug-minded sommeliers boast. If anything, if you love wine, you should reach for varietal incorrectness and innovation rather than “correctness”. Why want to taste that’s safe? This wasn’t safe. This was a rush, a dash down 101 then to 280, all the way to Carmel where I write myself sipping it on my porch, of my house just off Hwy 1, seeing tide rise and fog overtake the terrestrial arm. But I’m dreaming. That’s what this bottle injected, imbued and instilled.
Why anyone would want to overthink wine to the point of it not being wine and becoming more of a 1-up uppediness, fractures me. Think about it– No, I mean really understand the thematic anchor of this article. Wine. You sip. You like, or don’t. Supposed to be simple and fun. Napa’s ’10 here reminded me to forget about everything else, don’t think about writing about wine, right away, just fill your glass again and drink. Wish I had that house in Carmel but I don’t. I have a beauteous abode in Sonoma County and I pour, ponder, envisage and sip in my kitchen, at the counter-island in the middle of the room.
Music with wine, music in wine, wine making me as a human want to be more interesting and musical, do more for myself and everyone around me. What wine’s done for humanity I could never rival, I know. But this bottle, what’s left in my glass, urges me to be more urgent, step with more urgency. Sommeliers and wine judges and critics and whatever-the-hell’s never see wine this way. They see it as a way to elevate themselves, to anoint themselves to something higher than the wine. The focus is themselves, seldom wine.