Finally I get to sit, write. Friend from an old winery I used to work at, part-time and on-call, Arista, coming over. Recorded note while driving on Stony Point, or Marlow, on way home— “Well I’m driving and I’m stressing about what I’m going to write as soon as I sit down to write, that’s how I know when it’s not a good time to start day’s writing, jest let it go, wait and the time will come for me to sit down and start writing.” Odd mood today, and not just me, but the whole county, fires and smoke and haze from whatever fires remain.. air telling me to stay home, don’t fear any looters as so many do, just drink the night’s wine (Cab from Paso and SB from NZ). More notes than I know what to do with on past wines. Still have to edit Hitching Post piece, the blend I pulled from the shelf… where was I? Can’t remember, think El Dorado Hills with wife and kids, little time I had to self and went to store to get night’s writing assignment. All offerings tasting different, post-fire. Jesse bringing over a Dutcher Crossing Carignane, ’15, last night and the tune was contrasting what I associate with the winery, wine type, vintage, AVA, everything. Not that my senses are damaged— I mean, at least I hope not— but there was a morphing of something in me, or wine, or my interpretive lens. Can just hear the wines for tonight over there by the knives and drying glasses, cleaning utensil (the one with the hard, pointy, painful bristles, pink and white), and bowl I had the cashews and almonds in for Jesse and I last night.
Had a meeting earlier with a wine blogger/startup buddy, but interrupted by false alarm of looters on our street. I rush out of his office and into my car and here to Coffey Park… nothing. No looters. Yes, police, obvious presence to deter looters, post-fuego, but no threat. So, out of breath, still, I try to collect. And I don’t want these goddamn fires to dominate my 3,000 words for day. No, not happening. Not sure where Kevin is, my Arista friend. Hope I didn’t scare him off, texting him “My neighbors will shoot you before the guard does.” After he asked if he’d get stopped by the Nat’l G’s. Hope he knew I was joking.
Went by winery today.. still closed, but wanted to check on production crew. I could tell they were busy and not at all interested in conversation so I backed off, took one picture, and left. Not sure when we’re opening back up, but it doesn’t matter. MY wine business continues, and my wined notes and jots, inward and outward persist. Wine… should open that NZ SB. Have a burrito from Oliver’s for dinner, will pair that with Cab. Not really a wine-food pairing centered and/or intentioned guy, I’ve noticed. I mean, I try, but I think that any wine goes with any food… well, for the most part I guess. I have a grilled chicken burrito, and I’m paining it with a Cabernet. I’m CERTAIN I’ll enjoy it. Why wouldn’t I? I guess if the burrito or the wine is irreparably flawed then yeah, it won’t be one for the books. But wine and food-pairing is a convenient “science”, at best.
Poured first pulse of SB, just before Kevin arrived. He’s now left, 18:53, he and I recalling days at Arista and career moved, and all involved. Now into the Paso Cabernet, not yet heating up burrito, wanting to see 1,000 wine words here in kitchen at counter— K and I talking about discrepancies in the wine industry with motivating staff to sell— Why not pay them more or “incentivize” as they always say? So many of the wine industry’s problems are easily solvable, I see and the words exchanged with K tonight cemented such. Sb showing much more harmony and music and over smile than the one I had the other night. I type without looking at keys, in fact looking around the room I’m in, the kitchen, into the living room and thinking about winemakers like John whom I saw today not he crush pad trying to function some machine to press whatever he was pressing— I’m guessing Cabernet… and me sipping this Cabernet and reminded there’s so much more story in the bottle than the consumer realizes. I’m not anti-consumer… I’m the consummate consumer. BUT, there need be more awareness of wine and it’s the winery’s job to do that. So ME, as a “manager” of a property, I need to tell the Roth story. Meeting on Wednesday, and I’m going to barrage the council with a vision.. I will be mimicked, copied. I’m not bragging, just confident, eager, willing and creative, able. Not sure what this is meant to state or assert but I’m in my house with radiant wines… and I have a house. I HAVE A HOUSE. I’m guilty, I feel guilty, I’m crippled in guilt and I can only drink more wine and write. Wine is speaking to me now. Before I opened the SB, before Kevin got here.
Finally, I’m sitting, and writing. After this first thousand, I’m set to heat the burrito. See how it “pairs” with the Paso Cab. No music in the house, now, which is rare for me, if ever the reality.. the Cab now telling me to turn on music and heat up that burrito and get to real work.. ‘wine and food pairing’. Part of me’s like ‘who cares’ but then the other parcel is partial to my perspective of ‘write about it’… okay.. Paso Cab with a burrito of grilled chicken… yeah, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, what do you want me to say? I see a little left of the Cab, in my glass… sipped…. alc’ is more visible than I remember. But there’s a stark vile and leather, smoke-set sinew to its physical palate presence. I’m reminded of that morning, eight days ago… and I’m here, in my house, sitting, writing, sipping wine. Something feels wrong.