Tasting The Rooms

‘early for what’


I arrive at the winery early, to take care of some shipping muddle that I guess I’m to blame for but…. ‘nother time to discuss that.  I park out front by the Sauv Blanc lot, stop.  Watch the apparition-molded fog slowly saunter over the cut canes.  I caught myself just staring for a minute, wishing I had time for a vineyard walk, something I force self to do everyday.  But, no.  Shipping.  I need to get that guy his wine.  “What happened?” I keep thinking.  “How did he not get it and if I forgot to pack it, HOW?” Walking to the back door, where I always enter through the production area, I saw this was a fruitless thought stream.  So I speed to the tasting room like someone being chased by an actual ghost, clock in.

“I can set the room up later, get this shipping craziness handled, first.” I walk around the two cages, one dubbed “Reserve Offerings” and the other “TR”, obvious to us for ‘tasting room’.  I look up the guy’s order in the computer, throw it together, set it aside in the Reserve cage, on the black plastic shipping, pallet.  Done.  That’s it?  That’s what I was stressing over?  Now what do I do?  Go for a walk through the Clone 1 SB block— or, open wines, taste them, through all them.  We have to make goal before end-of-month, that’s all they ever tell us, so why not establish a. More intimate and believable, poetic association with each offering.  Pick my three favorite, I thought.  Okay… okay… quick… make a six-pack, three of each bottle… the Carneros Chard’, RRV Pinot, then my most loving and tryst-talked of preferred’s.. the ’15 AV Reserve Cabernet.

Phone ringing.  “Are you kidding me?  Goddamnit…” I think.  “Good morning, this is Mike…” I say.

“Mike, Gary Toft… wanted to know when my wine was going to get here.  Remember me?  You forget about me or somethin’ out there?”

So badly I want to tell him that no I can’t forget assholes of their tier, but, “No, not at all, I have your case ready to be shipped, and you’ll get it be the end of next week.”

“Good.” Hangs up.

I feel my ire ferment in my fingers and in the grip I have around the phone’s next.  Set it down gently.  Taste through my wines.  Put it behind you.  Wine isn’t that, those kinds of interactions and inaugural energies and tonality for a day, this day or any.

Chardonnay….  More textured and talkative, more wooing and symphonic that I remember.  Last time I it sipped?  Let me see… when…. Three days ago.  Been that long?  Like an entity haunting me, ordering me to not only not forget her, but tell her story.  Easy.  Would spill the rest out but no.  I want it, her, part of my time, this second and blink, smile.

Pinot, ’15.  More a gothic and narrative, encompassing and fervent form of red Burgundy than I’m used to.  Call this one my lady-Poe.  And I’ve always thought that of her… with her shapely raspberry angles and spice-tiled ideology— consistent, romantically geometric and charming, elevating, her own declarative principle.  This bottle puts you out in that vineyard off river Road, with the fog and maritime pulse in each of your steps and massaging each parcel of your skin.

Then, Her.  My Cabernet… my penultimate presence of a wine amour.  She, frankly is beyond any word association or any intermingling of my versified tendencies as a writer, adjunct Lit professor… she’s commanding, communicative, and kind in each of her rhythms and tracks.

Catching myself just swirling the deeply attention-trapping puddle, staring out at the SB block I wanted to walk, Carla, my friend of several wine industry years and even before walks in.  “Hey… the AV, again?”


“What’s it saying to you?” She says, putting her bag down on the little counter by the computer, clocking in.

“That we’re making goal today.” I sip.