And my first thought, “So what?” Opened the Merlot I bought from St. Francis the other day, looking at the color and pairing it–if you could call it a “pairing”–with the pulled pork from last night. The year, bold and unapologetic. Wilder than wild… tonight I do intend to have a bit more wine and have it speak to me. She wants me in some new modality. Sitting next to my son’s bed as he somewhat fades into his sleep, but really not. Not sure why he’s so awake… maybe the whole new year tilt, he saying over and over to his mother and I, “Happy New Year.” In the wine shop, always music, of all forms, like my kids with their ever-revolving interests.
Still taste the Merlot, after tasting it ten or so ago-minutes. Quiet in the studio, and I vow to wake at 03:45, demain. Tonight, I’m leaping into my most wild whirl of wine writing.. Thinking of the Lioco Chardonnay I had a few weeks ago at the Inn, the Pinot I had at the restaurant just the other night in Windsor. Wine is everywhere around me. In all the moments that don’t include wine, wine is dominantly present. Reminding me that life is more than short… that I don’t have any more time surpluses. I never did. When young, I was a dope and thought “Oh, I can just do it later…” or something of such sort. No… this year is and itch. One violently scratched.
Think he’s asleep, my little beatnik. Tonight, my enemy of enemy-enemies, is sleep. Why lay down and close eyes when you have so many books to write, so many wine and vineyard photos to skip and skim and sift through… no sleep. Well, okay, maybe a little. But as little as possible. Plausibly I’ve finally changed, this writer… Can only think of the Merlot downstairs, open in the counter. What it must be thinking, what it’s doing, how it’s taste shaped take another shape and tell another sake. Hear some tick-tock here in son’s room. What is that? Is that a clock? Maybe I’m just tired from the day, from talking about wines in the tasting room and selling them, talking about heir characters as I do and getting more into their respective puzzles and intoned enigmas.
Dying to know what the Merlot wants to say to the write… Is she going to keep with this confident octane, this jazzy bravado and loudness, or will there be more a softness, a soft-spoken step to her and how she communicates with me? Who knows… only way for a wine writer to find out is to find out. Wine isn’t a formula, she’s not an equation… she can’t be predicted. I have to leave my son’s room, go downstairs and see what she feels so fire to tell me. And maybe there’s no dire haste in her night’s paragraphs. Maybe she’ll softly sing, jazz in this Coffey Park house that was nearly no more.
Reconnecting with the Merlot downstairs, to the left of the xmas tree, telling self that it’s just a new year, be like the Alchemist narrator, just pushing through my story, finding reason not only in the wine but all the lights around me and the quiet of this downstairs flat. Hear wife cough… can’t get sick. This Merlot connection pushes me back in time to when I called Mom from San Ramon, asking her what I should buy for a dinner I was hosting at my San Ramon apartment. “Blackstone Merlot…” She voted. I went down the street to the Alberton’s or whatever it was and bought a bottle. Paired it with a crab or shrimp salad which wasn’t a “pairing” at all now that I tilt my head back and think, but even … that was the beginning. Of something. And this Merlot, from St. Francis, the winery that lit this whole new page surge for my family… I can only write. Only be here in quiet, next to the tree that embodies gifting. And I’ve been gifted. By wine. By St. Francis. By this county. My life here in Santa Rosa, living madly writing about wine and I thin tomorrow with my “day off”, which isn’t “off” at all having to grade this last semester’s final submissions and upload final grades. Will need a tasting somewhere, after that.
She now pronounces and defines tones of lavender smoke and and something reminding me of an incense, or some potpourri of shapes and flavor arrangements. I’m beyond or maybe behind any interpretive attempts at the moment. 22:13, flirting with the idea of sleep but I hate sleep and all it does to a writer… robbing me of my day. Just sip the last of this glass and keep writing, I tell myself. Wine is all about self-notes, self-education and self-selfness. Not that I’m selfish, I don’t think.. The Merlot says ‘no’. So I’m composed. Writing with her notes and sequencing, knowing this new year is a contoured contrast to all that before came.
Last sip— oscillations of violet and plum, voltage-prone cherry and talkative chocolate, dark. I need more Merlot in my story. Merlot is what started all of this, I feel. Even before St. Francis— Well, that’s not true, as when I called Mom that night from San Ramon she was on-call at SFW. I’m merely intoning this goes beyond any winery, and even the type of Merlot. This is wine, ME, here on the floor writing after the turn of year. Lights on my now-empty glass. This is my night, in this new year, with the wine thoughts in this wine page, this newly wined wine-me. All along and in my nerves I’m wined.. criminal and rebellious in my vino musings and jots. This is when I have ice-cream… but won’t. A new year, radically resolute. Me. On the floor writing, when I was so tempted to just be lazy… no loathing, I’m fearless, hoping soon to be there, in my There, and everywhere. Not one apology.