Soon as I park, I feel the decided force in me, to work harder than I ever have. Today. But for what. I’m here over an hour early, over an hour before I’m to clock in, and what should I do. What should I write about… all thoughts in the writer’s head, probably all writers’ thinking, thinkings, thinking about life and what I want from it, how I want to be seen by my children, wife, family, people in the wine industry. And I can only fixate on the allure of contradiction… people in this business who don’t drink, not a single sip, and all around them asking “What? Then why are you in the wine industry?” Sometimes it’s voiced with a rude plume, and others innocent curiosity, but with me, inwardly, I see education, self-education, the opportunity to observe and write assessments of scenes with more assiduous climb.
Last night, having a fair deployment of the 2014 Merus Cab, I sat on the floor of the home office and thought about where I’m going in this business, and how I balance it or blend it with teaching, education. What’s the next chapter? What do I do in this sitting and all that follow to accelerate my story, to see the Road, the world, everything out there in wine’s wind and rewind. Wine is telling me to change my approach, diversify my vision and actions. Yesterday’s Cabernet tasting, everything that was poured and how people reacted, brought to my perceptive peregrination ideas of people all over the planet opening bottles, in little villages in Italy and France, Spain, South Africa…. I was everywhere, at the Chalk Hill Pavilion, truly wandering everywhere in thought. How to I …. No use thinking about it now, or maybe there is.
In 2006, my first year pouring in a tasting room, I saw the wine industry as a sort of personality puzzle. I didn’t know what to think of it, really. I saw and felt the poetry, and the expressive and artful chords and tunes from the Mayacama Mountains, the vineyard block just outside their patio, but how I fit in the puzzle was the sujet. The topic for me to explore and hopefully come to some sort of either conclusion or consistency in the industry. Now, I write about wine and wonder how much more I could write if I stopped sipping for a while. At least 30 days, as a representative sample, something. Something different and extreme for the writing. I’ve entertained doing this before, but never followed through. What if I did now, waking at my hour desired, 03:45, having 3,000 words in book effort, or blog, before the babies and wife wake?
I need to work more, and harder. Ferociously, obsessively, for my life as a wine writer priding himself on his wildness, his extremism and practice of words… words flying from the olfactory tell of the wines. That’s all I need to write, just smell. And really, I don’t need even that. I’m just thinking of work, this morning. What I want to do, for the rest of my life, in this industry. And, like Dad coached, I’ll make it mine. Even washing windows as I did yesterday and the day preceding, I’ll make my own little projet. So quiet in this winery, in this office, I have all the time I need to get into character and collect, decide how much harder I’m going to work. Take notes, short and to-the-point jots. And, pictures. Take as many as I can. The tasting room… its flavor and character, rhetoric and promise, everything I need for pages, for my book, for my exploration of my work and how I work and what I’ll do for the remainder of my time on Earth.
I’ve always known, I’m a writer. But the beat of my writing, what I want to write about, has jumped all over the cognitive plain over, over, and again over. From the time I started writing seriously, which I’d say was in high school, junior and senior year. And here I am, nearly 39, and with a singular topic, finally. Wine.. wine centers me in ways that other facets of daily don’t. And, you don’t have to drink wine to write about it. Yes, all the lauded and “respected” critics sip and taste and give you some trite cluster of description. But that’s it. I wanted to do more, when I started writing about wine. And that’s what I’ll do for my life, for a living. That’s not only my thesis, but my synaptic composition. What I’ll build my businesses from. Wine, writing, the wildness to it, the madness, and the conversations that materialize. Actuating all ideas, more than just working more or hard, but connected to what I do in this industry more than anyone around me. Observe, record, trap moments, don’t sip but jot, keep the pen moving as I tell students.
Wine this morning has me thinking about everything in my working life. Re-evaluating a bit, but thinking of ways to make what’s around me mine, all mine. Everything from this office, to this folding table on which I type, the crush pad, the wines, the cave, the vineyard blocks I often walk. I’m just seeing more of what I do and how I do it, where I’m going with what I do. And wine provides that. I just around the subject map earlier in life, and a bit up to recent, because I didn’t make wine my own. Since 2006, pouring at SFW, I’ve had a topic, a beat, I’ve just never seen it. Now I see it. I write about wine, much in contrast to the wine writing out there. Not professing I’m better, but definitely working with more ferocity than any of them. I’ll by this stand, staunch and militant. Listening to the office, the room I’m in, thinking of what will be said in the tasting room this morning, and later, later…. Feasting on my new contradiction.