On lunch, and I can’t get the thought of wine in other countries out of my head. So much out there, the terrestrial extensiveness. And I don’t fixate on the wine so much as I do the locations and the histories, the families, everything that’s out there. I’m in the office now, quiet today, a Saturday, snacking on the crackers and cheese I brought for myself and can’t wait to be in the vineyard, go for my daily saunter, tilt my head back in the quiet of the Rhône block, listen to the creek. Set my character on a dash of pleasurable scrutiny and surveying of wine, everywhere. The world, total… As a journalist and diarist of wine, I don’t want one set beat. I want everything. All AVA’s and sub-AVA’s… regions and highways, streets and hillsides. Today’s lunch feeds me with visions and promise, new pages and insights to my wined character. When home tonight, Bordeaux will be my research station. Being what some would call a ‘Merlot guy’, this is only sensible. Didn’t expect this degree of meditation paired with the mozzarella and Wheat Thins. Wine’s story again surprised me.
Interesting sense and bravado to this wine… decided, somewhat codified and shy, but that’s just what makes it a gem… full narrative and composition, poetic intro and conclusion, affirming its identity repeatedly to the sipper, making you take your time with it so you miss nothing. Soft texture with pronounced drum rolls of cherry and blackberry, spice and herb, dusty olfactory and palate rally the wine into more engaging and unique sensory rhetoric. I’d lay it down for a few years, as to let the more wooing and symphonious qualities appear. Right now, though, its assertiveness isn’t any kind of interference or intrusion. The current language of this bottle is cinematic and entrapping. A highlight in my month, my year. Certainly.
Just wrote another essay. That’s two in this I-think-collection I’m gathering. Not sure how many I want to collect, but each piece is an essay, standing alone. Gave a wildly poetic and energized lecture on Plath and her poetic radiance, this morning. I keep thinking of the fig tree mentioned in Bell Jar, how the narrator cites starving to death in her inability to pick one. Then, while walking back here to the conference room I though of a singular title on a business card— my sister’s, “Winemaker”. What the fuck is mine?
What do I want it to be?
No punctuation. Just the word. I’ll keep writing, through this whole day, and inventory every effort as I did the other day. Thinking of an essay on Plath, that part of the novel and its universality. Everyone feels that way, at one point, having to choose one thing, or at least something, to be. That’s what they are, that’s what they do. And you live once! Which, of course, makes it even more stressful. “…choosing one meant losing all the rest…”, Plath wrote, but I wonder— Does it have to be that way? What if you limit yourself to a small number of figs? No, you have to choose one. You want to have to only choose and have one. You’ll be stronger that way. I can write, run a business, be a winemaker, be a marathoner, be a tutor, be a copywriter…. One thing, one ME, one story— WRITER
I don’t want any punctuation touching that word, or at least in this context. One author for my study concentration. Yes, her… my darling Ms. Plath. And she’s right, the figs do eventually wrinkle and blacken, so I have to move quick, and I have to choose and never look back. So, changing my mind, I’m a “WRITER.” Why the sudden punctuation, now?
‘Cause I’m a Writer. Period.
I learned a long time past— take your time smelling wine. Don’t inhale too hard or too fast. Inhale like squirrels you see, or groundhogs, that stand upright and take in atmosphere in those staccato’d pulses. “It’s wine smelling, not wine tasting,” somebody once suggested to me. At first I was like ‘Yeah, okay bro…’. But now I realize he was entirely right. And don’t overthink what you smell, the “nose” of your wine. Just see what you see. It’s an encounter, like anything else. Hear so many say “wine is alive”, but don’t treat it like a living thing, or being, person. They use the first contact, the smelling or ‘nosing’ act as a means to show how much they know about wine or how sophisticated they are. Take your time, smell what you will, and taste. This is your tasting. No one else’s.
While driving the babies to school (or Jack to school to be picked up by Grandma Cathy), this gripped and nearly strangled me. I have to focus on sales. Not just of wine. Of any kind. Of business and their intentions, their services and their realities, their tangible consistencies. As well, selling myself as a brand. And yes, selling wine… selling my thoughts, offerings to live better. Sipping a large coffee and surrounded by people, group of women in corner, dressed chicly and I heard one of them mention “fashion” guru. ‘Guru’… someone exceptionally skilled at.. whatever. What is my exceptional skill? I’m thinking this at 38… what’s my next step. Sorry this has nothing to do with wine, but with life, something more impacting than a fancy bottle you open, or some group you host. This is the whole story at stake.
More coffee…. And I’m lost, I feel. Not in a bad way, or maybe in a bad way, but in some way nonetheless. Working and writing, creating my way through and out of it, as I urge students to do. Said in class that “Creativity solves everything.” Okay, professor Mikey.. actuate what you advocate! The way you pull yourself from a mood is to keep working, notably in the creative. Don’t worry, reader, I’m fine. This blog is about life, and this is part of life… the struggle, the character building… WORK. Have to leave in a couple, though I don’t want to. My reinvention is completely sales-oriented. And not the trite, overly-scripted sales sort. But creative. Creative selling, where it’s more storytelling and conversational than anything else.
I’m reinvented, and thinking away and outside of all boxes. Had a communication with someone recently that affirmed, to her and all those in her creative firm, the concept of ‘the box’ doesn’t even exist— it doesn’t pertain as it can’t be at all relevant. It doesn’t exist to them. Simply not in their language. I’ve always known this is how I wanted to think and continue as a creative marketer and seller, but was never wholly sold on it. But now because of this brief exchange I had with her, I think I finally am— no, I am, finally. So here I sit, sipping coffee like Sal writing his script, and I’m here re-inventing self— re-writing my story.
And ever off…..
2013— St. Francis’ opus, if you would— one of its grandest of grand efforts, Bordeaux spectrum. A certain galaxy speaking from its delicious faultline, reminding me why I’m with wine. This offering actuates the poetic and demanding demeanor you expect from Bordeaux blends. I know, I’m biased. But this bottle’s its own space, its own place and perforation through time continuums. Mostly Cabernet, I think, then mettled with some of the other Bordeauxs. Could call my sister to get the exact blend but I’d rather not and just sip, let it speak to me— this wine reminds me of why I started writing about wine in the first place, why I started to blend my literary terrestrial with cet oenological peripatetic where I live. This contained savory code appeals not just to Meritage chasers, but to any wine lover or roamer or gawker seeking something that perforates their expectations, that teaches them, that electrifies them in ways that delightfully disturbs the way they encounter any new wine going forward. It’s obvious, my tie to this mammoth producer in Kenwood, but believe it or not I’m object in this step-set. And what I get, a contained and convincing red blend. An anthem, singing to all my receptors and analytical receptions. Just finished last glass. One more before bed. The smoke and cherry, chocolate dark atop espresso powder and power, just too inexorable to dismiss. St. Francis winery never speaks. Rather, demonstration and tangibility is its culture. And I’m here, before nightcap, convinced. I’m instructed on Bordeaux amalgamation and attitude— seeing myself in some vineyard, Kenwood or the Left Bank. What do I do? Glass, another. Meditate, alongside my Patron Saint. More I let it sit, after glass final poured, I see more tenacity and character, palate rhetoric and vocality. The wine now not only reminds but instructs me to play with time, to not just enjoy, but purposefully enjoy and understand what I’m sipping.
I got it! I figured out how to make it as a writer. Want to hear my trick? Easy…. Okay, you want to hear it? …. No, can’t, much I want to. Okay here it is… to just not give a fuck. Not care at all. So many tell me, “Watch what you say, this is a small industry.” Wine. The wine industry. And? You want me to be afraid. You want this writer to bite his tongue. I’m feeling a new character come about this evening. One inspired by.. I don’t know… HST… Hem… Plath… Pac….. Tarantino. I’m here in my role, after wife said she didn’t want to drive to Windsor, have our dinner date. So I drink this ‘Lagunitas Sucks’ and hear only dialogue here. New movie..
Me: Is there something to this movie?
Me2: There should be, otherwise why watch—
Me: Exactly, why watch.
Me2: That’s what I said. But now that you said it, it has me thinking more than when I said it in my head.
Me: Sometimes I have something to say…. Most of the time I just say shit, but it’s not really saying something, like something, you know, significant.
Me2: Sorry? I don’t know.. where’s that Cabernet?