Day 11 – 

Sat down in break room/arcade/snack shop, immediately started writing.  Told self I’d grade papers on break, but not after the busy morning I’ve had.  I very much deserve this meditation, this collection in words, with my paragraphs paired with leftover pizza and sparkling water wife me bought at Costco, yesterday? No.  Saturday.  Anyway, I think of business.  This business that I’m now in, melding customer service and PR with hospitality and sales, tech, language, storytelling, everything that I am as a … everything that I am.  Truly.  This morning’s meetings with T showed me what I already knew but punctuated what I need more pay attention to.

I’m learning still, at my old age.  Learning to learn, learning to write, write everything down, make the moment and everything in it especially at a new job my own.  New knowledge, in every step and turn.  No exaggeration.  I can’t get anywhere close to enough, here.  Of everything.  From the product I represent, to the services… how do I make this my own, I think.  The same way I did, and still do but on my own terms with wine.  Words.  Speaking.  Performing to a lesser emphasis.  Here.  Present.  My story and in my business, my business in this business, learning about the internet and why Net Neutrality is important, how I as a consumer of information is impacted.  I’m learning, and that’s my fix, that’s my addiction and story.

I still have a semester to get through, and I have to get creative tonight if I’m to grade what I have to, what remains.  What I had more than enough time to get to over the weekend but decided to instead write as I now do.  I should be eating this pizza, taking down this sparkling water, but I collect and mediate, recover on page.  Not that there’s anything to recover from.  This place, this company, everyone around me in this break room put me in a cumulonimbus composition of passion and creative… how to approach prospective buyers and how to approach the office every morning.  Writing down plans and goals for each day.  Yes, I’m doing so each day, and assessing the writer’s progress.  What I’m doing, how I grow, what I know and what I learn, how I grow from what I already know and the shapes and sequences newly-learned.  Feel like my story is only NOW truly starting… that the great consolidation of things and vignettes in my greater story only now’s noted.  Finally.  I shouldn’t say that, though.  I know.

Hunger catching me, I take a bit of the cheese pizza that I bought for the kids.  My babies, missing them this morning and driving here I thought of them and felt my soul sink, that I needed more time with them over the weekend.  But how could I have had more?  There were things scheduled, scenes already set.  Plainly, and I write this all the time, I need to wake earlier.  Last night didn’t sleep all that well, so ce soir I’m going to those sheets and pillows unusually early as I told wife.  See if I do it, and if I do hopefully it’ll trigger an early wake.  If I make a project of 4am, who knows what it’ll do.  I’m certain contribute to what I do here at the office new, this tech gem that found my story with a quickness and timeliness that very well could have saved my life, I see. In many ways.  Not just hyperbole.  I’m vocally convinced it did.

Have my eye on one of those canned coffee drinks in the shop’s fridge.  Not sure why I’m stuck on that at the moment, but I am.  I love the surroundings, here.  Do I miss the walks around the crush pad, in the tank rooms, in the cave?  Yes, I guess, but even those started to get old. They were just the same, replicated in each curve and angle, scent from barrels and tanks, cave rooms and tables.  Even my day yesterday in friend’s tasting room annoyed me, a bit.  People coming to taste wine but not really understanding them so they didn’t buy, or did but only a bottle here and there.  Thinking the next time I’m in a tasting room will be when I have my own. My own flight, offerings, when I’m pouring the wines I and/or my sister’s made.  Wine… still in head, don’t be confused. The industry though, as I’ve so many times in days recent said, put on the pages of this blog, is no more in my manuscript.  No more counting register, drying glasses, making those infernally pestering cheese plates.  No more.  Sipping what remained of that Pinot last night, and not much mind you, I thought of how just a moth ago, August 10th, I was in that room.  Behind the bar.  Pouring for people, giving tours, walking ‘round the crush pad and strolling with a joke or two cued into the lab to greet my buddy Chris… an act I do very much miss, as I loved the wine and winemaking discussions with mon ami, Mr. Chris… talking to the winemaker and asking him about growth in the vineyard.  Just under a month ago.  Time, here, flying faster than anywhere else.  More than enjoying myself, more than growth, but lesson that I need capture everything.  Note everything, and I do as there’s a lot to this new job of mine.  Field Sales Supervisor, a title which sounds rather industrial and clinical, boring and emotionless.  But its not, and certainly not how I’ll make it my own.

My pep, a strain to contain, hold or quarantine.  I’m learning too much, and not just about tech and the internet, client and customer relations, but about BUSINESS.  Am I a business blogger, now?  My knowledge need speaks from this new business I’m in.  I didn’t have this on property, certainly not behind that bar pouring down a tasting flight.  Meeting another fellow new hire after this lunch/typing session.  I know what I’m to say, then don’t.  I’ll learn from that, as well.  This is all learning. My business in this business, in this office, new, is learning, helping others learn.


Hermetic Glass

img_3291Later in day, I’m more into my new reality, less than 365 days till 40.  This is a joke, right?  I’m going to wake before wife does for her little bootcamp or mommy workout cult, or body fit.. form… whatever it’s called.  Today in the tasting room, taking shipping to base across the street then later counting inventory, not at all my favorite thing to do, has me in a mood.  Not so much a mood but how I’m going to get to where I want to be.  The same as these winemakers having their dreams of starting their own beat.

Some Cabernet from tasting room, a ’15, home with me and making me think more of wine and life and the possibility of touching what’s only to some a vision, some delusion, something to which they’d say, “Maybe you want to aim for something more realistic.” Too lazy and cranky to get up and sip more of her, so I sit here and … just sit.  Be bitter.  An old man.  39.  Then I say, “Remember what the DMV guy said.” True.  The wine industry, testing me… and quite boldly.  With no apology.  I accept.  And more motion from me such begets.

Ready for another glass… and to meditate a bit in current thought bluster and climate.  Hear the wind outside and it reminds me of the fires then I think fuck it I don’t want to think about that so I force myself to stop, and ready for next pour.  Getting messages from friend at work, whose last day is tomorrow.  Not sure how I’ll manage without him, but I will I just have to get into a more fighter sense of a writer turn.  It’s my turn, to advance in career and in my writing, books and general reality.  Day’s close, and this writer’s mind opens to stars…


The day has a voice, I suppose.  But mine’s louder, more rhymes and with more wander and beaming momentum, notice.  So, I give it notice, put it on notice, that I’m not interested in what it intends.  I decide the rhythm and the song to be played, what I recite and the pace of such.  My ways are must, necessitated and in the moment, not at all pre-meditated.  For the most part.

Today, all parts of it, scenes and Roads, need know that I’m conducting.  My voice is loving, but assertive.  And here I go…. There is no decision to be made, not that I’ve already made one.  I’m simply moving, deciding.  The notice, Monday.

On lunch break, in kitchen, thinking of what wine to open later. 

Not sipping during day.  Anticipating what wine… what wine to taste, the wine’s philosophy and language scoping my immediacy, me right here in the kitchen writing about wine, while not tasting it at all today.  Not sipping with guests, making the writer more focused, more observant, more creatively defiant in the tasting room— noting everything that everyone says.  May go back to winemakers’ kitchen and see if any coffee remains.  Care less if it’s cold.  I really don’t care.  You should see how speedy the fingers gallop and pervasively prance on the black keys of this laptop that sits atop a stainless steel island counter.  I snack on leftover snacks from a private tasting group from last weekend.  Women who graduated from Harvard business school or something, all living in Bay Area.  Nice group.  Didn’t much touch the food component.  Boon for me, and this sitting.  The island surface is a bit higher than a normal desktop surface, at which I can only make jokes in my head, like I’m sitting at a kids’ table during a family gathering, or I’ve shrunk at my old age, or I took one of my daughter’s or son’s chairs from their room with me to work and needed it for this winery, tasting room, freewrite.

Group of seven with co-worker now, dropping names telling her, my co-worker, ‘Yeah I know so and so, and they I could get this and that, and yeah I’m so happy to be here so please start giving me free shit….’ Not the first time I’ve seen this.  You just go along with it.  Me, in my pages and pages of wine, I have to laugh at the tasting room dimension and tangibility.  If you don’t, and you’re just getting into this industry or are new to it, you’ll go berserk if you don’t see everything humorously.  You have to laugh, even when you don’t have to for survival.  Like the groups or just couples, or even singular person, that take forever to get through five wines, one flight.  You notice on the first pour they took a while, then wait to see it the same happens with wine #2.  It does, so you pour a little less for 3, and it doesn’t help.  Then, at end, they buy nothing.  What were they looking for, you have to ask.  And if they were taking notes, what do they do with them.  I mean, I’m a writer, and I don’t write that much when at the bar, when someone’s hosting me.  I take abbreviated captures, and develop later if I warrant.

Can hear the group out there. Guess the wind made them escape to the Room.  Feel bad for co-worker, Brittany.  Should have waited to take this literary lunch till after they broke from property.  Well, I’m here, in the kitchen, at the winery, dreaming of wine I’ll after work sip and scribble about, note in which ever journal I can on my hands get.  Just heard one of them say, “This is a more greasy Chardonnay, is it not?”, in a thick and somewhat slow, congealed British speech.  How many wineries have they been to before this one?  Should clock in early, help her behind bar, get them out of here.  And if you’re in the industry, and you have groups that show up unannounced and start name-dropping and just want a “revisit” of this one and that one and then the other wine again, you can’t wait for them to file out and get the fuck back into their cars.

Going back out there.  Eat the rest of the cheese, hazelnuts, olives… gone.

But, coffee first.

a thousand wines project


img_2346Forever with Pinot in a slow poem throw.  This bottle, no aside.  Altogether continuous and contiguous with my chase of Burgundy… light but not passive, and formidable, in no way invasive or overstepping.  This character shows and tells what Santa Lucia Highlands holds and is bold enough to play for us.  Each sip a new track and in each track a new octave set and key colony.  Light and beat-driven, with its separatist raspberry steps and solicitous clefs.  A Pinot to not let be disturbed.  Why pair with any food?  She’s artful, autonomously.  And she continues with her playful nots and random, light percussion.

In the tasting room earlier,

watching everyone around me. What they said about the wines and how they saw it with some dish a family member always makes, how Chardonnay would “go so good with that pasta that Amelia makes…” By myself in the room, just the observer. Now home, sipping a Pinot, Sonoma Coast, yes from Roth, taking a minute in this quiet. Home. No one around me… no jazz playing, just me and this Pinot and the syncopated pulses of verse and embracing confessions she lovingly throws at me. The shop is closer, after today. Not that I can feel it, like you might expect me to say, or even see it. It was confirmed, plainly… metaphysically cemented. Today, the tasting room and everyone walking in promised me my shop, where my family and I will elevate our story and framing of wine, our present and time, stand and story, stories.


Foley Wine Shelf, Free’d Page

IMG_2123The Foley offerings offer not just an encompassing appreciation of wine and wine life, the collective wine narrative, but a kaleidoscopic count of wine characters.  From newer additions to the beatific colony like Banshee, and Foley Sonoma (former Stryker property), as wine pursuer you have a distinguished bottle diction, across varietals and growing regions.  Foley’s palate geography is inexhaustible, and inviting to put it mildly.  What brought me to the portfolio is not just the seemingly innumerable choices I have as a consumer, but how each varietal translation and vintage conditions delivery through that interpretation makes its thesis known, felt.  Beyond mere delicious wine, each producer, but wines that influence your perspective on wine.

As a wild freewriter of wine, I’m in an unusual Xanadu.  Sometimes not sure what to do, where I start with my selection and if in my cellar and see a bottle of Roth, or Lancaster, or Four Graces, ask self “What do I do?” But Foley offers the opportunity to explore and pull from the shelf according to…. well, whatever.  The Foley portfolio encourages that expedition.  Your level of “wine knowledge” is immediately and distantly irrelevant.  What matters is you, the wine, what you enjoy sipping.  This is more than choice, offered here.  It’s a wine door never opened before.

As one from the literary world, I read a new story with each bottle, each winery.  This is my paradise, my always-hoped-for cannon.  I read and read into what I sip and learn more, become more whole and assembled, learnt as a vino bloke.  Looking out at one of the vineyards here on Chalk Hill, feeling found and grounded, my oeno-fervor compounded.  This.  Home.  Across these bottles on the counter.  Last night opening one of the Roth Pinots, and wondering what I’d open in night next.  I don’t know, but I’m with opening to select, explore and sip, scribble.


At winery,

Day 3.  08:47.  Thinking about my shop, posting Elyse piece, finally.  Who else do I want to sell?  Everyone, in a word.  Everyone has a customer, every winery had a voice and an audience.  The obvious selection is St. Francis, with my and my family’s history with them, with my sister as their winemaker.  But I want to think outside boxes, far outside boxes… Arista.  Kaz.  Whatever I want.  I don’t need permission to love the wineries I do.  So… I select one at a time.  Remain not only demand-driven but discover-driven.  I discover, as the consummate consumer, then the customer discovers something through me, my site, my shop.

On this third day, I see the why to wine.  It’s the people around you.  The occasion.  The life emphasis, the stories, the literature and recital to it all.  As I get closer to 09:00, I anticipate the day.  Who I’ll see and what they’ll say, what they’ll buy, then tell self to stop anticipating.  Take the day as it delivers itself to this writer’s self.  Wine is an entity of spontaneity.  Zut!  Why didn’t I wake self earlier, get downstairs and writer my daily 3000 wine words.  Today, it I hit.  The feel of the winery now, contrasted to yesterday’s frenzy, t he day before… teaching me.  This peace with my Coltrane tracks in the office of unoccupied cubicles and desks.

Tasting from barrel yesterday, my newly primed and titular wine hone and tone, seeing each character shifted from the day prior.  The Pinot, taking a back-step and not as communicative and voltage-intended as Friday.  Then the Zin taking my focus from my beloved AV Cab.  But, when I went back and tasted both the Zin and Cab, on lunch break, the Cab retook my posture and movement, senses.  Wine continues to teach me, situate me in this new morality and philosophy, thinking of my life and everything I’ve done and how the very event of barrel tasting reminds us to live, that time doesn’t wait—  Not only does it not wait, it wants to push us aside and keep with the sprint.  That’s why I don’t stress when the crowd spill into the tasting room, wanting one more tasting, and another, and another.  One day I’ll be so old I won’t be able to stand all day.  Huh… even now, me a runner and in fairly fit condition, I’m tested with an all day post on legs behind that counter pouring.

Have to visit the barrels again.  See what they want from me.  See what precisely they have to say.  They could say anything.  They change.  They wanted to sing different songs these last two chapters.  The quixotic envelopment of barrel tasting provokes a writer, at least a writer like me.  Wine… each of them.  New notes, new intersections, new dimensions and lessons. Wine’s embodies so much more than anything I’m discussing.  It’s a reminding symbol.  We’re here, and not for long.  So, capture everything.  Be so into the moment you don’t regard it as a moment, but something else.  Something part of you.  Didn’t expect such proficient theory from Barrel Tasting.