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.


Rant Poetry Wine


Sitting in my usual.  Corner seat before barrels tasting day 2.  Only have twenty minutes to collect so I put myself in the poet’s chair, in the student’s seat.  Using every breath and thought optimally before seeing more of the wavy verses, people who’ve been to too many spots.  But before addressing that, I explore the why.  Didn’t find a definite answer or understanding yesterday, with the first day.  Tasting from the Roth barrels and me behind the bar, seeing people only want more wine, but what I did see was the appreciation of occasion.  No, they didn’t take tasting wine from barrel with as much astuteness or attention as I would, or as I hoped they might.  But the why entails a love for the moment.  A direction to the wined direction.  I love wine just for this just for what I saw yesterday, even the over-sippers, and there were a few— more than I anticipated there’d be, truthfully.  The why professes in the tasting room, at the barrel, in wine’s magnetism to bring people somewhere.  How much they sip and how seriously they take it is irrelevant, frankly.  Wine tells people to go somewhere, and the people go to be around other characters similar.  That’s poetic, that’s musical, theatrical and animated.  The why in wine, in barrel tasting, is in the walk up that walkway, the first barrel from which you taste.  No matter your age, college kid obnoxious or older collector serious, you’re all there concurrently.  To taste, yes.  But more so to experience.  To live, to spend that part of your life right there at that time, taste wine and do what you will with it.

Today I measure will be even more traffic-trounced than yesterday.  And yesterday was quite manageable.  Some complain about how crazy it gets and about the drunk people, the college kids and whomever else isn’t working and enjoying their day.  Not me.  As a writer, I take it all in and inventory and deconstruct the stage.  People all around me at one point, and person working bar with me left to do something, I think clean up broken glass in women’s salle de bains.  I stood.  I poured.  I talked to everyone, this one kid in particular that wanted to get something sweet for his girlfriend.  I told him we didn’t have any sweet wine. He then posed what I thought was the sweetest tasting.  Said the Pinot Gris.  He agreed.  He bought and thanked me for my time, and for being so patient with him when it was him moving in patient perambulation with me.  I could tell he was affected by the juice, but I didn’t act any differently or ask if he was okay, or offer him water which I probably should have, back-looking.

Before Day 2 launches, and I’m here and there and everywhere with a bottle in my hand, surveying the people on counter’s opposing terrain, I look out the window at my right, see rain, and breathe.  Today will test me, all of us.  But I take it in differently being the wine journalist, writer, diarist.  I’m in the wine industry, for my thirteenth year, and still see Newness from how people drink to how they talk before and after having too much, to what I say to myself while talking to them.  Having the dualistic dialogue.  All around wine.  The wine is the why.  Wine is its own poetic aesthetic, but as well its own psychoanalytic momentum.  College English, Literature Instructor in wine’s rooms, noting everything.  That’s my why, blended with wine’s.


a thousand wines project



A syncopated scene-stepper with savory rhetoric and abnormally attractive palate math.  She flies in with that charcoal charm and chocolate-tuned geography, jazz from one minute to next before transmogrifying into atmospheric and ambient space, sound, texture yes… but stare.  Her glare proves formidably but not forcefully.

All a rhythmic Durif sea, indeed.  Eased beat as I head nod to said soft lot and I’m caught.  She has me taken and taught, shaken and lost.  More bright with an additional swirl, glass tango and at an angle.  Pour more amour… What I needed at day’s close.


Morning, early, finishing article, or one of my ‘wild writes’, and now have to dive into grading papers.  The part of teaching I enjoy least, do know.  But I have to do it.  I will, in my won and own way, not some perception of how papers are to be “graded”.  Ugh… and anymore, I hate that.  Grading papers, students being evaluated and told how good or bad, how strong or weak they are.

One minute left for me to be free in this write, in this morning… exercising my rights as a wild writer, or wine and self-education… seeing everything different this morning, and it’s from waking and not just going back to bed.  Can’t thank the universe, the Story, enough for making me awake stay.



Go to war for your SHOP!!!!!!!!  Just wrote in my notepad, now back into an hour for me, to write freely, about business and life and how now is one of those times where I just want my own office.  In the shop, so I don’t have to sit next to two ladies speaking loudly to each other about family drama and all their projects.  Guess I do something somewhat similar on the blogs from time to time, but… yes, here I am and this is what’s taking place.  Overthinking…not doing it today.  My pages continue to get wilder and wilder, and I only see myself in travel, traveling everywhere for and with wine.

Now, another piece about to be finished.  What was it about this morning that made me decide to get up from bed, go turn on the coffee machine and just get to it… me, my brand and company.. the wild wine writer and wild writer in principle practice.  The music in this Starbucks is loud, and annoying me.  Then, a cramp in my right forearm… am I getting carpel?  No.. that’s in the hands, right?  I think of all the injuries sustained on the crush pad by production staff, and out in the vineyard.  I sound like a baby, but I have to deliver to page what’s happening now.

Have to use restroom, not even halfway into my mocha, but don’t want to surrender my spot.  Interrupted by call but I keep writing…. But, no blenching.  No wavering or questioning self, wondering if what I’m doing with my writing, be it about wine or education, is “right”.  The morning just goes further into its count, and I rival its energy and moment as I did right when I woke.  In the shop, I see myself pouring wine for visitors from another country, but even before pouring I explain the intention of the shop, my intentions with wine, briefly, and what I hope they leave with beyond mere bottle purchases.  The shop represents consolidation, positive persistence through life, and work.  Work, not just what you do but who you are.  Not just living in passion and doing your passion for work, but the denotative and connotative immediacy of passion.  Love.  Happiness.

Today, Parfait

…and I was relieved to find I wasn’t bothering him on any account.  If he were busy, I wouldn’t have tasted but more than likely just walked around the estate and shot videos, taken pictures, just made the moment my own which was, and still is now at 13:36, the point of this day, specifically.

3 bottles from Arista, and 6 from Porter, as Jonathan sweetly insisted I take a couple bottles home to study, kind chap.  So now I’m here, collecting, trying to get to everything in the writing routine I typed up for self either yesterday or the day before…day before, that’s right, at school, between classes. Was about to take a nap but told self ‘Don’t you fucking dare.’ Brewed one of my cinnamon-flavored k-cups, the cinnamon dolce latte option I picked up from the store.  Again, the other day…. This cup type I’ve found has more a boosting and jolting quality that the other choices I usually choose.  So I’m awake, writing, creating, thinking of what wine I’ll tonight taste.  Opened a Chateau St. Jean Pinot last night.  Was alright, I guess.  Didn’t disclose the same volume and charming beat as when I first met it a couple weeks ago in the CSJ tasting room.  But that’s wine.. it changes, as we do.  I’m different today.  I am.  I wanted a break, a ME-day, a day to be perfect or as close to perfect as plausible.

In cette journée parfaite (this perfect day), I’m keeping myself moving, take several small breaks rather than one large where I just take a nap… that would do nothing for me, for my story, for my writings about wine and the two winery visits I just had.  In such a wine mood and mode right now that I’m tempted to have a small glass following this coffee.  Of course I won’t, but wine is everywhere in my thinking. Not the wine itself so much as the vineyards, what I felt walking into Arista’s TR…

If you’re new to the tasting room…

Was joking earlier about people that buy Sauvignon Blanc.  Essentially implying they’re cheap.  I was joking, mind you, but I’ve heard others do this, and seriously, and not just with SB, but other varietals and definitively judging their buyers and not building the relationship.  Wine selling and marketing is about relationships more than most fields, and more than most hospitality and lifestyle dimensions.  If you’re new to the tasting room, never put the people visiting into any category in your head.  Just let them approach the bar, welcome them in, build the relationship, and do so simply.  In this building act, you have to be pragmatic… not too much information at one time, ask them about their wine affinities and proclivities, and learn about them as people before you accrue knowledge of their wine consumer patterns.

There is a science, I guess you could say, to selling wine, then you could say it’s just human interaction, and practice of kindness.  No, not every person you’re kind to is going to buy wine.  But, a relationship wick has been lit.  Whenever I go tasting, which is infrequent at best, anymore, I just want was conversation and wines with some innovative direction to them.  And if I don’t buy, I’d hope the tone of the character on the opposite side of the bar wouldn’t change.  If I buy Sauv Blanc instead of your $80 Cab or red blend, don’t be upset.  Be happy I bought, and start with the initial interaction, build from there.

For those who’ve worked in a tasting room for a long time, like this writer, you see a lot of things, several interaction types and tones.  One thing I can’t deal with anymore is that judgement.  That’ why I was only joking earlier, and I say in my joke, “…wow, big spender…” Again, JOKING.  I have a new client, and contact, and who knows where that’ll go.  I only have reasons to be optimistic.  They bought.  That’s what I want.  They’ll  be shipped the bottles they want, and that’s what I want even more dominantly.  If you’re new to the tasting room, to selling wine, focus on the people more than the wine, selling the wine.  Just build, and you’ll be more than fine.  You’ll be prosperously profitable.

a thousand wines project


A universal style of Zinfandel. More communicative and with composition, and no shock from this bastion of a wine temple. Herbal stomps fixed within the voltage-readied berry vortex… in sip, and I just try not to think, honestly. End of day, perfect Zin interpretation with which I just collect and relax and think only about the moment itself. Right now. This is a bottle of pronounced literary quality and whimsy. As she intones more quixotic vocal I lean into chair and think further into this character’s air.

On floor, thinking of what she’s saying now to me. I have no idea, frankly, other than into a Zin as I am. This was the only bottle of a Zinfandel in my vault. And she decides my scope, senses and sitting. More mint and damp deep-forest stone make more visible and connected to message and thesis. There’s nothing left to interpret. Her pages in sips transcend clarity and sensory pulse.