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.

inward jot

A cemetery on the grounds… an amazing vineyard walk at new property, actually more than one… selling four cases to a couple from the South Bay, people with whom I spent a lot of time, talking about everything from the Peninsula where I grew up, the drive up to Ridge Winery in the Cupertino hills… the views… walking around on the grass just realizing where I am and the new wine story ahead of me…. And, of course, dinner tonight at a soft opening of a restaurant owned by the family that owns this new winery for me…. I’m reflective, contemplative, measured.  Sitting on the floor in the home office, realizing more my current reality and its currency, how I didn’t really write all day, just took notes and shot some still pics and videos with phone (which could later be translated into pages), the writer echoes inwardly, more, telling himself to not stress about times where he can’t write.  Like with dinner this evening with these new co-workers of mine— would I have rather been writing while at the table with them or enjoying their company, the various bottles opened, all the new plates put before us… the oysters, that squid, the burrata, the burger I elected then the desserts, my French Press coffee.  As writers we have to let the moment pervade and land, we study, then paginate later.

Dishwasher in kitchen, I take a break from my types to look at my photo’d record of the day.. wines, views, cemetery, food, friends— new co-worker’s birthday, mine ten days from now.  38.  Have to not think so much about writing and who I write about, and when I write, and WHAT about— just fucking write.  Right?  Tannat open, glass in kitchen and not by me so I can drink slower, and less, focus more on the page and my book.  Hoping to wake early, but just a hope.. but I hope not that it’s jut a hope.  Make it not just a hope, Mike.  And yes, the ‘NO WINE’ lament isn’t going to work, not now anyway.  I need to study wine, react to wine’s character, narrate it as I told that man and his wife at day’s end.  Tangled in my musings, that I’m not even sure are mine anymore but more possessions of the elements around me catalyzing them, if that makes sense.  My sensibilities caution me, against me.. this overly tenacious Self that wants everything and everything in the same timedrop, plated pretty like those oysters and that colorful and cubist burrata.

The stroll around the cemetery with Nic early warned me, reminded me, that this isn’t always.  That the morrow is anything but assured.  That all frames and standalone moment-pieces need be appreciated and examined and written about—  “That’s a lot of work.” Someone might say.  “Exactly.” I return.  That’s why I’m here.  Now, I can have a Tannat lot.  And after that what?  What do you mean, “What?” Whatever the moment is is what’s to be written.  There’s nothing of null gravity.

Palooza Call

img_1088Had a beer here in the loft.  Only one.  Then… some food.  Thinking one of Jeff’s crazy inventive salads.  Today, Friday, so I’m quite confident I deserve it.  This will always be my favorite spot, my favorite writing spot, yes, but MY spot.  Palooza… and forget about it being a “writing spot”.  It’s my centricity for meditation.  This loft, and yes the writing has a lot to do with it, but now for example— the reggae playing, no one up here with me… just a place to inventory.

Ordered the Farmhouse Salad, no blue cheese anything for me, sub in thousand island, and smoked chicken.  This spot is tangibly positive, immeasurably inspired and inspiring, about expanding and changing stories with beneficially bolstering momentums.  This loft is an escape for me, something elevating and reassuring, that you can have whatever you want from life.  It’s as simple and direct as ordering something from a menu.  Palooza, which infers endless party, is the bridge of fantasy and reality, a certain postmodern unionization of ideal and real for this writer.  Creative corner in this loft…. As Jeff reinvented himself, I self-actuate, the like enact.  This place, my place, where I used to escape on lunches when I worked at a nearby winery, miserable in a tasting room, I’d come here to re-assemble self and my spiritual and creatively sensible fortitude.

And this all started from a hot dog cart.  Now, my friends have a restaurant going on their third year of operation, serving everything from hot dogs to artisanal burgers, pastas and steaks, to a salad so unique that you’ll be photographing it longer than lifting it to palate.  This’ll be only one of many ode notes to my place, to this loft, to this long table by the pool table and empty beer kegs.  This is not a ‘once’, this is a life, a scribe sage, a stratospheric stack of Composition Books.  I’ll keep my life, my party, here, going, actuated and animated.

Pinot notes:

Delusionally delicious in nose– rose, cherry, cinnamon, mint

Full palate but demonstrating restraint and animation.. damp soil, milk chocolate, mint, slight meat and toffee 


Loving, rhythmic, singing, jazzy and feminine 


wine sketchez

A Pinot purity of wine music you won’t often palate–  Universal while not being that pushover Pinot that so many expect.  Formidable and confident, ardent while concurrently maintaining a poetic femininity, soft and symphonious.  What others would call “light-bodied”, I dub ‘charming and instructional’.  Just the first sip had the writer jovial, thinking of sipping it on a New York hotel balcony somewhere in Manhattan, looking down at the traffic thinking about my life in wine and with wine, why I live in Sonoma County and why I can’t wait to get back–  Why I love Russian River as I do, Pinot as I do.  St. Francis, known to more than a few as the “house of big reds” demonstrates through the alchemical astute and angelically innovative winemaker with her unwavering intent on varietal translation and expansiveness, decides another direction for the Burgundian voice that all sippers can hear and speak, have connection with.  Taking another sip, when I know I should be finishing another article I have due…  I assume its subtle intonation and edge.  It has me space-bound and terrestrially sound at the same time.  One of my favorite sketched wines, so far, easily.  Writing this in the year I turn 38 and St. Francis’ RRV Pinot has me with a pugilistic tilt, like I can take on the wine indistry with subtlety and not image or luxury-obsessed pretension.  This bottle speaks to everyone loving wine, and everyone loving a truly Human wined frame like Sonoma County, like Russian River, like St. Francis.  Like a movie I had always hoped to see, on that changed my consciousness, and I finally viewed it, kind of by chance and some from gift result (parents getting me a bottle, sister the winemaker), but I’m being objective, I swear.  I’m already on my “next trip”.  Don’t worry.  Don’t worry about my relationship with wine and my county.  MY county.  Sonoma.  Not “the other county”, as they say.  They’re only a they, and they need us for comparison, for self-state stature.  But there is no mirroring.  Especially when you sip Sonoma County wines like this.  Nowhere near amiss.

wine sketchez

img_9620This  is more of a revisit, I’ll be frank.  Had this bottle from one of my favorite producers several times, and with this interaction I had much more cherry and smoky vanilla–  The wine wanted to be more animated this time ’round, with more jazz about its approach and mid.  Talking to me with new and renewed dialect.  Soft, sensuous, and I know that sounds a bit trite but this visit screamed melody, music, and a lovely loudness.  I hear what people say about Merlot, and when you taste a bottle like this it’s clear that such a perception and conception is wrong.  Well, not many produce Merlot as well as Sbragia, and again that’s just wine-zoomed frankness from the writer, but last night’s connection to this bottle wrote a sovereign chapter.  Have a little bit left in the bottle on the counter at home.  Can’t wait till I’m off work, for glass 3.