me wine

IMG_0297Every person I saw this weekend had, has, a story.  I only learned a couple of them.  College students taking a break to taste wine, many of them to excess, but others coming to learn of new releases, wines in barrels and in their crucial developmental steps and crawls, skips and blips.  I’m fine with not knowing hardly any of the stories, I just appreciate the nearness of those characters I didn’t know, with glass in hand and walking around seeing what else they could taste, talking to me often asking what my favorites are.  Seriocomic, the whole progression.  Both ethos and pathos, in a cup, for me and them to sip.  My story, the academic in a tasting room pouring wines and talking of them as I do, and here this morning collecting whatever energy I have to write, write my day and story, from wine to the classroom and back.

Enough of my tzimmes.  Into my paper, on wine and its essay-like posture, and delivery if successful.  Or maybe not “successful”, but composed, assembled and narrating clearly its character and general figure and gravity.  Wine has always presented itself to me as a literary and thought-lit entity.  I collect this morning knowing what I am, a professor or teacher in wine’s world.  Should have followed my sister-in-law’s advice a long time ago, about blogging about wine, solely, from my literary groundings.  Me, wine, a story, right here this morning listening to my jazz and drinking what’s left of the 4-shot mocha.

Truth.  Finding truth in what I saw this weekend, the younger college students and the older wine-walkers that keep adding to their cellar and laying down wines for some occasion, not even sure they know.  Time punctuated in the days three past.  Tasting from a barrel, where the wine is at this time.  Then in later-time in bottle, then on a table or counter, in glass, drank, gone.  Like us.


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.


Headed to Somm-dom

Me.  Wine.  All days and ways.  A lovely stray.

And yes, I would say “officially”. For a number of reasons. Appeasing my hunger and addiction to wine knowledge and education, my principle pillar of learning-love, but just as well a curiosity to see how far I get with it.

First act, as I noted earlier, somewhere, in one of my wine notebooks, is to read every single thing I can about wine. And take so many notes I get lost in and into them. Tasted only a couple wines today, from winery. Pinot and both Cabs. Neither said anything new to me, then my co-worker, Charity, whose name often has a pun and happenstance-honed communicativeness, told me a wine shipment for me arrived. I became giddy, elated, childlike. My first K&L wine order, here… I took each bottle out, and just gawked. Breathed. This is where it starts, I said to myself. Everything is about wine, my personal brand, if you’d call it that, but definitely MY wine story. This is where I fervently know it begins, gets launched into a new composition and character, cosmos… each minuscule breath and motion, all for wine. When teaching, how I share ideas about whatever we’re reading, like I’m doing a pouring in the TR, or offsite. Encourage people to trust their senses, palates, thoughts, that initial reaction. And if you don’t like it after the first sip, let it rest, open, taste again.

Tempted to try another of the K&L wines. But won’t. The goal is to study, build my collection. Maybe even sell a bottle or two, or more. Wine is speaking to me today, and quite directly. Singularity… write about wine, sell through the writing, sommelier steps and my eventual shop. In the kitchen eating some brie cheese and crackers, little jar of tomato ginger jam. Thoughts… all wined. Know what I’m tasting when I get back out to the room. Everything. And each bottle will be noted, have its own notes which I’ll study… Sturdy and sequenced in my studies. And I won’t tire. I can’t. Not where I am in the story.

Wine Industry Maintenant

Lady from South Africa doing a tasting, her husband just observing, walking around the room and looking at the walls, rotating photos on the screen, then the shirts trying to find one that fit him. While tasting, this vocal and particular wife, she let me know that certain Pinots agitated her, that they weren’t for her, that they just didn’t speak to her or appeal to her. I’ll write more on this later, but the tasting room dimension and personality, collectively, tells me to go further, as far as I can into the wine industry’s grip and sound– the music of it all. When I poured her my favorite, the AV single-vineyard Cabernet I saw her eyebrows go sky high, elevate with intrigue and impression, space-stare and wonder.

Now on break, in kitchen, leaning against a steel island table and looking at what I type next to an empty glass rack. Those that get disenchanted with the industry have the wrong scope, sensibility. See it as yours. Right now is my topic, here in this kitchen and when out there with the S.A. woman.

I’ve tried a couple of the wine’s today, but not many. Have the Cabernet tasting across the street later, and I know that woman’s voice will be in my ears and thinking, what I see and next to me in the next chair even if someone’s sitting there. What will happen up there, I think looking down at my lunch which embodies a couple crackers and some port mustard I the other day bought with points accumulated. Looking at water jugs…. should drink water before going up there, hydrate, tasting’s had fucking work, oui? Another cracker… need eat. Hear more people walk into the tasting room and express their assessments so everyone in the world can hear. Lovely.