a thousand wines project


This offering is everything that’s hoped for after a long day, with a gently pervasive douse of refinement and artful angle.  A blend that has a collective identity while all the contributing voices in the symphony are heard, punctuated and sung with such suave view that you can only sit bewitched.  The roundness of the Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Tannat taking a visual and sensory lead while not eclipsing the notes of the other instruments.  It’s own mobile mode of jazz, a decision of cosmic expression and dimensional echo.

This one, I sipped while in the kitchen, after a day at work and thought of my time in wine, why blends like this not only stay with me and haunt in thought, but contribute to my character blend, my moods and moments, intentions and dreams.  Pepper of the Syrah more visible with the room’s ambient into its molecules and being.  And me, standing there, against the island counter, more composed, reflective, grateful to my vino family at K&L Wines for plating this existential intersection for the writer…


Beatifically Mad Again

This morning, oh this morning with my little technology skirmish and remembering last night with Mom and Dad and the wines we opened and surveyed, Dad speaking of the Devil Proof Malbec as one of if not the best wine I’ve ever put before him.  And those are the the caliber wines I hope to soon make for my admirers– or not even those admiring my writing or wines, just those lending me their time to taste and interact with my efforts.  Feel like I’ve already had too much coffee this morning but the Beat brews himself another cup.  This morning jotted some thoughts while Alice relaxed on the couch, stretching out her legs rubbing her stomach communicating gently but intently with little Emma, Jack running around with his lucky rock and a quarter– “Wine from removed objective, perspective; which includes no sipping, small or significant, nothing, taking a full step back and simply observing; the sippers and their questions, their trips and their planned tastings, how they talk to each other at the bar and how they wish they could stay out here just one more day, not go back to work and how if only they could win the lotto and move out here, just drink wine and eat wonderfully like that’s all the people of Healdsburg and Sonoma County do.” So many visions and entertainments cognitively and analytically yesterday in the Sanglier tasting room and more today to be sure, from talking about the wines or just watching people pass the tasting room, not wanting to come in for whatever reason.  Wine and my relationship with it, my “end game”, making my writings more “evergreen” as Sean the editor put it.  I’m changing I realize as a character, a precise beatific remolding of my mold and manuscript from day to day, questions and answers, submissions of assignments to myself and my readers, and one day my babies reading my work, like a student again me the writer professor whatever I’m calling my self this week.

Haven’t sipped the coffee yet, afraid to, don’t want to jitter with too much jolt to be sure, or unsure, who’s really sure of what they want and how they see themselves in 10 years.. me, 46, is that even possible?  Time will have its way and victory and I loathe it for that in so many tactical ways–  There, sip 1, small and polite, not too loud.  The mornings I’d spend in the Kenwood market parking lot or the overflow lot at the old winery, in my head now thinking of how that seems like a far forever ago but I’m here now in my home office listening to Hutcherson’s tunes as I do, like I did then before work, with one of those breakfast burritos and sparkling waters or Dr. Peppers, venomizing my words and thoughts toward that place and why I was there at 35, with a wife and son and still in a condo– “Why don’t I have my own business yet?” I remember so many times writing and blogging and saying to myself as I’d walk through those two tall doors to the tasting room, my peace broken having to leave the quiet concentration of my car writing to be a clock-controlled bot.  But no more.. with the Autumn Walk and mikemadigancrEATive shop I have too many new beginnings, new promises and stories.  I can only be Zen, wrapped in my anti-Nietzschean melodies and scales played on this neo-underwood.  I wish.. just another piece of technology I’m dependent upon.. so badly want to write like Kerouac, with complete and vocally blazing autonomy, no device doting, but I can’t I’m in this time and at this desk, but I see the class half full.  And half is as good or glorious and completion, a heaping wave of fortune and blessings [pardon the word, if you know me and my Agnostic folding)–

So lovely writing freely this morning, with this jazz and coffee, my little notebook and nothing else.  Found an old picture of Jack yesterday or the day before of him sitting up, less that a year old, holding one of my Composition books.  Three years ago, more, and here I am how did I get here and why doesn’t time just slow down for the writer/winemaker just a little bit.  Another note from this morning: “Disgusted by pop culture music its lazy ways and instant attention and fame and praise while real writers and thinkers hurt & hunger”.  It truly does make me sick.  I have to exercise more crEATivity.  Especially with my new hostility toward academia.  Solano being the prime evidential submission, how they boast they support adjunct faculty and promote all this activism but put such poster or quasi-banners in the most unnoticed and trafficked areas.  How is that support?  And not only that, stick us in that pen, that holding cell.  I won’t let it ruin my morning– I’ll write faster and with more creative craze than any of those sweatyhog full-timers.  And what can they do?  I mean, if you truly pose that question and dissect and explore hypotheticals, you notice ‘nothing’.  They can’t touch us.  As with me, we can leave the profession and more than likely be better off.  As some full-timers may have wine or something else as a hobby or sidejob, I do the same reversed.. winemaker and writer just teaching for fun.. truly for the love of students.

I stretch and breath and love my morning even more.  Another small tilt of my coffee cup and thinking about the day of content and material in front of me I smile, for me and Jack, Ms. Alice and Ms. Emma when she arrives, just over two months ahead of now.  My little girl, sure to be immensely proud of her writer/winemaker father, rising early like farmers and winemakers during harvest, never stopping for anything or anyone.. just working and building the story as winemakers build their brand and story and explore varietals, further specializing their tone and talk and grapetrot–  MY beat intensifies this morning and me along the keyboard, pretending it’s an underwood, that I’m Kerouac, the next morning after some party or some interaction with another beat–  I want to stay at this desk all day but I know I can’t I have to be out there gathering, hunting materials and characters, those tourists that step to the bar for the first time, saying how much they love the wine, how they can’t wait for their shipment to arrive at their house, sharing the wine at a table– new thesis for me as a consumer, keep exploring; keep with the questions; forever be a student of Life and wine and writing, Literature– bring the new Kerouac novel to the tasting room, be a Kerouac– or no: more a MADIGAN.

Stretching again and letting another jazz track play before stopping and getting in shower.  In this morning’s session, nothing can hurt me– nothing, no obligation or bill or deadline, no assignment or hostile student, no client or anything.  No weather no taxes no threats, no impending El Niño.  No. Thing.  A writing session at the Oakville grocery sounds sumptuous in its own angularity today but I won’t.  I will stay behind that Sanglier bar and pretend it’s my TR, my winemaking efforts being sold and disseminated.  And what a story of Glenn, a farmer once in the corporate world, rewriting his story and having everything go as he wanted it to, how he measured– “If I told you, I’d sound arrogant,” he once said when I asked him if this is how he saw it developing, how his business and move from Texas forwarded.  And just as he saw, and how could that be seen as arrogant, his response?  Only admirable.  What he did, the “re-write” if you will, is just what I’m doing, what’s been set in motion with mmc, and the new blog– the visual approach to wine and its scenes and shots.

And like that.. onto page 3 you find me.

And for once, for once

I talk myself out of a mood before sitting down to write– and consider this wined rant very much a brainstorming about wine and selling it and through a blog, creatively– I won’t lose site of the creative compulsions but I will be aiming my Literary wheels for sales purposes, endorsing certain stories and bottles and wines I believe in.. and watch them move, move out of the tasting room or warehouse or wherever they are.  I’ve had this idea for a while now but have only lightly dabbled in it, or something like it–  But here I am this morning, tired of the semester already like you wouldn’t believe and swearing I’ll never do it again.  And I can’t.  Not with a daughter on the way.. there needs to be more singularity to my efforts and maybe I shouldn’t be putting all this out there into the whatever-sphere, but I have to have it noted, not just for you but for myself to read and re-read.

I’ll be in the shower just before 10, then to campus where I’ll quickly grade through the Kerouac papers.  Then let each section go early so I can return to this brainstorming, and I know what bottles I’ll start with.. not going to note that here but just know I know.  MY mocha tastes a bit off, odd but I’ll keep sipping.  Think.. think.. I tell myself and wonder how to do it– sell bottles from a blog.. I know I shouldn’t be taking up time here thinking how to do that.. but that’s what I want to do.  When someone buys a bottle, why do they buy it?  Yes, some for prestige or something thought that buying this bottle provides a certain image for them, like when people walk into a tasting and the first words out of their mouth are “I’m a wine club member.” Most people buy wine, I find, from identifying with it, in some way.  Yes, how it tastes, but as well where it comes from, the character imparted from the wine– and no this isn’t theory, and this isn’t imagination, this is an observed actuality.

Just had an image, fantasy of me calling in, both classes, just saying ‘fuck it’ and staying home.  I won’t, but it crossed my thinking just now, and with radiance and a bit of rancor.  Have to channel what I do, the effort I materialize, for the classes (all fucking 4 of them this term) and rack it over to the selling of wines through the blog, the ‘vvv project’.. now I see something else but I can’t note what it is entirely or even partially and not just from wanting to it secret keep but as well not wishing to douse it in any accidental hex.

9:47– nearly time to run upstairs and into that shower.  Thinking.. thinking.. more about wine and how to move it, crEATively.. just posted something on a small SB/Cab producer, something and someone (along with his biz partner) that I’ve written about before.. nice story and website, and winemaking style, a little more grit and varietal character than I think most American consumers are used to.  Which I like.  Which is why I would love to sell their bottles on the new blog–  Now the ideas fall like determined rain, precipitate piously…

El Work (coffee talking)

Cup 2, earlier this morning.
Cup 2, earlier this morning.

Waking this morning to be in the Kick Ranch vineyard, to shoot and blog and write about the pick– but no one there.  Glenn held up at another site and me driving around Kick looking for him.  No blame, no blame at all!  In fact, at one point I was quite lost and turned around in that pitch black stage and somehow finding my way out.  Proud of myself for solving that little vine block puzzle.  Not sure how, only time I’ve been out there with him is during day hours.  But what a world and dark universe, stage it is out there by yourself; no light and only random animals running ‘round you and across the road.  Jack rabbits, bobcat (saw 1), skunk (saw 2).  One rabbit, not at all afraid of my Passat creeping by.

So, I went back to sleep when again home, surprising Alice I was back so early, and thankfully not waking little Kerouac.  Just before sitting to these keys I thought about and nearly overdwelled on how tired I was, am.  But I wouldn’t let it stop me and I can’t as this Thelonious song plays, “Work”, he tells me something through his notes and rhythms and I can hear Beat writers past telling me to keep playing, keep writing, write till you find IT.  I’ll get in the shower around 10, then head to Petaluma for my 12PM meeting, then to the crush pad to meet up with Glenn and film more of whatever I can from the ’15 lenses.  Wine in everything in my thoughts.. and I do want to, if I can, get by Cellars of Sonoma to taste a bit and add to compiling content for the startup.. and individual pages today, clean the desk’s top, and organize further.. sooner than soon I’ll be in the office and I can’t let the overload or apparent deluge of content and to-do’s muffle or mute me or my progress.

Cup 3 at left, haven’t taken a sip, not yet.  More thoughts of selling wine creatively through the blog and through other crEATive streams.  And then my creative works, for ‘Mike Madigan, Author’, no forgetting that.  In fact, last night after the students at Mendo left I remained in the classroom taking advantage of the quiet and odd scene of the empty space and only me there still in my teaching position, sitting on the desk at class’ helm, one foot on ground and the other on the desk’s lower support bar.  And just wrote.  Week 5, done.  So now we see real progress into Time and what it put on a plate for me to work and suffer and write through.

Writings on wine.. the types I love and the types I avoid, and how to “analyze” wine or think about it– no, shouldn’t be a ‘how-to’ for any of it, I don’t think.  That’d be like someone telling me how should be listening to and appreciating this jazz.  Ridiculous.  Wine is music and it is a voice, a conversation between palate and flavored pulse.  It’s always yours and you should think of it and remember it so.