No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.

Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.

Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.

I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.


img_1712Just finished a short story.  Who knows what I’ll do with it.  Probably post to blog, or print, I don’t know.  But today, is going to be that awesome day.  Without fixating and over-promising, I see the winemaker character.  My sister to start, the guys downstairs, and am more eager to write them.  Inventorying barrels and conducting blending trials, tastings of different lots, walking vineyards to measure and manage growth, anticipate yield… the loud music they play on the crush pad.  I do want to write wine, and I will, but I want to write them.  These people making the wine, hopefully one day soon having my own label like Ed, my character in this morning’s piece.  Invitation only…. Not to be snobby or “exclusive”, and I hate that fucking word, but just to have a hobby that more or less pays for itself.

Harvest coming closer with every day I’m here, that we’re all here.  The fruit out there will be part of this facility and crushed and everything about the structure changes.  I will change, the moods will change.  More to write and photograph… should get out to the vineyards quick, before the day starts.  Now 09:03.  Writing the winemaker, winemaking… cleaning all the equipment before August, arranging barrels, cleaning the bins, more loud sounds, topping all the barrels with wine already residing, sulfuring, then preparing for the first fruit landing.

Should seriously consider taking part of today, off.  Go tasting somewhere I either haven’t or somewhere I haven’t visited in some time.  I need more newness… so go get it, I tell myself, nearly yelling at self in this cubicle.  Wine, making it, watching wine take shape and being in the lab to monitor each of its advances, unexpected changes and declines.  Wine will always mystify me but more than that educate me on me and why I’m here, why I deal with so much of this industry nonsense, departments feuding with each other and so many rumors and people talking about others when they should be taking inward considerations.  Wine doesn’t care.  The vines don’t care.  They do their respective doings.  The vines produce their clusters that reflect weather and vintage conditions, year after year.  And the wine lives, changes and shows new signs and sings notes new that we’ve never before heard as she furthers into time’s appellation.

Co-worker telling me she’ll be in a little later, so I have time to self in TR and can taste through wines and note in my Burgundy Journal what’s to me said… I’m looking for new language in wine, today, for sakes of one day making my own wine again but just getting to know her, wine, better.  More intimacy with what I sip and what I do every day I’m alive, now.  Last night sipping that blend and she saying more to me than in past visits, past interactions and conversations with that particular bottle.  09:16… just want to write wine all day.  And that’s what I’ll do.  What will they do, fire me?  I’m the last one left.. my wine diary assumes a more aggressive missive and meaning, intention and electrical edifice.

Opened something I shouldn’t have, but who’s to say I shouldn’t. 

img_5540I was in the mood, I was curious, I know what I wanted and the bottle was opened.  Just took first sip.  This month, I finish the re-write.  The re-organization of certain story attributes.  The wine agrees.  She tells her truths in rhythmic and rhymed roads, and I follow, wanting to taste more wines… project, now, build cellar.  Write about every wine I taste, even if I’ve tasted it a thousand or so times like the Roth offerings.  After tonight’s dinner with family, only sipping that Sbragia SB I know I need to taste more, more wines.. tomorrow with wife in Healdsburg, the J Winery in whatever town that is… I’ll buy pragmatically.  One bottle for cellar, one for immediate, or proximal greeting.

House quiet, babies asleep, perfect for this bottle.  Not sure why I felt guilty opening her, but I don’t any longer.  With the visuals of travel in my sights, more necessitations of exploration deconstruction of certain oeno-universes mandate themselves on page.  I look right at glass, swirl a coulee times, not too forcefully, and wonder what the wine says, thinks of me, wants to say, would have been in five or ten years later had I not.

When you see wine as life.  As life taking place. 


From formative stages and obvious metaphor for everything around you, remind you that Now is the Now to leap upon with eagerness, near-anger, certitude that you are the only YOU to pursue.  Grapes after crush promising story, of the year and the crush pad, and of you observing it, all of it.

Grapes with their color and hue, voice and texture.  I reach in and grab one, chew, spit out  only seeds.  The juice wraps itself around me, for my story and sight… a poetry re-written and thought.  I entrance in the grapes and juice, want to touch but don’t.  Don’t want the color to change even slightly so I take a step back and hear her notes.


Alone in room, quiet, no immediate to-do’s. Well I guess maybe there are but I’m not ready for them. Been in a tasting room in some capacity, with some regularity since 2006. Wine has given and taken from my story. Not sure which is more… doesn’t matter. Last night I had some Cabernet, from a winery I’ve long-respected, and worked at for a brief time in 2010. Made me think of my age, of course, and where I am, what I’m doing… poetry…. music…. teaching…. everything I do. All interests. I know I should be opening inventory cages, setting up for a tasting tomorrow in our cave, but I’m taking a me moment. Here. In the tasting room. Taking another taste of my story and the room. No one aspires to the tasting room. It’s where you start, where you enter the industry. So why the fuck am I still here? I’m making it work for me. Tasting room thoughts and diary images compiled and when out, whenever that is, I’ll speak reality about wine and it’s industry, and how for me writing about wine isn’t tied to wine at all. All these tasting rooms have ordered me away from wine, to write more on the blog, put out books, sell them, be free. So now, doing. No more dreaming. Doing, no more dreaming. No dreaming even though my dreams dominate me and I’m terrified of not attaining them, reaching my There. But this Room, this morning, warms me– Act now, or you’ll be kept.



Day off.

With son.

He’s going to show me things today… teach me, I’m sure. Quiet house with coffee, thoughts, visions, and frustrations… why am I typing on this phone, again?

Enough. Done.

Comparison– the winemaker that’s in the vineyard as much as in the lab, on the crush pad, tasting. Then, the writer who only types and the other who had colonies of overwhelming towers of filled notebooks.

Got it.


When people started seeing me as a wine-somebody, I

img_0556remember wife and I, then girlfriend, or actually fiancé, out to dinner with her sister Jen and Jim, Jen’s husband.  We ordered a bottle of something red and I specifically recall Jen and Jim motioning to the waiter, Rich, when he brought the bottle over and opened it that I try it first.  With that head motion, barely seen forehead jerk, as if to say “Let him…” I thought, why me, but then I understood, and liked what I saw and understood, how I was seen as an interpreter, a decoder, a de-myriad-ing reader of wine.  Huh.  And I still think, and want to feel that, “Huh.”

Maybe it’s an ego thing, maybe it’s not, but I self-realize and actuate in that people at the very least are interested in my opinion on wine, wines at the table.  And that’s all it is, an opinion.  I’m just crazy enough to write and blog and circulate my wine opinion.

tasting notes

img_1283Wine, today and all days.  For interpretive concerns, what I’m to do contra what not.  The day, pushing me lovingly into more inwardly directed narrative, and what the vineyard will look like today, the new life therein and about, me with my verses walking between rows, seeing thoughts and life, new life, promises and books, pages and narrations, short stories and even just in-the-moment jots in each would-be cluster.


With only 20 minutes or so left to self, to write here in the Brooks Rd. coffee spot as I try to do as much as able, I see my book taking shape, reading the final draft to some bottle that you save, or are “supposed” to lay down.  Know what I’m opening tonight, with Mom and Dad, know what this short piece is supposed to say, what I’m to say with in class tomorrow, on the Road, with mad delight and positive pulse, vibes and yay-saying lean, embrace.  My thoughts become ideas, as I wrote yesterday in the meeting while the one holding it just went on and on about procedures, and new practices at the wineries to generate sales… and I say that not to mock the gentleman, but to credit him, loudly, and with paginated envy.  He and I see wine differently.  He, a business and management bloke while this writer is doing cartwheels and butterfly strokes in thought and wild wine musings, speaking in verse and music, like a random and erratic Coltrane track…. Ideas and thoughts, action and character growth.  All I can taste in the glass, last night with wife, having an inspiring dinner in home after going out for drinks and an appetizer down the Road from our Autumn Walk studio. 

This story is more than wine, more than human life, more than thought.  It’s……..


lunch wine page

img_3553Wine calls me back.  Back to work.  Back to exploration of its lively and ontological, thoughtful throws and beyond and simplistic sentences one wine critic or self-assessing “expert” may echo.  Wine sipped earlier, older Pinot, ’13, telling more vintage story than the vintages bottled that it surround.. charisma and charm and stellar voice from its paragraph map.  Wine… she orders me back to my wild types, tells me to not separate then to separate, consolidate with thoughts and ideas, theses, then be tangential.  Telling me to exact in wild prose while being demonstrative of centeredness and collection.

A Saturday in the tasting room, scattered and frantic, fanatical and not allowing even second-long sabbatical in thought, attention, holds me, allows wine to convert me further, convey her instance, insistence.  In the office now with laptop for lunch, but with mind in the glass, in the Silver Oak I opened the other night, what I might open tonight and jot a few jots, fly inwardly with my wine wildness, be on the Road soon speaking to whomever about wine and how it’s influenced my prose and appreciate of life, how I tell my story and how imperative and integral, intrinsically immediate she is in my day-to-day.  And this day, more than others, wine to me speaks, sings, tells me not to be tackled by complacency’s tempt, to be a bull with my wined pages, to scribble tireless in the tasting room while these tourist talk in their talks, speak about the wine and give me that “Oh can you imagine this with…” Love that.  That’s what I want.  More life and more Nowness of it all— the stage that wine sets for me, she knows what I need for this book, for the other, and the other which is verse-laden meaning many are scribbled after glass 2, 3, more?  I’m in my proverbial and utter Beatnikedness, phantasmagorically forced me from dormancy.

Cabernet, Pinot, even the Pinot Gris today speaking to me as I took a couple shots of theimg_3552 bottles on bar— she tells me to try everything, consolidate and blend all steps and scenes of my writing and teaching life.  It’s all wined, in one find or ‘nother… beatific muster of memories when I first started in this industry, pouring beyond St. Francis’ long, aircraft carrier-length counter… pages and page, me life then and now me now in this Now, older and seeing more in my writing and when wine constricts me in her intended realization that there are more atmospheres and theses to offer, see and study.  This office isn’t an office and this winery not such but a mediative and collecting center for my bottled sight, this bottled ox, more set and sown to his pages.  She has me, again.  And more than in other entries, posts and pages.  She tells me to laugh, not be systemized… to defy and re-try, re-write, release everything.. from the odd wordings of what people taste to the notes to me disclosed when glass is lifted to lips, when she me has in kiss…

15 minutes left in break, and I already taste the first offering of tonight… No idea what, red or white, but it’s HER— wine.  What’s taught and shown, direct direction and narration, the encircling properties of her metaphysical map.  Wine tasting is wine hearing, feeling, listening to all notes and chords, crescendos and de-.  I’m past where I was, but back to where I was, where I was when I started my wine page mission and curious chords and voyages.  New vortex from bottles poured, tasted…. She tells me to disobey the clock, to disobey myself whenever discouraged by the wine industry being too much industry and not enough wine… not enough life and love, creative and narration, not enough literary, thought, philosophy, not enough me.  She reminds me that she’s here for me, on that hill at Chalk, in AV, Sonoma Valley at St. Francis, still, where my sister now heads their winemaking walk.

New wine pages, pages and pages and what I hear in the class translated by me the literary bloke, behind the bar and seeing people walk to the front door, wondering what they’ll ask me first, what they’ll like, what they’ll want at their table, in their home.  The insanity of it all lifts me from the lull I was in, from what wine had to me rescue.  Not sure what had me down weighted.  Doesn’t matter.  I see the glass, I see the Sauvignon Blanc lot, and whatever pulled me away from her will be given no address.  No space in this break’s page. Just her.. she with her humor, with her suggestion that I be more a joker with wine, mention what people say about the finish…. “Oh.. and the finish on this one…” a lady said the other day, “…it tickles, it’s like a cotton candy, you know, tickle!” I nodded my head but thought about how I couldn’t wait to write that, somewhere…. Wine has me back.  Swear I’ll never leave, again.  Not that I left, but I broke.  So, this lunch break is a gavel.  Me, returned, forever, and with the wild, giggly yay-say of Mike Madigan… a wild wine writing chap, who now more Sees in wine’s be.