Wine telling me

that tomorrow morning I will wake early.

This is my glass last.

There will be several pages propelled before kids and wife wake.

First tilt of the little plastic, more impassioned harmony than night prior. I’m with the wine, multiplied ways over, manuscript coupled and unmuzzled. No stop or pause or lull in its voice, step, song.

Scribbling like the Hatter mad, or Jack on the Road with Dean. Me tasting wine through valleys with one of my vino brothers…thinking, now. On this floor, all these notes, another still shot…

Convinced. Ever, forever, and never a never, with wine. She reads me and sees my eve to more ease. Leaving pleased…

On the eve of me leaving wine’s industry, I sip a Merlot.

img_6931The varietal that brought me into wine, that invited me into the collective compositions and narrative, luminous elucidation of it all.  After tomorrow, I’ll only write about wine.  Not be int he tasting room.  Not have to look at schedules and calendars, first thing in morning when the coffee’s barely taken its place in my pulse.  I’m sitting on the floor thinking about the past 12 years, in wine, the industry, the stories and people, everything.  Merlot, from Dutcher Crossing, inarguably the winery that made me the sales and marketing and wine storytelling expanse I am. Or that I think I am.  I’m nearly 40.  It’s time to leave. And more demanded, time to enjoy wine as a true consumer, not one saying they’re the consummate consumer, which yes I have from time to time to generate sales, which makes me feel like a slimy industry gargoyle.  But you do what you have to do.. to get that sale, oui?  Integrity.  I’m finding less and less of it, valley to valley, county to county.  I’m a consumer, now.  I write about wine.  I’m finally a wine writer.  Wow… I had to leave the business, or industry, the tasting room, whatever, to be what I’ve always wanted to… writer of wine.. translator of.

Haven’t taken my first sip yet.  I’m just staring at that Dutcher puddle, fruit from Napa, Atals Peak somewhere.  See it.. when I first arrived there, interviewing with two people now dearer than dear friends of mine.  Time, whatever it wants it just takes, and that’s my time, my life, this Now, that Now, every breath and second in a tasting room. Now, I fight back.  Tomorrow, my only plan is to thank everyone at Roth, at Foley, then start traveling.  Now I enjoy wine as a writer, a traveling wine writer who looks for any vineyard and cottage, any hut or terrace he can.  Why am I just being this, now?  I’m a wine writer, ‘cause I left the industry. There’s more than forecasted knowledge in that. I’m learning of my control, the nature of my dominance in my story.  Wine is part of it, but not everything.  So now, I sip to sip.  Imagine going to a tasting room and not identifying myself as ‘industry’.  Look at stemless plastic glass, cup, again, and breath, lean my head and neck back into the couches cushion.


First sip of the entity, and I’m in a tasting room.  I’m thinking of how I’d speak it, how I’d “describe it” if that’s what you want to say, to a guest.  I can’t tell, anymore.  I’m just into the wine.  Staring at her shade and shape, sense and poetic form, radiant rile and speak from dimensions theorized.  I’m lost, found, loving the delicious duality and dichotomy of not just this wine but my wine story, the past, since ’06….  No miss.  Only a cherishing tryst.  I think.  Again, I’m lost in this, not sure if celebration’s the word, but something to the tune and tilt, tone of.


Last night, all the Italian wines I tried, reminding me of more, more, there’s so much I have to experience not just with wine but with life.  Today, home with son, I move quick.  Not even productivity, but health, happiness, a tireless motion that will get me to where I want to be.  Where I deserve to be at this stage in my life.

Mom sending me a video yesterday of her and Dad in Central Oregon, just enjoying their day, having a beer and waiting for lunch to arrive.  Time reminds me, urges me forward and into the day with Jack.  Don’t be at all idle.  Be madly wild…

IMG_6217Not reaching 3,000 words yesterday, but hopping over 2k.  Which is fine.  Today, I had those thoughts again, like “How did I get here?” And, “Now what?” Very much hoping on the telecoms people to come through, offer me something amazing.  But I can’t keep doing this to myself.  Need this blog to do something.  Need my sentences and in-the-moment jots and musings, what wined entertainments stampede through the writer’s head pay the bills that continue to ring and knock.

Yesterday giving a tour for those six people from nearby and all over, all family.  Gave an energetic estate tour making sure I held to no script, not even my own.  And when in the cave, I kept it conversational, and offered ideas on life and philosophy, how wine teaches us to adjust our sight and self-estimation, to value the moment and those with whom we it spend.  I sold a mixed case, charged both tour-and-tasting fees, $45 each (which is silly and didn’t want to but this new manager-esque figure insists so), and they gifted me $60 gratuity.  I was stunned.  And taught.  That’s what I need to expand… my speaking, my thoughts connected to wine and not talk about wine as wine.  But as a cognitive entity, a being, a creature that insists angrily we wildly live and not merely exist.

Reviewing wines has never been something I’ve wanted to do, really, even though that’s somewhat how I started my wine writing life, by reviewing wines I’d come across and either giving it a score, or a letter grade.  Think I started with numbers and then did what the teacher in me promotes, or used to, the letter mark.  I want to review wines differently, even contrasting what I now do, with my ‘thousand wines’ writings.  Comically, but not.  Telling some story.  My wine story.  How the industry drove me out of the wine industry but my closeness to wine told me to never leave wine, in the written tenure.  Wine is my subject, my topic, my vie.  A week ago, today, going to Napa with my good friend Chris, tasting new characters and meeting new people, and he too saying the way I talk about wine ‘fires people up’, as he put it.  Today, wine.  All wine.  But, not.  Life.  My life’s work… which is definitely, know and note, reader, NOT in ANY tasting room, nor with ANY wine company.  My life’s work is here, on the page, decoding life from my wine experiences, how to acquire obnoxious happiness and health, how to live a life that at one time you thought something like ‘Oh, one day…’ About to look through some old wine pictures, and maybe videos.  Looking for lessons, lectures from the moment itself.  No fear in writing, in wine, even the industry.  Well, of course I don’t fear the industry, though it wants us all to fear for our jobs, have that be the carrot, that the reward is we get to keep the job.  Nothing in that mentality is ‘wine’.  Nothing.  So, onward go. 



Last night not opening anything resplendent.  Just taking the rest of the Cabernet I opened night prior.  And, frankly, it said nothing to me.  Nothing at all.  An idea for a short, from my character Kelly as you might forecast, her first day in the wine industry, being walked around the crush pad and seeing the production crew cleaning and steaming barrels, sulfuring some lots before harvest arrives.  She thinks to herself the she wants that, to make something, to give something life, to contribute to wine’s vivacity and composition.  My relationship with wine changes, as I age.  No longer, and I mean NO longer, do I want to be in that tasting room.  I want to write her, wine, and that’s it.  Kelly, the avatar for all wine should represent.  She’s in the industry as an invaluable antithetical.img_3188