Wined and Windblown


Had been meaning to stop, for years, and finally I did a few weeks ago.  Feeling like a guest at a resort, or at an elevated Aspen cabin; cozy and convivial, inviting and rich in story and passion for the grounds, for what’s poured.  I knew it’d be great but just not as intense as I experienced in such greatness. Joseph Phelps is a beacon of not only quality but as well its own distinguished and directed language in the wine it bottles.  IMG_9642Prominence and promise, passion, and an extended communication and connectedness with everyone they have over—  And that’s how you feel, that’s how I felt, as if over at someone’s delightful dwelling, focused on wine and the grounds, the Napa Valley and the history of what’s been catalyzed by the Joseph Phelps story.  I could have sworn I wasn’t a local, but here for a first.  An out-of-stater.  Tourist, I guess.  But certainly not from here.  It was musical; a wined moment I could sing and sing to, as I was being sung to with the views from that back patio and from the notes in the wines the host put out for us.

There were some other tastings I’ve done in the last couple weeks, like at Bergamot Alley in Healdsburg, where the owner, Kevin I think his name IMG_9981was (yes, Kevin.. I see looking at his card that I forgot I put on my desk here in the home office), poured a cosmically magnetic flight of import wines for me.  I had to get something.  And.. I did.  Two.  White and Red.  And where else.. oh, the Suncé tasting room in Kenwood that opened a couple months ago.  I realized you just have to get out there.  Taste wine and find something you like, and I know I’ve said that in a something-wined page or string of pages I’ve written before, posted to some blog or I don’t know, but in this last month or so it’s become like a staple and stake of clarity in IMG_9875my wined life—  Get the F out there and taste some wine.  Tonight I’m sipping a Grenache, from Sanglier, their ’12, which won’t surprise people I know.  But, it’s a wine I trust, that I can depend on, and it’s just goddamn delicious.  It’s memorable.  And I have to be honest, I thought I didn’t have any more left.  I actually thought, when I saw the bottle shape was Burgundian, that it was one of Glenn’s Russian River Pinots.  But, no no no!  My gregarious Grenache, with all its voluptuous and erotic tumble of berry and cherry, chocolate and black pepper floating around— whatever it is, it has me.  Now as I roll through pictures in my phone like that typical wine geek, or blogger, or tourist so struck by everything around them that they take pictures of everything, and I mean everything; from the doorknobs, to the winery dog, and the ceilings, each stinkin’ label that’s in front of them.  And them, this “they”, I start to envy them, the visiting ‘they’.  The tourists…  They don’t say things like I am here, like “some other tastings I’ve done the last couple weeks”.  To them tasting is something a vacation entails, something they plan for an envision and fantasize for weeks before getting out there.  They don’t just go out and taste, they can’t.  They’re not here.  But I am.  And the weeks neoteric have been invaluable teachers, with encircling and forcefully fruitful lessons to me as one who sips wine more than just a little.

But, I have to again paginate, recently I’ve just been tasting.  The climate of love about my wining “palate” (a word I’ve come to hate as everyone says it and so many say it and oversay and overuse it do so just to sound like someone who should be listened to when really they’re the ones who should be first ignored; they’re the bad ‘they’).  And I’m lucky enough to live close to these tasting rooms and wineries, these roads that are like a jolting reflective spell veins.  So I pour myself another glass, try to finish an article but I wind up getting so lost and whirled in the wine here at my bottle-emboldened home, in my own tasting room, my own flight, my own visit-that’s-not-a-visit that I disconnect from being a local.  And different that the tourist, or planned visitor.  This is something else.  But I’m tasting.  And it’s wine.  So wine.



From Remain

My brother Kevin, inspecting the Pinot block…..

IMG_690710:04,  Mom and Dad left, and me here with the Pinot, the one a “friend” at work aside for me set.  Listening to classic rock tracks from dinner.  Dishwasher in full focal, and me here with this keyboard, indeed influenced, and more than likely not running in morrow.  And why should I when my wife was enough celestial to get my some coffee for rightafterwake.  MY wife, building her teaching career, and not settling, only advancing, having her progression ascend and never comfortably stabilize, she’s always moving and advancing–  I’ll use that as the model, her as idol, like the grapes of this vintage that continue their maturation, their storying.  This morning, walking the rows with a friend, I noticed, it came to me, the inevitability of a vintage.  It will happen.  Their will be grapes pulled and wine made.  The writer must develop as nature does: inevitably.  Tonight on the porch, sipping the Pride Syrah with Dad on the porch as little Kerouac played with his friends in minutes remaining before they were called away to bath and or bed.. he said, Dad, “It looks like something could come from these clouds,” meaning rain or some front.  That’s natural, that’s more than just simply predicted– it’s definitively systematic.  The writing need be the same, part of my climate and system and yes the wine to me codes but I entrench in my convictions and out carry my mission.  Again at the pictures, the onset of real pigment and life and visual– me lost in the night and my session, looking at bottles on counter, by kitchen– the SB and the Pinot, SRJC, that I opened a couple nights past.  And now this glass of barrel-borrowed Pinot, 2013, oh that amazing vintage– why are so many so quick to IMG_6922forget about 2012?  I’ll never get that.  And I’ll never get the innerworkings of the wine life and world and circle.  Tired, and bent from Pinot and not knowing where I’m going with this narrative– can’t wait for the novel to be done, what Mass’ does with his life and how he figures all into his story, what he wishes and what he sees, what he does wit his adjuncted reads.  My mind’s not the most sound it’s ever been, but I’m writing looking at pictures I shot this morning of Kevin and I walking that block and how the story correlates to my permanency here in this stage and moment– wish I were on travel, on some street and in some hotel unknown– is that not the life that we all want, the unknown and the unexplored?

IMG_6910Last sip–  Yes.  I know I’m one with wine and I can’t get away, not from the biological effect but from IMG_6909the character code it poses to my persona and Personhood.  I remember the first wine that really told me something, something– a 2000 Merlot, from a larger producer– An old song, Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”, comes on, and I think and think and imagine me, the world and the time and whatever– confused and contorted– others talk but I don’t listen, at all, because they talk.  I want to feel and think and postivize, that’s me and my aim, disposition.

Can’t thank my wife enough for the coffee– can’t wait to wake and not run but just write and look at these pictures more.  But now, I drink this Pinot that my “friend” set aside for me in “her office”.


5/6/12: Album/Book Co-ferment

Clocking in, 8:35a, on 128’s side.  Five minutes late, but I’ll let it go this time.  Wasn’t going to bring laptop, after posting over, well over 1000 words to blog last night, and not getting one “Like.” It’s my fault, completely.  Shouldn’t be throwing that much “product” away, into a blog.  That should have gone into a book.  In fact, after this check-in session, I’m going straight to my latest book effort.  Going to blend in a little of BOOK1, here on desk top.

Lots of bikers out today, cycling up hill, eventually to drop into Alexander Valley’s heart.  Can’t let mySelf stop talking–I  mean writing.  This mocha, really working.  Morcheeba playing through phone.  Spent close to two minutes getting music cued through that evil little tech piece.  So, would have clocked in earlier.

New schedule at AV Winery, having Thursdays & Fridays off.  Much better having two days of rest, WRITING, adhered.  An even more sizable cyclist squadron passes.  Today should be hot, giving the leaves, vines, eventual 2012 fruit more rudder.

8:41am.  Just opened BOOK1.  See some passages that I could use for this latest book effort.  With my “branding,” coupled with the reality of Self-publishing [in other words, me paying for everything from paper to binding to all else…] keeping all my releases under 100 pages.  But over 50.  And, I want every release to contain between 40-50k words of content.  That’s what I’m thinking, right now.  And I know I keep saying ‘I need to get serious about releasing writing beyond these blogs’.  But this is different.  I want to rebel against the expectation that I’m going to “blog” something. [And I didn’t know “blog” was a commonly accepted verb…  Just my point: what social media, the immediacy of the internet, wine’s greedy INDUSTRY, and bloggers (those without conviction, confidence to Self-publish actual pages) have done to language.]  I want to be seen as one always releasing publications, all Self-funded, sold.  Meaning, all consumer direct.  Like painters, other Artists.  Like Kelly.

Beyond what I told mySelf I’d do, in terms of word count.  No matter.  Well, actually it does, as this is all being “posted” to my “blog.” It’s fine, I keep telling Self.  I want to share these moments, with those willing to read them; with those who actually READ.  More cyclists.  Never seen this many on a weekend morning before.  This has to be suggesting…  What?  That I need to be outside; That I need to be mobile; That I need to escape; That my writing needs to escape [DEFINITELY]; That I need to be truer to Self, as Kaz suggested; That I need to…  WHAT?

My music stopped.  Ugh, now I need to remedy the stall, which will eat into my typing time.  Why I can’t just enjoy the quiet, this new office spot of mine, here on 128’s side, I don’t know.  Maybe these cyclists are telling me  I need to drive around, look for another spot.  Okay, now the quiet’s getting to me…