Finally home after a taxing tasting room day, after my 7-miler morning. First run of that length in some time. Thinking of wine, where to go with it next… sipping the remainder of the Dry Creek Vineyards ’14 Zin I last night brandished. Somehow lost the cork so I wrapped the neck in saran wrap. I took it off expecting instant evidence of oxygen contamination, or at least some oxidized something. But nothing. It withheld. It stood its ground, showing it’s more than an ‘it’. This bottle shows unyielding intention, some derelict drive that’s admirably curious. So I’m here writing my article or reaction to the day and night and wine, simply confounded. Then I stall. I need another glass. Before siting to write I was tempted to turn on CNN, see what the new chief’s done now. But why when I have this wine, when I had the day I had, literally rolling out of bed and running. The wine tells me not to stop… time is like my oxygen, and not in a beneficial manner. Like oxygen can be to wine, time is to the writer. So I speed on.
One lady who came in today, absolutely obsessed with magnums. Had a question about every one, and the vintage. Each vintage, she’d ask, “So what about this one?” Not asking if I like it or not, but I knew that was her tonal subtlety. “Well,” I returned, “if you’re asking me if I like the ’12, yes, I love it.” Then she did the same with the ’13, the ’14, and the ’11. “Wasn’t 2011 a bad year?” She asked. Ugh, I thought, the question. Why always people and 2011? (See why I began this piece with ‘finally home’?). I told her my defense of 2011, a little about ’13 and ’14, and then slid away. No more, I couldn’t do it. People should find out for themselves, about any wine or vintage, winery or region. Wine, like literature, art, or your own writing, is about discovery, and risk. You heard 2011 is a “bad’ vintage? That’s more than bountiful warrant to go out there and try some. See if they’re right. And if they are, then you learn from it, what makes a less-than-towering vintage. And if they’re wrong, you know now that going out and seeing for yourself is the most instruction and informed way to live wine.
Second glass at left, and I’m standing my ground— or sitting my seat. Babies asleep upstairs, and I revisit the conversations from the tasting room in head. Everything from those with co-workers toward shift-close, to the ones hours earlier with the larger group that walked in, many of whom were “industry”, telling me about the releases at their wineries and what they like to drink at home, to one of them whom makes his own wine and sells it online while working production at a larger Russian River producer. There’s more than enough wine out there, in the world, for me to explore and write about, and beyond those simplistic descriptors and expected-to-be-mentioned fruits. The personality of the wine.. this Zin, in instance— wild in its behavior but everything it speaks is poetic.. nothing foul about it, and unusually organized and dedicated to its palate narrative… a wine understanding the sipper more than the sipper conceives what’s in glass, eventually washing over senses. It welcomes me home, congratulates me at the end of my day, orders me to relax. This wine type you remember, you seek, you learn from.