New Bottle Ticket for a Bottled Ox

img_0858Finally 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.

(2/25/17)

Outside the Bag

Nearing lunch.  Not sure if I’m in a writing mood, from how busy it’s been.  But I was able to capture some valuable stills on the crush pad, with tons of grapes landing today.  Hot outside, possibly too hot for walking so I may just come back to this desk, share my boredom with you.  Lucky you!  But I’m not bored, not at all, not with all that’s around me unfolding and developing.  Through head, a ceaseless to-do list.  Not even a list anymore, more like a stomping dinosauric docket for me to catch, catch up on.  How will I do that?  Simplify, everything made more simple.

Words for lunch.  I’ve decreed.  If I’m at the desk it could be perceived I’m available.  Maybe I should just wait till day’s end, no writing now, just let it all compile and collect.  How I get to evenness.  Back from a bathroom walk and I was tempted to go out onto the crush pad and photograph fruit in the bins, cold soaking in the sun, maybe take some video of the guys raking fruit into the crusher/de-stemmer, but I walked away.  Out of character for me.  This writing and tireless father need act more outside pattern, if I sense I’m about to do something I always do then don’t do it.

Clocked out for lunch, but the writing father’s staying put.  Right here at desk.  Not speaking to anyone, and not to be rude!  But rather to immerse the writing father in his words, in his work.  Not budging from my thesis of working harder than I think I can, get more done than I did the day prior.  How I spend the lunch, soused in my sentences.  Too hot outside for a vineyard walk.  One after work, though.  Have to do one a day, at least.  Ultimate and encompassing freedom demands I seek nothing new.  I have all I need for my idyllic, right here, in my story.

Okay…  So the idea yesterday, that I mentioned here on bottledaux, was selling real estate.  I know, I’m laughing too.  Why that picture and possibility if you could call it that leapt into my perception is far beyond my current reasoning, at this desk.  “So what…” you say.  What do you mean ‘so what’…  It’s gone, now.  Selling real estate?  No.  I’m holding with my goals.  Staring out the window in front of my as I so many times do throughout the day, only antagonizes my dreaming, day or night dreaming really doesn’t matter—  Could use a glass of Chardonnay or anything right now.  Lunch, huh.  Not for this writing father.  Tomorrow on campus, then day next back here at the desk.

Say you’re more cursed than lucky if you’re still reading.  But, the working father, or mother, any parent knows what this is, only wanting to do to provide all and more for your children and your family’s entirety but you can’t think nor act fast enough.  You’d do anything, you’d work any amount of hours.  You refuse to slow, and your certainly won’t stop.  So what else to do but keep moving, keep processing the ideas like grapes on a crush pad.  Who knows what results.  Maybe something blissful, something unusually piquant.  Maybe the next time you sit at your desk you’ll be a different You.

(9/27/16)

Over the

3 o’clock wall, and the time drags.  Want to go for another vineyard walk, get out of the office just for a bit and enjoy air, sniff and sip it as the tourists do wines in the tasting room.  Wish  I could clock out early and do some tasting myself, be a tourist, just for a minute.  People all over the industry think this, think about ‘it’.  But I couldn’t be luckier as a writer even if I tried, if I scammed, if I plotted and planned.  My luck heaps, and I more than acknowledge.  I wish for nothing.  I write with and from what I already have in his wined, pre-written web.

Sbragia Zin, a stop

I needed a wine, a Zin actually, that had voice and conviction, command over my sense for sakes of calming, and it was there.  This 2013 Sbragia La Promessa Zin.  Have had it before but only in the tasting room and a couple ounces, at maximum estimation.  I’m here in my office, home, now more relaxed—  It’s euphonious blackberry and blueberry chocolate taunts have me more composed and calm, forgetting about day’s stresses.  Of course stress will try to come back around for another pass to unsettle me, but the Zin is there, with its foggy texture and bright jump of a shapely song.

Another sip confirms its woo.  And me, not much ado.  Just enjoying.  This is a cure, a delicious yield to a cosmos larger than my immediate stage.  I could get lost in this red but I halt and sip in measure as I have to run in the morning, but it cured me of the day.  And I’m thankful in many a way.  I needed a wine and I was with the right one after a day like this.  Thinking, meditating as it shed its jammy a-typicality and happily concedes to a more texture-purposed poétique.  Zinfandel and I have never had this conversation, where I orate with such loftiness and praise, where I’m such a Lilliputian, a dazed follower of this Druidic fluid.  Sbragia’s been there for me on more than one occasion but this night’s the more memory-promised of all them.  New ideas, new affirmations, all from that base on Dry Creek Road, with the valley view, atop pedestrian pace but welcoming everyone.  I need another glass, but don’t.  Save the remainder for morrow.  Best that way.  New chapter and song, removing nay-say in any day.  Should stop by and buy a bottle, for the next time a day like this strikes.

Novel Spacious

And the end of the day.  Opened what I believe to be the last of the 2012 wines I made.  This one, the ‘New Dad Cuvée’.  Can’t tell you how amazing it tastes, notably after today’s tempo and day-sort, all the prepping when I wasn’t that prepped which I should have been, after the run this morning, and now at the desk in my home office.  MY ebb’s a bit low, but now too trench-tuned.  Hear son coughing upstairs and I feel like I shouldn’t be writing, and if I am it should be something interplanetary, sending us all somewhere— overseas, to a new, bigger house on some enormous farm plot of our own.  But no I’m here conflicted about how I feel about this ’12 ‘NDC’.  And if I should have another glass.  Why not.  Of course I should.  But wait a second… why wine [Jackie coughs twice, and again…  Wife goes upstairs to him, insisting I stay down here], why do I need wine in my everyday’s day, progression, time and pulses all?

What this moment to me instructs is to embrace who I am, and what I want.  I’m sure someone reading this is eager to bow-and-arrow at me the ‘selfish’ tag.  And they can do just that.  Everyone in wine’s world and whirl is.  Popping a small tall thin can of Perrier sparkling water.  Need some hydration, the writer feels.  Downstairs in dark while washer and dry upstair go and throw, to too much fro.  So I try to collect down here, and I’m taken and pushed, bullied by the thought of ‘Why didn’t I hit 13.1 this morning?’  Yeah, WHY didn’t I?  Honestly, I don’t think I stretched enough.  And right now, my body so much it feels, in the right hip, the right knee, still both fucking ankles (inside, which has never itself noted before).  The run was good, I guess, but I can’t help jot it as a failure, a matriculation only to be a dropout.  Why?  Ugh… a mood sinks, Me stops.  It’s end of day, and I’ve been up since.. huh, when…  6?  Before?  Shit, now I’m one of those dads, it’s all starting to blur.  I’m losing my fucking youth and I’m going madder than the rabbit and that giggling jerk at the tea table.  “Calme-toi, mon ami!” I self-order, only wanting the night to get better.  Don’t hear anything from Jack upstairs but I’m that kind of dad, the one who worries, the one who loves his babies more than anything and even when they’re not technically ‘babies’, he’ll them so still see.  And when they’re all grown, no longer kids, it won’t matter— they’ll be his always-kids.  I’m not a ‘New Dad’, and I’m not an expert dad.  Just a dad, a daddy, a papa.  Washing machine, dryer, upstairs with their roars and rotations, jumbles and jangles, distracting and centering me.  Pulled in directions all.  But, chapter closed.  That bottle that was opened, now corked, in hangared.  The once-New Dad centers in his type-stomps.

(8/29/16)

Loop Do a True 

Frustrated with myself as I wanted to post a piece I wrote about Emma, earlier, but this evening is about a vent, a shelling of sorts.  Nothing negative, just that needle-esque candor.  Right now on floor of bottom floor of Autumn Walk Studio sipping night’s cap and thinking about day, how crazy it was at the winery.  How I love and loathe such momentum in tandem, how people that ask the dumbest, most self-absorbing probes of wine perturb and infuriate me— one lady today feeling the need to ask a question then use the answer as the foundation of her grievance— example: “Did this see any oak?” she asked about the Chardonnay.  “No,” I riled, “we wanted this to be clean and bright, expressive and charming.”

“Well,” she said, spilling the remainder into the pour ceramic in front of her, between us, “I like the oaky Chards, this is too thin.  Why didn’t you use new oak?” I dodged the question and told her something that made her feel more empowered so she’d shut the fuck up.  ‘It’s wine for fuck’s sake’, I thought.  Why do people get like this over wine, and I have to be honest it’s less than a percent of people walking through that front door-set that have such demeanor and lean.  I always watch from behind that bar, writer I be, to see what I see.  You have these presuppositions at times, we all do, but you never know.

Already I can feel myself getting lazy on this Studio’s bottom floor, and I haven’t even lifted the night’s capping of captain cappings.  So now what do I do, with this time to myself, after getting up when I did with daughter, then soonafter son— the writer’s a pretzel, self-promulgated in prose promiscuity, yodeling from this idea to that, and I get more frustrated with self.  So how is this helping.  I think of the vineyard walk I took yesterday, how if I were the owner I’d be doing the same thing as the current owner.  True acuity and familiarity with the property, telling a story.  It’s all a story, a zooming and tangibly scenic story-set.  I’m relaxed but not, as I see again how life’s shortness motivates us.  I’m angry, but then I’m not.  I refuse to smoke from negativity’s cig.  I’m here, now, downstairs, the fridge going mute, and me finally having a whale upon which to write.  Yes, each moment I can write while having two babies is like joyriding a whale, in the middle of the Pacific.

I’m okay now, with not touching the Emma piece.  I’ll get to it tomorrow.  Typical writer procrast’—  So now harm in my creative skin or waves, telling tide.  What’s going to happen tomorrow at the winery, who will ask what?  WHAT?  Feel like I need to know now so I can have some witty fucking response.  The wine industry’s like a circus, then like a business, then like a riot, then like a war.  Which facet do I better like?  Not sure.  You know what, curtly, I’d rather write about my daughter.

(8/27/16)

Ainsi, le Vin

Reminded today that wine is about life— a tidal wave of vivacity and expression, music, love, and communication.  Lunch with Paul M., sandwich I’d never before had at Dry Creek paired with that Pinot Blanc from Michele-Schlumberger, and the interaction that transpired, following more reflection in head that precipitated on ride to the delicatessen.  My vision was full, as it is now, love and life in this log, this essay of a writing father trying to fit everything in— sitting on floor or living room while wife and babies upstairs sleep, me with this gifted Pinot from PM— huh, just realized, ‘PM’, time of day I’m most essayist, and most internally narrative.  Haven’t seen my friend in over five years, we agreed, when I once saw him out on a town night in Napa of all places— and I say ‘of all places’ postured to me, as I’m never there, PM’s home enclave.  Nothing abbozzo in my life, currently.  All I sketch or paragraph I need release, not just from the interstellar adoration of wine and sentences, but from the commitment, my immovable sight in the atmosphere around me— from when I walk the vineyard on other lunch breaks to when the writer’s seated on the wood floor of his Autumnal Walking base, sipping a Papapietro Perry Pinot, listening to music at the end of an other wise carousel humdrum day.

Also reinforced with the 16th of août, my afflicting affection of so many things in being alive.  All around me.  As stated with those walks in the Chardonnay and Cab, and Rhône blocks, at Dutcher, wine directs me to certain certainties that are difficult to delineate give the qualification I’ve imbibed this eve.  Love and living in this page, and all from where the writer lives, what he sips, the music listened— some mix tape from Thievery Corp’, if I’m not so off.  Quiet down here for the writing father— another sip.  This write is free, I’m free, and that’s my right as writer.  Consider this a direct and staunchly tied reverberation from the conversation with my brother Paul.  Sipping the Pinot again and as I tilt back and the light from this laptop extends to the bottom hemisphere of the Govino glass and into my eyes, hearing this obscure track, I think I’m on the Road, traveling, somewhere, writing about wine and all the yay-saying tellings of its voice and cultured angularity.  “This doesn’t have to be a ‘dream’.” Wine says.  And I agree.  Wine with its love shoves me to a savory reality— romantic Hemingwayan notions and Plath pulses, my Feast so Moveable and my Bell Jar fuller than full.

And it’s again reiterated my the components of my moments that this is the mode I’ve chosen.  Writer in and of wine.  So.. recite more.  Keying my notes for the next noted key in my fermented free.  If I would have had more time at lunch, who knows what we would have webbed.  But that’s a wish.  Wine’s at my right, or left, or right, to actualize.  No need to act in a guise.

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(8/16/16)