Wine forever.  That’s all I want to do or write about. 

IMG_0583I mean there are other aspects of my story that get page presence, but wine dominates all facets formidable.  Last night at parents’ casa tasting only a couple wines, but seeing us as a wine family.  Pictures Dad took of the buildings, inside mostly where bottles where held and where my sister talked with winemaker Philippe Girard about what I can only imagine.  Wine has me ‘cause of the life embodied, the stories, pictures taken by family or friends, when I see tourists taking their photos of each other in either silly poses or ones sentimental and with intention.

Have no idea what wine I’ll tonight sip, aside from the rest of the ’15 Malbec my friend Jesse made.  I’m only writing wine, from here out.  That’s it.  Yes I may note a bit on running or my children, but my words will always be assigned to wine.

Should make wine this vintage.  But how.  Where do I start.  With what money?  Ugh… money’s always the matter and issue, the fucking concern in this business.  Of course.  So…. Pictures.  Wine photography for people.  Do I sell it?  Little images that people can use however?  They pay me and I pick the image?  If I’m to really leave the dock in this industry I have to write my way out of the tasting room.  Not that I’m mad or bitter.. nothing like that.  I just want to write wine, not serve it, or even sell it if you should know.  Wine shouldn’t be sold, EVER.  If my job were to sell Jesse’s wines, /i would tell his story, my relationships with what I sip, talking to the wine and letting it talk to me so I can further speak its language to people coming from wherever to taste.  Being from a wine family, I focus on family.  And, I NEVER try to convince family to buy.  You’re in the room with me, in the tasting room, you’re a new friend, a guest.  It would be rude to try and convince you to take bottles with you.


14:33… before class. In 1A talking about purpose with students, one student saying there is no “purpose” to anything, necessarily.  This gave to discussion about collective purpose versus individual purpose, of course, and I thought about what my purpose is.. the one defining purpose of Mike Madigan.  Has to be, Daddy.  Being Jack and Emma’s.  Serving them, providing for them, making sure their life is heaping with opportunities.  The way I provide and provide more is to do not just what makes me happy, and what I’m passionate about, but where there is the most opportunity for me.  Where will there be a provider, a sustainability?  Teaching, maybe.  But in wine’s business and industry, in writing and blogging about wine, certainly.

Can only think of tasting that Viognier tonight.  Smelled it this morning through the next but didn’t get much.  Was probably too early.  Fine… I can wait for tonight.  Heard from winery that we surpassed a certain sales marker, and by quite a bit.  So a reason to celebrate, I reason.  The floor here in Emeritus is quiet with the exception of two voices in the hall, left.  I’m blocking it out, don’t want to think about anything but tomorrow at the winery, my shop on which I haven’t made any notes, on the design or anything.  Well, I’ve been busy.  No excuse…. “WORDS”, just jotted.  But where do I go with that?  Did I write something down to just write something down?  NO.  Exchange words with buyers, ask them how they would describe the offerings but don’t make it too assignement-y.

Raucous narrative in head, wine yes but also other.  Everywhere I’ve been… the places and the character of the place and the characters in the place itself.  A bit tired, hungry, so the words become more wild and straying… that Viognier better be good.  Should be.  Dutcher Crossing isn’t know for lackluster efforts, and I’ve never tasted anything there that was bad or even fairish.  So what am I talking about.  I don’t know.  That’s the point.

Where’s the wine.

Where’s the winery.

Where’s my glass.

Got off the phone with a wine writing friend up in Washington and she’s to send me two bottles from her winery, a small I guess you could say ‘luxury’ producer in Eastern WA.  Something to write about, and I need Newness in this wine wine story, page storm that’s my life’s purpose.  I’ll taste anything.  Everything.  May not write about it, give it blog space, but it’ll be part of ME, my story.

Wine, I’m HERE.

Pinot notes:

Delusionally delicious in nose– rose, cherry, cinnamon, mint

Full palate but demonstrating restraint and animation.. damp soil, milk chocolate, mint, slight meat and toffee 


Loving, rhythmic, singing, jazzy and feminine 


wine sketchez

Truett Hurst Winery – 2015 – “Queen Bee” – Gewurtztraminer – Russian River Valley/Sonoma County


I remember thinking, “A Gewurtztraminer?  I’m going to write about a Gewurtztraminer?” Well here I am doing just that.  This bottle has no sugar to speak of, or none that you can detect, and boasts with tropical and florally capturing chimes from contact one to any finish.  But that’s one dimension to this wine I found inspiring, is that there was no “finish”.  I tasted it yesterday before 11AM, I’m pretty sure, and can still recall every suggestion, from the apricot, to the line, to the wet stone, forest air, tangerine…  This wine just stays there and communicates with you.  Has not intention of fleeing.  Doesn’t necessarily demand a food pairing, but would welcome something spicy or with a little pepper, some kind of heat.  I know, you’ve never heard of such a pairing for Gewurtz’, right?  Well, just had to put it in my notes, maybe to remind myself.  But, honestly, the structure and pervasive placement of this wine is so playful and flirtatious that I would just leave it alone, or only “pair” it with something before dinner, like veggies and hummus, or some aged cheddar., or a chair on a porch, or by a pool.  But, back to what I said, I was smitten leaving the tasting room.  And it was a rainy day, and I kept thinking “This would be nice for just sitting inside with and sipping, feet up on a coffee table in front of a fire or to some Sonny Rollins.” But, had to work.  So, to more of the wine’s testaments, it had me fantasizing, wishing, envisioning myself with just a day off— me, a bottle, a view.  Simplicity, sequencing more seduction.  And from a Gewurtztraminer.  Huh…..

wine sketchez: Three Fat Guys Wines

Three Guys, Two Wines, One Obsessed New Fan

Chardonnay.  Cabernet.  So how are you to be bedazzled or even a little taken by varietals that so many producers bottle?  Easy.  When they’re done to this stratospherically savory extent.  Before I get into the wines my and Three Fat Guys’ vin ami, Wes, sent me, you have to examine their story, which starts with genuine tempo and color.  The elevated interest and tireless curiosity for and in wine.  Tony Moll, one of the Guys and Owners of the this playful yet prominently tasty enclave of a label, tell me his fascination with wine started just before starting Three Fat Guys with partners Jason and Daryn.  He tells me that in the off-season he’d go to local wine bars in Sonoma and just immerse himself in everything about wine.  Oh and that’s another facet to this brand I find immeasurably interesting and encouraging as a wine consumer—  all three played professional football, and those journeys together on the Road for the game is what actuated their chasing a more oeno-centric story.  When home from the season, Tony would find his favorites, what he liked and didn’t like, and intensify his fondness and acuity in wine’s world.

He knew he wanted to create a “premium wine,” he tells me.  Well, if I’m to react to such a remark, he failed gloriously.  The Fat Guys’ wines are anything but premium, in my language—  Words I’d employ then immediate deploy to this page are ‘cosmic’, ‘inspiring’, ‘vocal’, ‘inter-dimensional’… inexplicably delicious.  The Chard and Cab Wes sent me were anything but template, anything but expected.  Yes, the common consumer would note their “premium-ness”, but I find myself in uncommon sphere and state tasting these wines.  What I tasted was something of a quality that we consumers wish for.  You can find a simple “premium” bottle on the shelf at Safeway.  This is different, another planet and page, story, narrative.  What was in the bottle was true fermented magic, a lively literary quality that educates a sipper’s senses, like I jotted in the Composition book, “Moriarty-esque reflective madness”…  But, again, more on that in a bit.

This is a small producer that’s not on the “I’m a small wine label” self-anointing chariot.  What you have in your glass with TFG is three gentlemen who love wine.  That’s it.  The fervor of their fondness translates to what you sip, exponentially.  You can only be smitten and seraphically instructed with their bottles.  Tony tells me that he loves the reaction when people taste his wines, when people merely look at him and utter in tremor, “WOW.” Remember, these are offensive lineman, put on the field to protect the quarterback, to block, to be firm and stern.  And how serendipitous in how they don’t care about notoriety, awards, scores, or any other kind of pseudo-prestige.  They just want to be known for wine, wine that is “damn good wine” as he tells me.  Well, with this motion, he and his Guys succeed ad nauseam.

I started with the Chardonnay as you might expect, the other night, hoping that I would taste something new from Chardonnay’s all-too-frequently harangued identity.  First nudge of fragrance after opening bottle, smelling cork and then into bottle’s neck, was pair and vanilla, apple and a cinnamon-sewn pie crust.  On palate, I was greeted with tame acidity coupled with the apple and pie crust, vanilla and almond, a little toast… lavender?  There was a that jazzy weather I dream I’ll one day taste in Chardonnay.  Finally encountered, finally taught something new.  And as the wine invited and later fully embracing the temperature of the room, the texture became more sensual, the apple and pair soupçons more immediate, more visible and believable.  The Chardonnay took on a haunting and persuasive, bewitching quality I’ve never experienced in a Cali’ white Burgundy.  This was a new experience, and I was renewed as a wine lover.

I’m a “Cabernet guy” you could say, so I’m exceptionally welcoming and nearly a bastard critic with Cabs I’m sent.  Like the Chardonnay, TFG’s Cab had a dark personality and widely-erotic electricity to every parcel of its palate.  This is the wine that had the personality of Dean Moriarty, his wild charisma and irresistible allure.  The fruit that spoke to me was in the purview of blackberry and dark chocolate-adorned cherry, then cocoa powder and espresso, a wink of mint and black licorice, smoke.  Doing both its vineyard site, vintage, and varietal a marathon of justice.  There was a rare coherence in this bottle, a bewildering synergy of all parts and personalities, measures and clefs.  If one of these wines sends these gentlemen to some unseen notoriety, whether they want it or not, their Napa Cabernet offering will cement such.

Three lessons learned for the writer, here.  1, Chardonnay is the most extraordinarily effusive and gorgeous white varietal, if done the way these lineman have ordered.  2, if all Cabernets were done this well, I would not drink anything else.  All other varietals would be hit with a preference asteroid which would tie them in certain extinction.  And, 3, the focus of any small label—rather than telling everyone they’re a small label, or artisanal label, or some cult wine producer—should be to just make some damn good wine.  Well decreed, Mr. Tony.  These wines are unlike any expected palate presence of Chardonnay and Cabernet.  Par conséquent, their unique beat, their instructional quality, their haunting stubbornness in anyone who sips.


Working quickly at winery…

Speeding through projects but not carelessly.  With ardor and an elevated interest that I’ve never seen in Self before.  Sticking to my vision of no DC Gen Store for lunch, wanting that intrinsic alchemy shove from hunger.  Hem said it was motivation, or discipline.  Finding it to be both…  Trying to keep an inventory of every creative act today.  See how it goes.  So far, effective, more motivation.

Another call from member, requesting update of information, re-directing shipment.  So interesting, all the facets to a winery– club member information to tasting notes, to compliance and shipping, branding and travel, sales goals and all the complexities of… well, everything.  Like Debra, the owner here, I’m thinking one day I WILL have my own winery.  Sonoma County for sure, Dry Creek or RRV.  I’ll decide in time.

Lunch– ‘nother winery visit.  One I haven’t been to before, David Coffaro.  Told it’s good, can’t wait to find out.  Experience a new place as a tourist would, pretend I’m not connected, but here for the first time, so eager nd open to everything.  I envy these tourists and their plans, and the one doing everything by whim (especially the latter).  I start to think and work and imagine with more speed, more creative quickness.  Enriched, enlivened, interested in this wine life in way I’ve never been.


The wine tonight, amazingly arranged jazzy synchrony and tasty tremolo, varying shades.  So convincing and animated, diverse and dimensional from palate’s spark to stop.  Deliciously dactylic, this Cab’s a poet with no fear of reading, narrating, reciting ruth of where its from and what it wants from its audience.  Sipping it, I feel caught and not tense.  No concern for or from where or when.  I just walk with its suggestion, tone, suggestive tone.  Its versatile in its versification, just listening to what it say, calming thesis and what a deed it is to sip, careless carousel of color and communicative code…



Right now I’m imagining myself in my office, at my tasting room, noting what I want done for day, then tasting what I have to pour.  And only tasting.

A winemaker who doesn’t drink?

Why not.  Always challenge myself with this but not stop with sip, imagine the intrigue and appeal of the contradiction, a wine writer/winemaker who doesn’t drink, just tastes, spits… for writing— story, building therein and of.  Sipping coffee some more and bob head to music created by each letter button tap; jazz and only the softest but most ardent— courage in my contradictory curvature—  Parler…..