First day behind the counter of my comrade’s winery. Shift’s ignition, Kaz’s wife Sandy showing me around, the routines, what proceeds. Steady stream of visitors, many from distances. Alaska, Texas, France. San Francisco, not so distant, but nonetheless incredible guests. Couldn’t help but think again how this sovereign winemaker ally of mine, on his own, no overseer, shares my end aim. One gentleman at the counter shared how he’d been brewing for a decade, how he’d become quite reflective with wine’s various characters, dances. Today, more than most other days, I just listened, let my characters reveal their stories, inducements.
The smaller winery, a more focused winery. The autonomy I always applaud, I now feel at pace with, in the wine world. I need to do with these pages what my brother Kaz has done with his blends, varietal interpretations. Out back, by the pond, while with lunch, I thought of the grounds' stories, those of our day’s visitors, mine for page. At the beginning of my shift, I met three gentlemen recently returned from a Peace Corps deployment in West Africa. One taught me the word “gouté,” which I think means “taste,” in French. He and I came up with a tentative slogan for Kaz’s Room, “Don’t forget your gouté!”, if you have a little drop of wine left in your glass, before the next pour. All three gentlemen had scenes to share, from their respective overseas stints. I thought to Self, I need those experiential pages. To be away, for the pages. I then again reflected, “You never know who’s walking though those doors [of a tasting Room].”
|Nate, Amanda, Jason, and Kim, after sipping some Kazmology ...|
As the day closed, I felt frustrated with inevitability of clock-out. No reason to fume, I’ll be behind the counter tomorrow. Recording, reflecting. Of all, what stood out to me most: what Kaz has done with his voice, wine vision, his varietal navigation mastery. Today, I poured wine in a genuinely AUTONOMOUS tasting Room. No corporate presence, no obsession with status, wealth, exorbitance. Just human motions on a real wine stage. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the bottles, the barrels, random objects in the Room. Closing this graped day in a great way, at home sipping Kaz’s “Red Said Fred,” seeing more than I thought I ever would in this “industry.” Sip, sip ...
[8/13/2011, Saturday, 10:59p]