Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still in Sip

Last entry from this 10th month.  Today’s varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not much of a surprise, I’m sure, to most.  Wanting the rain to return, I sip, sip...
Missing Monterey, and that ocean.  But I’m not of dwelling luxury.  This opus needs fruition, within the next month.  This is like a winemaker saying to Self, “Just pull it out of the barrel and bottle!” IS this realistic?  Should I be more patient?  No guidance will help.  Need to just leap.  Sipping this current Cab, I reflect on Kelly’s influence.  Her own varietal stream.  Me, enamored.  Stressing the Self, attempting to make sense...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joyful Jail 2

Deep in this journalistic/Literary cellar/tomb of mine.  Who is this author?  Not sure I know him.  This Mike knows not the Mike on these past pages.  Sinking into this chair, sipping the Syrah, wondering how I will perceive this effort in three or four years.  The thought alone, therapeutic.
A dance in my glass.  Swing, ballet, classic, tango, all flavors.  Difficult to journal it, record.
Darker, ghostly.  Haunt me, continuously.
Poetic prophesy in my odyssey, glass tilted.
Kiss memorable. 
11:28p.  Rain, determined to be heard.  Paired with a Mourvèdre, arousing.  Where is my cherished character?  She should be in this scene.  With me.  This jail, now joyless.  Because of her absence.  Needing the character, to pair with current constituents.  Wishing she sipped alongside, hearing these digital melodies with me.  Our lounge.  Us only.  

Joyful Jail

Self-publishing even a humbly-weighted manuscript, or publication, will impact my budget too harmfully.  Sticking to this log, for now.  Tonight’s wine, I’m thinking, a Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah, 2008.  Need something smooth, deep, mysteriously layered and presented.  I’m using what I have, with both libation and Literary medium.
This second mocha, already serving well.  Getting back to the music tonight, the poetry, as this wine life is quite musical, enormously poetic.  Harvest, making me realize and appreciate so much.  I, as a writer, need to remain close to Self, using my innate artistic arrangement and armament.  Tomorrow, at the new winery, in my beloved Dry Creek.
(Thursday, 10/28/2010)  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

vinoLit Vid, 10/24/2010 (Sunday)

Needed to film an episode when I arrived back at the castle.  After a shift in the Room, talking and sipping is most optimal, necessary.  Pinot has become an increasingly integral note in my makeup.  What this truly embodies, no idea.  But that’s the fun of the vinoLit life, seeing what’s to transpire.  True literature lacks predictability, is contra-template. 
My destination in the future near, positive where I wish it to be.  The land of Zins.  How does that co-mingle with my Pinot proclivity?  Uh, don’t know.  One could say, “That doesn’t make sense, loving Pinot and wanting to be in a Zin house.” 
I retort, “I’m not trying to make sense.  I don’t want to.” 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Her Motions, a Lasso of Senses

Mike looked through the sketch book she left.  He knew this was a horrible act.  But his lustful inquisitiveness pulled him into irregular habits.  With each of her drawings he fell more fragmented.  Then, the prose.  Poetry.  Deliciously erratic blurbs on wine, sights, scenes.  He wanted her there, but didn’t need her form.  He had her mind.  He knew his dreams would provide all lacking.
His character, this Kelly, increasingly savory, he thought.  He read her entry, its continuous ebb of emotion and perplexity.  “This has to be wrong.  I’m wrong,” he thought.  Closed, back on the end-table.  He looked at it, laid down.  Imagined.

After the Cab

I sip the mocha.  My therapy this rainy Friday.  So glad the drops are back.  They always enhance the session.  But they don’t give me the winemaker’s alchemical prowess.  Not even sure I want to make a wine, let alone a Cab.  It would have to be a blend.  Much like this book.  No definite totality.  Aiming for astounding aesthetic amalgamation.
Mike revisited his screenplay, for a second, then asked himself, “What in I doing?” But he persisted with his new tasting Room comedy.  He even pulled a laugh out of himself.  The characters were telling him something.
Kelly, unexpectedly occupied the room.  With reservation, concern, she looked over his left shoulder, onto the screen, reading the lines as he’d type.  “There,” she said.  Subtle vibrations from her solitary syllable pleasurably shocked the back of his ear, the side of his neck.  Mike, momentarily without breath.  

Cab of Night Last

I’m all backwards.  No Literary theory could encapsulate my demeanor.  Still in review of notes, those in head.  Was going to deposit a check, but I needed to be here in front of the page to convey such fray.  The Cabernet, still squeezing my thoughts.  It was an ’05 Sonoma County, that’s all.  But more.  It’s character: coercive, playful, complex, persistent.
Has me thinking.  Should I make my own?  How would I start?
Mike stopped.  And thought.  About a Cabernet Sauvignon of his own construction.  It would belong to him.  And everyone.  He thought of a label, one radiantly and pragmatically simplistic, but antagonistic.  How would he start?
He would just start.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Napa Chick and The SoCo Kid, Mission 3: Back-a to Napa

Paraduxx, incredible. Beauty, and hospitality. I had heard of this Napa gem about a year ago, when some close family friends visited, tasted. All acclaim. I can see why. Even the tasting cards are remarkably sightly, engaging. First thing I notice, the layout of the grounds and the design and decor of the tasting Room, the back patio where we did our tasting. Our host, the notably versed Damien, first poured a wildly complex and charismatic Rosè. Did an ’05 through ’07 vertical of the Paraduxx Reds, and finished with a hauntingly erotic ‘07 Golden Eye Pinot. He also managed to sneak in an ’08 Cab, which was quite young but showed promise in its aggressively sexy flavor dazzle. Elegance, humility, enviable hospitality, enjoyment. 4.5/5, for me.
Location 2, Rudd. This is going to be a difficult one to write. Why? Because every second impressed, educated, and inspired me. Our host, and new buddy, Cameron (a.k.a. Cam the Camera Man) walked us about the grounds, through the production area, and, my favorite, through the puzzling and enticing miscellany of a cave. Feel like I deprived my Self some of the experience, as I was always filming, shooting. Upstairs for some wine. “So who’s thirsty?” Cam asked. We were all ready. Not sure if I was. I wanted to roam around the caves some more. Anyway, one of the better, more coherently flavorful Sauv Blancs I’ve had in some time, strong Cabernets, and, my winner, the blend. This winery, appointment only, will definitely see me again. The consummate experience in wine and the wine life, Napa and past. 5+/5.

Only two stops on this trip. But afterwards, experience a little bit of Napa life at night. Calm, classy, coercive. This experience made me fall even more immovable. Napa romanticism. Napa, now, delivering a character of sophistication and provocation. Savory seduction, an array of palate arousal. I watch my footage and grin, cringe. When can I go back? What else is there to see? So much. Never too much. Took home a bottle of the 2007 Cab from Rudd. Tempted to open it tonight, but it needs an occasion, cherished characters. Napa, becoming my obsessive stage. Warranted overindulgence, with which I the Self pace. Stories to come, pages over pages. Sip, sip...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Titus Reflection

Titus taught me a lot.  Not just about harvest, but about the inner-workings of a winery, its crew.  For me, as a writer, this was bullion, a page mine.  The footage I shot was enjoyable, surreal.  This vinoLit life, confirmed, thanks to the Titus crew.  With each of the short film’s frames, I’m shoved, to write more, explore more.  Not sure what other wine bloggers appreciate, beyond their project(s).  But, this scribe, in humble admiration of the “meekest” of tasks.  All, of immeasurable value.  Almost felt guilt with my camera, wanted to assist in what I could, learn more.  Watching my footage, repeated with lunacy.  Sipping, enjoying.  Relishing in the value.  Thankful...  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review of Wooden Valley Winery & Vineyards

Up the street from Solano Community College, you encounter a find.  My new go-to, Wooden Valley Winery & Vineyards.  A necessity in wine world exploration.  I walked into the tasting Room, and was stunned by the allure of the decor and pervading ambience.  Rustic wood, low lighting.  Spacious and serene.  I approach the bar, and am greeted by Matt.  He tells me all about the history of the winery, the Lanza family.  I looked around the Room, and appreciated, literally, each increment of the floor, illustration.  Couldn’t wait to taste some of the residents on the list in front of me.  Before beginning, Matt and I talked a bit more about this unique Suisun Valley AVA.  Wine education, reliable and credible vino ed, loving it.
Matt ignited the tasting session with an ’09 Sauvignon Blanc (award-winning, mind you).  This SB was one of the most focused, coherent, and flavorful, graceful that I’ve ever met.  Almost asked for a “revisit,” but withheld.  Next, an ’08 Zin, followed by a mighty ’07 Merlot (no Cab infused).  This Merlot had a tannic tenacity that would make some Napa Cab producers jealous.  Nothing obnoxious, pure and formidable sophistication.  Next, an ’07 Cab, which completely put this penman in silence, before concluding with a clean and covertly sweet 2009 Riesling.  Matt told me that he preferred the 2006 Estate Cab over the ’07, but didn’t have it open.  I bought one, as per his expertise and endorsement.
Hospitality, incredible.  Couldn’t ask for a better host in a tasting Room.  The wines, walked away with a life-changing SB (which I sip now, while composing this prose), a majestically momentous Merlot, and the highly heralded 2006 Estate Cab.  I was going to just cruise home after my lecture.  Glad I didn’t.   Pay Wooden Valley Winery & Vineyards a visit next time you’re in this all-too-underrated AVA.  Sitting here with one of the better balanced Sauvignon Blancs I’ve had in my day, I’m already thinking about my next visit, my next purchase.  May be walking off with a couple cases.  Uh oh.  Either way, sip, sip...  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Mike decided he should have the night free from everything.  No writing, no writing about wine.  No podcast, social media gymnastics concerning wine.  But he would enjoy some wine.  He hadn’t seen Kelly in almost 23 hours.  He tried not to let the reality infect his moment.
The nap made each motion heavy.  He tried to focus on the screen, with the assistance of Diet Coke caffeine.  He thought about the semester, how it couldn’t end quick enough.  The students, the paper piles, the toxicity of it all.  He needed his character.  Her smile, that clinging giggle.  Where was she? 
“What are you doing?” Kelly asked, starling him.
“I didn’t know you were here.  Did you just get here?” Mike said, closing his laptop, alongside dialogue meant to distract her.  But she wasn’t following his stray lines.
“Why are you closing it?  What were you writing?” she asked, sitting in the chair next to him.
Mike felt lopsided, incongruent with his own chemistry.  They had never been in this nearness.  He shifted the chair left, away, with what focus he could conjure from his shaky stems.  “Nothing.  Just a short that’s going nowhere.  I’m not liking it that much.  How have you been?” He could smell her perfume, or lotion.  Peach, vanilla, maybe a covert cord of dark cherry.  He didn’t know what it was.  He didn’t care.  This wasn’t an aroma workshop.  It was her.  He incrementally adjusted his pose closer to her, to intake more, more.
“I’m tired.  And hungry.  You want to have dinner with me tonight?” she asked.
“Sure. the mood for?”
“Let’s stay here.  I’ll make something,” she said, standing, appearing ready to dash to the kitchen.  
Mike didn’t want her to cook.  She deserved to have something made for her, he just thought.  “I’ll make something.”
“You cook?”
“Of course.” Of course he didn’t, is what he then shouted within himself.  What was he going to make?  He hadn’t cooked for himself in over a year.  And now he was going to cook for her?  He needed wine.  He knew that she would, too. 
They sipped an ’05 Petite Verdot, that had just a pinch of Malbec and Cab in its web.  Mike stirred the sauce he hoped in the end would make sense.  He looked at the bottle, before more a pour.  Nothing.  “Did you want me to open something else?” she asked, noticing his glance at the glass.
“Sure, open whatever you’d like,” he said.  He watched her pass him, those notes crawling again into his senses and core.  He then appreciated the way she knelt down with such projection, how her bare knee lightly kissed the shag beneath.  He couldn’t wait to see what she removed from the little fridge.  He was almost certain it would be Chardonnay, or a Pinot Gris.  The sauce beneath his forearms bubbled, but couldn’t be less concerned with his bastardization of what was to top noodles.  Her arm, a desert for vision.  Its shade, shape, spectacular scene.  Desert, already.
She reached in, each inch of her arm’s extension devoured by Mike’s addicted lenses.  Bottle next.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reflection: Saturday, 10/9/2010 Alderbrook Wine Club Pickup Party

Imagine a crazy concept, wine and having fun.  Being Human.  Listening to music.  Even cranking out a couple karaoke tunes.  No, not in the wine world.  Contrary: OF COURSE, IN THE WINE WORLD!  Alderbrook today made sure that wine club folk and the public alike had a great time, with exceptionally and divinely demarcated wines and various activities.  Enjoying the occasion that wine creates, each other’s company.  The moment. 
The guests loved the opportunity to sing, the chili created by Mona, wine club chief Amber Capps Duval, tasting Room head Colette Larson, among others (I think I chopped up something,  I think, but it wasn’t a lot...again, I think).  The weather, paradisiacal, celestial, you couldn’t have ordered it.  Also in attendance was Director of Events and Hospitality Karen McFarland, whom took each opportunity to welcome guests and escort them to a tasting station.  Also quite popular in the delightful duration of this event were the hula hoops, many of which were provided by the startlingly ravishing Bene Rather-Taylor (whose business, Spin It Hoops, you can find on Facebook), visiting the tasting Room yesterday, to deliver the splendid results of her ingenuity.  Everyone enjoyed the lovely and dauntingly original hoops.  I tried to hula, but failed humorously.  It was humorous, I think. [You can thank me later that  there is no footage of my hula-ing.]
I couldn’t get over what a great time everyone was having, all of the immeasurably enjoyable conversations, of which I was graciously and humbly a part, concerning the wine.  Talking about the detected notes, what we would pair, favorites, among much else.  Alderbrook knows how to treat its guests, be they club members or regularians like I.  At one point, I was tempted to sing, but withheld.  This was about the guests, their moment.
Okay, so I sang later.  One guest told me I should.  So I did.  New to Alderbrook’s tribe, I want to seem Human, quite alive.  The crowd seemed pleased.  I appeared to contribute to their time, which is what I wanted.  The entire Alderbrook clan executed the like, much more than my measly “performance.” Learning a great deal from this new Room, it crew and visitors.
Upon the day’s close, all I could hear were chuckles, impassioned speak, and praise of the staff, the wine.  Rewarding, to be modest, to be a factor in this Dry Creek reality. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Napa Chick & The SoCo Kid, Mission 2: Sonoma Side

I had some places planned for the blogging partner and I.  Had never been to our first location, Sable Ridge Vineyards.  No idea what to expect.  Our host, and winery proprietor, Chuck, showed a fantastic flight of Syrahs, and educated us on the history and uniqueness to the Bennett Valley AVA.  Neither Danica nor I could refrain from snapping pic on top of pic.  There was too much to capture.  When the fantastic tasting sessions concluded, I had to walk off with a bottle of the 2000 Petite Sirah.  A beautiful drive to an even more beautiful spot, Sable Ridge Vineyards.  Perfection. 
I had Little Vineyards targeted for location 2, but, like an idiot, I failed to verify their hours of operation.  So, we elected their next door neighbor, B.R. Cohn.  I’ll concede my bias, promptly, and divulge my conspicuous affinity for this winery.  And the Doobie Brothers.  Napa Chick and I found ourselves, again, with contrasting palates in Cabernets.  We both loved the Sauv Blanc and other pours.  Once outside, we couldn’t help but appreciate the collection of clouds above our stage.  No bottles purchased, had to refrain.  But, an incredible experience in the tasting Room, with impressive wines with distinguished note arrangements and palate presences.  Definitely visiting again.  Quite near to now. 
Last location, a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  Moondance Cellars.  Great wines, and an even more lovely hostess, Betty.  She was very gracious in pouring the menu’s gamut.  I felt these wines had an overall deliciously defiant flavor structure, universally pleasing.  Versatile, flirtatious, and firm, fortified.  I really reveled in the feel of the Room.  The bar, the paintings, the antique sink.  I had to take a bottle of the Zin, as I find my Self going back and forth with the mysterious varietal.
We left, surprised the day was already at its close.  But, that’s what happens in this life, this wine life.  After colliding with three closed doors, at three different restaurants, I ushered us to “Fresh,” the new spot in the Skyhawk bailiwick.  D had a salad with pairs, blue cheese, and (I think) nuts of some kind.  Either way, she loved it.  I, with the mushroom and mozzarella pizza, a little crispy.  Ideality in the wine reality.  Perfection.  One couldn’t customize a more quintessential episode in a wine writer’s journey.  Sip, sip...  

Impatient Writer

I don’t enjoy waiting.  One of my gripes with social media.  Been having a few demerits to voice of technology’s advancements, of late.  Currently, sipping a Pinot from Russian River.  So soothing, amazingly anesthetizing.  Not sure where the night will move my syllables, but I tap with anticipation.  With this very sip, thinking of winter vacation.  Is that bad?  My classes, chiseling my being, mind, sight, very nucleus.
Still uploading.  Viginia Woolf never had to deal with this.  Plath, Austen, Poe, Emerson.  What has happened to us?  To me?  We used to be contemplative, unruffled.  Now, we gyrate for immediacy. 
(Wednesday, 10/6/2010)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Late Me, A Probably

Tired of the wine, the prose, all.  But the sparkle resides in my character.  Everything she says.  All her movements and mannerisms.  She notices not my notice.  I’m wrong for this, probably.  Her motions pleasurably entrap my map.  If she exists, then I don’t.
Want everything to halt.  For her.  My character.  This has to be wrong.  I must be ill.  When the novel’s done, do we dissolve?  I might.  But she, eternity.  Need more of her.  For these pages.  Before I lose ages.  I’m pulled, folded, by my own character.  Loving it.  I sip the Cabernet again, hoping she’ll willingly reside with my side, indefinitely...