Monday, October 31, 2011

62: Beer, for the Wine Writer’s sipNscribble -- DEFIANT

Tonight, for our traditional Halloween wine and pizza gathering, Katie brought over two samples of our wine.  One from B1 (barrel 1), and B2.  Katie noted on mini post-it’s, on the lid of each small casing, the brix level of each barrel.  B1 = 2.1, B2 = 0.5.  Tasted both, and, as I predicted, B2 showed the most composure, appeal.  Pressing later this week, and I’ll stand on winery grounds, at whatever time I need be, to do what I need 2 do, for MY wine.  Not really sure where others see themselves qualified to comment on my ambitions, my dreams.  And, to be frank, I’m a writer, an eternal dreamer.  I’ll make it happen either way.
2morrow, November’s liftoff.  How did that happen?  Sipping, now, the beer Mom and Dad brought me back from Oregon.  Nice nose profile, thirst-sedating quality.  Thinking of today’s Literary Lunch, with this pint, this heaping pint.  Why would I let even a drop, as I writer, loving the sipNscribble, go to waste?  Listening to a documentary on Tupac Shakur, for the hundred-something-th occasion.  He’s teaching me to follow my heart, as a Writer, winemaker, Artist.  Forget what critics, skeptics, or just talkers vocalize.
Tomorrow, I plan on another Lit Lunch.  Need to leave a bit earlier than I regularly intend, come ardent AM.  Morning mocha, funded by a colleague, as I lend her a ride.  Kind of her, to contribute to my addiction.  Shouldn’t let her do that, pay for my morning blend.  Should lend my car’s volatile cabin, structure, from my heart’s charitable urge.  But I can’t refuse a gift, that’d be rude, right?  Convenient conscience.  But I think we all have that, to a degree.  Don’t we?

9:59p.  Twelve hours from now, I’ll be struggling for sales.  If I stepped as Kelly did, away from her machine, entirely within her Craft, all would blossom, I’m sure.  But I’m scared to leap in such boldness, I confess.  Time will tell me what to do, precisely.  But I wish it would be more speedy with its orders.  What it does tell me, the clock: to keep focus on the wine; you’re a writer, you’ll always write; But this wine, needs extra attention, be abreast of variables, consistencies.  All, with those two barrels, their levels.  Don’t ever preoccupy yourSelf with what slow-minded swill-slurping slugs offer.  Their years are limited, they just want to be heard, in their entrenched unhappiness.  They, in all angles, situate short of comprehension of my aims, Ambitionz.  Of vinoLit. 
10/31/2011, Monday  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

63: Successfully Wined Day, Topped with Another Merlot Throw

The hydrometer readings went well.  I think, I hope.  Sent them to my sister.  Did punches prior, a few stern stirs.  The wine seems to be coming into its own coherent cuddle.  When finished with my winemaking assignments, handed from Professor Katie (Have I capitalized before, “Professor?” I hope so.  She definitely deserves.), I walked around the facility, taking even more pictures of barrels, tanks, the enveloping area.  True Wine elements.  All around me, encouraging the poetic.  Writing more raw.  I again thought of the blog, what I should do with it.  Can’t age my writings, as I recently fiddled.  One stark contrast between vino, its closely-related Lit.  Pages need be set free, immediately.
So, this ’08 Merlot.  Taste 1...  Nose offers more tease, elevated eroticism.  Deeper berry notes, smoke.  Palate:  Louder blueberry than last night, whisking mint.  Finish, light, faded.  Loudest note, blueberry, mint, maybe cherry.  Minimal tannin.  Making notes in my winemaking folder.  “Research tannin management,” I should to Self through ink.

David, Me, and Annika, sipping in the Kaz Room ...
Sip, sip ...
Great day at Kaz Winery, my first full day in 2 weeks.  Halloween, lauded jubilee at this winery.  Petite Sirah, from Lake County if I’m not mistaken, processed just outside the tasting Room’s entrance.  Pinot as well, de-stemmed, pressed.  The process of harvest, still about and on us, as I did a little punching of Petite Sirah, Lenoir.  Fun guests, throughout the day, as always at Kazzo’s Wine hut.  Tomorrow, back at NWG.  Bringing the laptop critter, for a Lit Lunch.  Figure it all out, on my hour break.  Wine, Literature, Publishing.  All that’ll bring this author to a sovereign state. 
Wine Bar beats about my chair.  The part of my reason for staying in its comforts.  This Merlot, the other.  Can’t believe how expansive that winemaking area is, at St. Francis.  Beyond inspiring, impressive.  This whole experience with Katie has shown me that I, as an artist, decide ultimately what’s attainable, where I go with my Craft.  Not some slippery-tongued salesman.  No one puppeteers poets.  Another sip in this 2008 Sonoma County puddle...  Not jolted, romanticized, but encourage to think, brainstorm.  Need to print my findings on native malolactic vs. imported/infused, or foreign, commercial strains.  Always hunting for more knowledge gems.  Love researching on winemaking maneuverings.  A new passion, writing with varietals...

10/30/2011, Sunday

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Done with workout.  5+ miles.  Right knee, hurting again.  Tonight, winemaking homework/research, and 2008 Merlot deconstruction.  Must have already sipped the ’08  Cab I mentioned.  Couldn’t find a bottle in the cooler.  Nothing wrong with Merlot, I think.  It’s a softer varietal, but potentially housing muscle, electricity.  Don’t underestimate Merlot, I tell people.  Would love to make a Merlot one day.  Katie told me that I should think if I would like my Cab, and she does refer to it as MINE, even though I consider it ours, to be spicy or fruity, sweet or dry as she addressed today.  Think I’ll aim for dry, see if I can snag some Merlot to sweeten it, give it more succulent berry swing.  Want my wine to have smoke, somewhere.  Need to ask my professor how to execute, catch such.
Listening to Wine Bar playlists, but I can’t figure out how how to approach tomorrow’s hours at Kaz Winery.  Haven’t poured there in 2 weeks.  Well, that’s not true.  I poured there last Saturday, to help while Kazzy and Luke processed the Pinot coming in.  Not going to take as many pictures, but more so scribble every second.  Note form.  My consciousness deluge, aggressively streaming.  The music, assists, immediately.  Tonight, racking my writing, as I will be my wine.  Odd, I stop.  Not a block, per se.  Just an unanticipated cesura.  After log posts, poetry only.  Spoken word.  Boastful, confident, ART.
Need to embrace Kelly’s attitude of just seeing what happens.  Courageous curiosity.  That’s how she landed in her current tranquil expansiveness.  A woman of canvass, the brush, blended color exploration.  Can’t wait for the Merlot.  What will it tell me to do?  Probably all of what’s contained in the last couple lines: FOLLOW KELLY.  Write everything, record details all.  To right, two pens.  Inked rollers, directions opposing.  What does that mean?  Maybe nothing.  Either way, it’s page-placed.  
So, the Merlot.  9:46p.  Boastful nose, with blueberry, spicy plum, smoke, leather, herbs.  Mythically gothic, dark in its dalliances.  Full mid-palate, Cab-esque.  Finish, inter-dimensionally trysting; plum and blueberry expansion, retraction.  
Mike thought of Kelly, but them stopped himself.  He needed to write, produce something marketable, finally.  He sipped his Merlot again, his “research.” Back at winery, tomorrow.  But he had to record readings, research, not simply punchdown congealed barrel contents.  He loved the challenge, writing with fruit.  He needed to talk to her about it.  Could be the emboldenment from his glass, but he didn’t care.  Dialing.
“Hello?” Kelly greeted, cautious, off guard.
“Hey, Kell’.  It’s Mike.  Are you asleep?” Mike said, noticing how he sounded, wishing he hadn’t dialed.  Why did he?    
“Uh, no.  I’m letting some glasses dry, and watching some really lame TV movie.  What are you doing, Mikey?”
Mike didn’t know what lines to provide.  Truth, or embellishment.  “I’m writing.  Really bad fiction.  About to press delete.”
“Are you pouring tomorrow?”
“Yeah.  You should come by.”
“I was going to.” 
“Really?  You want to taste some wine tomorrow?  With me?” Mike wished he could just euthanize his dialogue.  “If you can, anyway.  I need to go, I have to finish this.  Can I call you in the morning?”
“Sure,” Kelly said.  Dizzied by the progression.
Sipping the rest of this Merlot, to forgo the past scene’s throws.  Haven’t seen her as much, lately.  What should I pour her tomorrow?  Am I going to act awkward?  This chapter needs to be closed.  And it’s not even a chapter, really.  Should call her back, but that would be like dipping chocolate into more chocolate.  Not much of a fan, it’d be too much.  And another call, after that one, would be just that.  Too much.  Need a sip, more Merlot.    

64: Wine Readings

Left my notebook in the car.  Need to get it, as my winemaking notes from the day are inscribed on present’s page.  There were different readings from both barrels, the brix levels.  Tomorrow, I’ll be taking readings by mySelf.  Like how Katie trusts in my passion, abilities to perform even small tasks, solo.  Tonight, I plan to study an ’08 Cab’s profile.  Still thinking of the impact the ’07 had.  How I was unimpressed, but interested in my reaction’s lack.  Beautiful day outside, especially up in Alexander Valley this morning, for my meeting.  Nothing but possibilities in this wine world, its “industry.”
Katie and I had an interesting discussion this afternoon, before I left.  Is “custom crushing” winemaking?  I argued that it’s not, comparing it to someone taking credit for a book that ghost writers for them composed.  Katie didn’t say it was winemaking, but urged me not to rule it out.  But I have to, as I’m a writer.  And, as I recently scribbled into this log, I make wine in the same vein, with the same artistic integrity, as I pen my Literary works.  So custom crushing it out.  Have to fund wine with writing.  But, how to do so ... 
Need to get out for a run, visit my new gym.  The Wine Bar tracks tell me do just the antithesis.  Stay with page, open an IPA.  Sorry, Thievery.  Need to force this idle writer into movement.  Should bring my little notebook with me, scribble whatever I can remember from the intervals.  Just had lunch, waiting for body to readjust.  Writing tonight with no aim, no desire for sense, predictability.  Just magnificent mess.  Aesthetic, poetic.  
The blog, may have another life lease, I realized this morning, getting closer to the winery.  Costs nothing to maintain, has earned me some recognition.  But will it help me cross into true Autonomy?  Going to print the first Bottled Journal tonight, hopefully.  Let it age a while.  But what will that do?  That’s not what I want to do.  Should probably just leap, publish it.
10/29/2011, Saturday

Friday, October 28, 2011

65: Friday, Cab Checkup, Some Quote Bites

Did so by mySelf.  Katie, deservedly, went home timely.  Did my first solo punchdowns, stirring of juice, skins.  And, no surprise, couldn’t help but take pictures of all my surroundings’ sides.  But, returning respect to our developing wine, in two different barrels, provides two different airborne melodies.  Barrel two, much more aromatic than 1.  How is that possible, I remember asking Katie.  She said, a few days ago, that it could be the toast level, cooper, wood class.  Either way, there’s a noticeable personality contrast.  When they’re blended together, if they are, I can only envision what results.  That is what’s incredibly encouraging about wine, curious, why it fosters such creativity.  Frankly, the Literary world should embrace such experimentation, just see what happens, like Kelly always tells me.  Our wine has told me, directly, to write messier, more colorful prose, poetry.  Go against Vonnegut’s orders, be Picasso-esque.
All the other barrels I captured tonight, what materializes inside each of them?  Would love to know.  But would rather be surprised when pulling a cork, pouring.  Sipping my nightcap, skating through my friend Amanda’s blog,  Little fusillades of inspiration, insight, Truth.  Love her innovatory approach to all existential variables.  Everyone can find something on her site that’ll grab them; steer, calm, spiritually renew them.  Can only hope that my entries, coming novel, BOOKS, do even a drop equalling. 

Back to the winery tomorrow, to work alongside, learn from, my sibling professor.  Wonder if the Cab, the barrels’ noses, will offer different orations.  Need to ask Katie what step’s next.  I have to review all the steps, to make sure I’ve recorded them accurately. Speaking of which, I need to start another log, just for my winemaking progressions, enlightenments.  Also, need to stack my spoken word, rime, pages.  Didn’t do my poetry assignment last night.  Just like old times, in grad school, under that    simulated poetry sage professor.  Need to edit novel, organize photos, go through some old writings with which I recently connected.  Stressed.  Need one of Amanda’s quote bites.  Another sip, swimming to her site.  Eased.  Off to dream of the Cabernet, whoso cellars...
10/28/2011, Friday

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Night, continuing.  Only a couple sips left, this Cabernet.  But, I’m flying past wine’s realm.  Just thinking of Autonomy’s feel, profile.  It’s enzymatic despondency.  Can’t forget about tonight’s writing assignment, the 16 lines.  More poetry needed, surely.  Especially if I want my writing to be wine-like, unpredictable.    Defiant, separatist, sovereignly sectarian.  More verse.  The more oddities, the better.  For me, my sanity.  I aim to stand as several varietals.
Tomorrow night, more punchdowns, I think.  Always look forward to stepping in that facility, about those tanks, barrels, aromas.  But, I’m starting to think, my wine, mine and Katie’s, would want me to abandon pattern, uniformity.  Orwell certainly would.  Is my wine Orwellian?     
Time, 9:51p.  Twelve hours from now, the writer’s cubed.  Dichotomy, or consistency?  I’ll write my way through either.  Deconstruction in all pulses, wine and/or Literary.  Thinking of the café.  Why?  The rushed, productive nature of that hour.  It’s MY hour, the page’s.  Never before have I used a lunch hour this way, with such commitment, consistency.  Testament to and with my obsession in language, page, ink.  I’m sure Emerson would understand my discovery, in Self’s shelves.  He said that “good writing” takes the writer “where he would not go.” So, is mine “good?” Where is it taking me?
Where does masterful wine take its maker?  In this sitting, on this downstairs couch, I find mySelf obsessed with Creativity, creation.  Tired, struggling to my word target.  Why do I set goals before Self, with writing, like this page is a sales slate.  My only goal, is to sit, write.  I could walk away right now if I wanted to.  I’m the “boss,” on this page, with these sessions, pages.  I will never be stopped with sips, scribbles.  Freedom, with these lucrative Self skirmishes.  Reflection, wine-flighted introspection.  Finally, clear view, a near New.
10/27/2011, Thursday

66: Last Night’s Cabernet, 2nite’s Feature

Easily passed 1000 words at today’s Lit Lunch.  The Cab, tonight, offering more song than 24 hours rearview’d.  With Katie, tonight, punchdowns, a little nutrient blast for the yeast.  I was surprised to hear her say that fermentation may finish by Sunday.  Maybe I heard her wrong.  But if I didn’t, I can’t help but be surprised how fast that was.  Didn’t have a lot of time to chat with my professor, as she was drained from her day.  That, not a surprise.  It’s harvest.  Hard on the real winemaker, my professor.  Another sip...  Smokey lavender, alongside the leather note.  Was there leather, the night last?
So, still haven’t turned into the spoken word pieces, as I’ve been meaning to.  A shift, one artistically extreme, nearing.  One freeing, pushing me from stationary containment.  I’m a writer, one of wine, fiction, verse.  There’s no other way.  Time, 8:38p.  Thankful tomorrow’s Friday.  Pulling new Comp book from bag...  Tonight’s schedule, just as winemakers stick to tight sequences now, in harvest: 16 lines, rhymed.  That’s it.  True consciousness blending.  No stream.  Just erratically interconnected syllabic stems.
The sky’s shades this morning, and tonight, especially when leaving the winery, an awakening.  If only I had not obligations, time, schedules.  Would have pulled over on 12, right around Deerfield Ranch Winery.  Would have just turned off my car, activated Wine Bar beats.  Sipped my coffee, wrote.  And if I didn’t make it to my meagerly waged stint, not my problem.  Only my, my pages’, largess.  And at the winery, tonight, I would have taken this very Comp book from its bunk, leaned against my car’s back bumper, scribbled to dream ceiling, netting scents of bairn wine.  Wishes, with tonight’s wine pours, in these scribbles.  Book, almost done.  My first bottled page block.  My relationship with wine, writing, with wine’s relationship with lined leaps, more intense with every Creative movement.  Only further fruition, fermentation.  
Another ’07 Cabernet pour.
10/27/2011, Thursday  

67: 10/26/2011, Wednesday

In the Roasting Company’s boarders.  Love free mochas, nice people.  New wine discoveries, their parent winery, or wineries, always fill me with resolve to keep discovering.  Especially since starting the 11MKCS project with Katie.  The next wine I sip, tonight.  That ’07 I’ve been dying to open the last coupe nights.  Love the music I’m listening to.  Wish I had a glass of the CS right now.  Mine and Katie’s, that is.  Not possible, I know.  Just daydreaming.  Need to type faster.  Why is time so cruel to me, as a writer, but so nice to wine?
Fewer characters at tables than when I began my crazed types.  Another sip of this 2-shot dream...  Lovely.  Didn’t finish this morning’s, as I had to leave the final half in its cup, in my car.  By the time winery visit was over, dead mocha.  Saddened, I penned it priority to visit my Literary Lunch’s scribbling spot for another.  Thinking that K’s & my Cab need a newly-carved finish.  In that, I don’t want sipped to simply state something to the effect of: “Oh...spice, a little blackberry, tannin race.” Don’t want it simplistic, at all.  I hope it dazzling.  Hoping Katie and I discovered an innovative Cab recipe of sorts.
Ready to close up my written hour-shop.  This day, completely of wine, and now my moment-manuscripted recordings.  Just calculated, could leave her in 10 minutes and still make it back on time.  Let’s see how much Consciousness Stream I can catch ... 
Now, thinking of my own winery.  My own winery’s feel.  Consumers, tasters smiling, feeling something in my bottles.  Seeing where they’d pour it, how they’d put the bottle on the table.  I see my customers walking around my tasting Room, just pairing themselves with the walls, experiencing their experience.  I think they’ll see rushes of the process in their glasses.  And so what if I pour too heavy?   I want them to have only memorable moments in my Room.  I’m sipping it now, my first vintage.  Sauv Blanc, Syrah, Cab.  Maybe a Malbec, or Merlot.  Who knows.  It’s all question mark, marks.  Kelly would urge me to just leap.  Roll the dice.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You don’t succeed as quickly as maybe you would have wanted.  There won’t be failure.  There can’t be.
The mocha, waking me for the day’s latter half.  Need poetry, spoken word, but can’t take my self away from the keys.  Why did I not capitalize “self?” See?  Did it again.  SELF ... How’s that?  Four minutes, then departure.  My session, sunk.  By obligation, commitment, ugly responsibility.  Outside, calling.  I apologize to its constituents, ingredients; motions, turns, shades, shapes, sweet scenes.  Battery power, fading...  Poor laptop monster.  Wonder if winery equipment gets beaten like these keys, their screen.  Probably worse.  Stream, unconscious, now.  But not later.  Not with the 2007 Cabernet I’ll be studying.  Can’t wait.  Love wine, its area, invitation.  Clocking out, to clock back in.  No hyphens.  Did I need them?  Is it correct?  Don’t care.  I’m artisanal.  In Lit, and now Wine.  Sip, sip ... -1:44p

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

67, pt II: Wine’s Reign, Welcomed; Celebratory Impromptu Sips

After a complete day of wine education, interaction, Aestheticism, I finally sit with the ’07 Cabernet I’ve been meaning to enjoy, deeply appreciate.  And, I must be honest, the mouthfeel’s a bit lack luster for me, my page.  The following profile, a bit light, timid.  Not sure if it’s even worth transcribing.  But tonight, today, most definitely worthy of free page space.  This morning, visit to new winery.  Had opportunities to witness their harvest process, taste Merlot gapes, talk to the winemaker.  Later, in office, tasted through an extensive vertical, from one of my favorite wineries in Napa County.  After work, connected with my old friend Dalia Ceja, from Ceja Winery, and Al Jabarin, Proprietor of 1313 Main Street Wine Bar in Napa’s downtown.  The winery visit today, with my sweetest of friends, Justine, showed me that amongst true wine elements is where this author ought artistically acclimate.  Old has inner climate culminating for sakes of my tasting Room, my winery.

Katie dismissed me from punchdown duty tonight.  Which is fine, if that helps her.  She’s so busy, in harvest’s demanding swings, I’m bewilderingly flattered that she can even spare a second’s slice to make time with her overeager older brother.  Looking at my pictures, taken from my phone, tempts me to dump the Cab I’m sipping, speed to the winery, check on my barrels‘ occupant grapes.  See how our wine unfolds in its spell, autonomous intentions.  Yes, there’s a way I’d like it to persist, I’m sure Katie as well, but I want the wine to grow as it wishes, be somewhat independent of Katie and I.  Be its own mind.  Again, truly AUTONOMOUS.  Wishing that for our wine, bluntly.  
Can’t believe how much I wrote on today’s Literary Lunch.  1500+ words.  Thank the free mocha.  Such banquet to see Samantha tonight, my old NWG colleague.  Her blog, one of my preferreds, appears to be continually spellbinding its readers.  Most assuredly me.  That’s what wine does, as I’ve always said.  Recipe the occasion.  In tonight’s case, sparkling wine, but you can interpret my thesis, as its ever obvious.  Already awaiting my next 1313 visit, revisit.

Al, Dalia, and I at 1313 Main St. Wine Bar
So, this Cabernet, not what I expected, or remember.  Our debut bottle, must have a more full, personified mouthfeel than this.  What I get from these pours: some cherry, mint or eucalyptus, shy tobacco, earthy tea.  But each note appears thin, without vigor.  If anything, I’ve gained from waiting for my ’07 pours, this night’s tasting.  Tomorrow, long run due.  Thinking 5 miles, after punchdowns.  But will it be too late?  Don’t plan, I tell mySelf.  Just see.  So now, I sip.  vinoLit ...  

10/26/2011, Wednesday

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


69:  Inoculated, Our Wine Articulated
Drove straight to the lab from Napa.  Faster than usual.  Walked into the lab, saw Katie finishing up her projects, only to instruct me in the next step in ours.  She put a container of warm water on the counter, into which I slowly poured the yeast while she stirred.  Waited.  Then, a little juice from the barrels.  Wait...  We went down to the facility floor where I was tasked with pouring half the nutrients upon which the yeast would feast, half into each barrel.  Then, the yeast mixed with some Cab juice.  A little water, added.  Some stirring.  Now, waiting.  Next, punchdowns.  Katie and I are going to rotate, as I work in Napa, and they MUST be done daily.
All day today, while cubed, all I could think about was our wine, making wine, future winemaking projects of ours.  Tonight, not sipping Cab, taste research as I probably should.  At left, a Red Rocket Ale, actually, from Bear Republic.  Relaxing, enjoying some daydreaming as I flip through the pages of the sources I bought yesterday at the book store.  Aside from varying varietals, I’m set on implementing myriads of paths to all frames of my wines’ production process.  Different yeasts, barrels, and all other steps my professor’s to instruct.  With my winemaking, I’m looking to develop a consistent voice, character.  Like Katie, Kaz, others I’ve met.  I’ll be a winemaker as I’m a writer.  Tenacious, triumphantly tangential.
Suddenly, a tickle for Cabernet erupts in my mental motions.  But, I’ll save such for Wednesday night.  Opening a different Cab, an ’07, sure to have a more intensely protracted profile.  My sister complemented my choice of yeast, the BDX, as it contributes to enhanced mouthfeel and adjusted tannin.  She called it “the fancy yeast.”  Wonder what the others strains would have done to our Russian River Cabernet.  Will be back at the plant on Wednesday night, after NWG, for my first punchdown.  Saw my sister punch a couple Sangiovese barrels tonight.  But, as with everything on Saturday, she made it look more than easy.  Habit, reflex, second nature, effortless.  Clocking out tonight, wondering what our wine’s doing, right now, under those barrel lids.  And, most notably, thankful to my gracious, unmatchable professor.
10/24/2011, Monday  
68:  Sipping to Blended Thoughts
And, no surprise, all I could think about today, cubed, was our wine, it resting, developing in its barrels, like twins in womb.  Tomorrow night, after my first punchdown our the 11MKCS, a Cab tasting here in the castle.  2007, as I said.  Don’t want my deconstructive appreciation to be expected.  Just going to write as I nose, taste, finish.  At right, 7UP.  Another craving for sweetened citrus.  Makes me think of vacation, a beach walk, returning to my hotel Room, providing an unfamiliarly mesmerizing panorama of the waves, sands, street, passers.  I write for nearly an hour, have my Literary Lunch at a small table just past the foot of my bed, just before a wide opening to the deck.  Cram 1000 words into 53 minutes, then take a nap for just short of 90 minutes.  Have to be at a signing promptly at 5:45p, then at an author Q&A at 7p.  Why was it booked so late?  Doesn’t matter.  There’ll be wine there, I’m sure.  Free wine, excellent bites.
Mike pulled himself from his fantasy, sipped his 7.  Maybe he did need some Cab, currently.  The day defeated him, definitely.  Tomorrow, a Literary Lunch necessary.  He needed to amalgamate pages to publish before real life ate the rest of his Self-publishing stash.  It wouldn’t be this way forever, he thought.  His favorite artists, their characters, their characters’ characters, found a way through and out of their boxes.  As would he.  The more he thought about it, writing was winemaking.  Harvesting the ideas, blending them, adjusting, letting them sit, slide into Self sense, edit.  Then, finally, release, exposure to Literary palates.  He, as he’d always known, but now especially after the two winemaking meetings with his sister, needed to finish his blended book, even thought K and him were producing most likely a 100% single vineyard Cab.  He wanted his book to be the messiest, most peculiar, nonlinear, blend that had ever invaded a store’s shelf.  And he would.  Looking at all he’d written in the past couple months, he knew he probably already had.  
He sipped. 
10/25/2011, Tuesday

Sunday, October 23, 2011

70: Day Off, but not from Wine

My new friend Laurie from Denton, TX & I ...
Sipping in the Kaz Room

Yesterday, after winemaking class, I scurried over to Kaz, to check in, pick up a check.  Shocked completely with how busy they were.  Not just concerning tasting Room guests, but Pinot arriving from Carneros.  I decided to bring in the bottles I purchased from St. Francis, so they wouldn’t get cooked, as it was quite warm.  I believe in the high 80s, maybe low 90s.  Set them down behind the counter, jumped in and poured a bit.  Fun group from Denton, TX.  All energy positive, in all motions, pours and sips.  In the context of harvest, making wine, consumers too seek to experience newness, they hunt discovery, new gems.  Couldn’t believe how delicious the Pinot berries tasted, even only in the lower 20-something brix bracket.  Kaz’s wines appear to bring out the wine-shoved curiosity, Humanness, in all of us.  Why do limos full of fun folk arrive with such fluidity?  Because of his approach to wine, the open door.  Inclusivity, no exclusivity.
Today, on my first full day off in over two weeks, I’ve been researching winemaking, winemaking techniques, tools, methods of interpreting certain varietals.  I’m returning to my sister’s shop tomorrow for yeast inoculation.  Yesterday, our handing the grapes, even the sulfuric fog invading my space, still on my mind.  I want those elements to be everyday for me, soon.

My tasting Room, whether solo or with Katie, I hope to have a feel like Kaz’s, with similar elemental, atmospheric invite.  Music, necessary.  I would like it to have more of a Humanly vogued Wine Bar/Lounge taste to it, so it doesn’t exactly hit the guest like a tasting Room.  You’re at someone’s house, or in an especially serene wine-set setting.  Urging them to sip, safely and musically escape reality.  Been de-cluttering today, as well.  Feels liberating, renewing to rid Self of items, objects, with which I haven’t emotionally or physically or intellectually connected in months, if perhaps years.  Next target: this desk.  Needs to be more of a writer’s, WINEMAKER’S, space than a landing zone for stay specs of past.
Tonight, back to study that ’08 Cab from last night.  Want to see how it maintains its vigor, how I see our Cabernet comparing.  What notes will be heard tonight from that bottle?  Dying to know.  Also want to know how palates’ll react to our maiden voyage.  But, as Katie suggested yesterday, just let it happen, unfold.  That’s what I have to do.  As writer, WINEMAKER.
10/23/2011, Sunday, NewMike

Saturday, October 22, 2011

71, After Winemaking ...

Not sure where to initiate reflection.  Well, time went by faster than I thought it would.  Than it should have.  Again, time not letting me delight.  Anyway, more optimistically,  Katie began by showing my a pump over in a huge stainless tank.  We walked around the facility, where she brought me to our barrels.  Two French, from two different coopers, both one year old.  Medium-plus toast, both, if I’m not mistaken.  Katie told me that our approach to OUR Cabernet will be open-top fermenting, for optimal impact on nose, aromatics.

When at the barrels, Katie showed me briefly how to inspect them for mold, and what she said was “buckling.” Both appeared fine, except for the top to one being a bit fragmented.  Katie rectified it swiftly.  Then, to our fruit.  Lagomarsino Cabernet.  When in, Katie took me to view, taste.  We placed a couple berries on our palates before they flew to the de-stemming machine, sorting belt.  I cited a brave note of blueberry, mid-palate.  My professor agreed, which made me smile.  Maybe I can do this, I thought.  The grapes, processed.  To the hose, into our beautiful barrels.  I’ll admit, the sulfur was a bit unsettling, as it was my first such exposure, nearly making me sick.  Katie told me to hold my breath as I, by hand, pushed the grapes to all wooden sides, swirled and stretched their presence.  The handfeel of those Cabernet babies in my palm, through fingers, for the first time, unforgettable.
“Now, we have to put in some dry ice,” K said.  Wasn’t sure what this did.  She explained that it stabilized and regulated the fermentation process, in a respect, or two, more.  We placed a couple scoops into a paint bucket, returned to our two barreled Bordeaux babies.  Katie had me shake some smoking cubes into both, then stir.  She assured me that this cold soaking of the fruit benefited not just the mouthfeel, but the pervasive character of our Cabernet.
Today, confirmed not just that winemaking stands as a path down which I’m now stepping, but as well writing about.  My subject, now, certainly, forever: wine, winemaking.  Today, watching how this was entirely instinctive, second nature, for my baby sister in addition told me to hold to passion.  Life without passion, following it, is merely existing.  I’m not here to exist, I’m here to live.  Katie showed me that, reinforced life itself in a way that couldn’t be better placed before my immediate space, face.  So, here in my office, I remember K’s presence in her office, before and after we were on the facility floor.  Katie’s motion in her chair was one of humility, prowess, precision.  Raising my glass to my Cabernet cohort, my new lifelong business partner.  She also told me not to be locked into any particular flavor profile.  Which translates to our continuation, encompassingly, if further considered.  Just let all occur.  “Much of this is about realistic expectation, and just babysitting,” she said.  Just beyond excited to see how the final movement of our wine will mystify palates, as Mom said.  And after this bottle, more steps to whoso, Katie’s and my tasting Room.

After class, went down to the St. Francis tasting Room, say hello to my old comrades, brothers.  Decided to walk away with 2 Merlots, two Cabs.  Research.  Presently, 9:44p, sipping the ’08 Wild Oak Cab.  Dark, deep, steep edges.  Would love for our Cab to offer such, but perhaps with a little more of an opaque center, and edges that don’t offer as much brightness, florescent figure.  Maybe I’m holding it wrong, or the light in this studio’s skewed.  Anyway, nose: lovely; Black berry, pepper, cigar box, coy mint.  Mouth:   Cherry, chocolate, black pepper; a wild quality swimming about sides of palate, interesting, enchanting.  Back-palate, finish: cherry, certainly of louder lacing, dancing black pepper formations encircling musically wild berries.  In whole, this Cabernet, I could sip all night, into wee clock ticks.  But, in terms of whoso’s Cab profile, I’d like it to be a bit more contained, focused, flirtatious, MYSTERIOUS.  But, like Katie said, let terroir do the talking.  Don’t find yourSelf fixated on one arrangement of notes.  And, per her urgency, I won’t.  Trusting my professor.

Listening to Wine Bar beats, just thinking about what our wine must be doing, thinking, in its wooden cocoon.  I know what I want to say through that fruit, Russian River scape, but what are its intentions?  I’ll fall asleep thinking of nothing but today.  The feel of those grapes.  Their taste, the enveloping aromatics of the facility’s sensory agility.  Me, now a winemaker.  With family.  As it ought be.  vinoLit, 4ever ... Peace.  Love.  Life.  
10/22/2011, Saturday, NewMike


And off we go, first day of winemaking.  Clocking-in, now, for the “before” contribution in today’s journalistic blending, 8:54a.  Early, for once.  Leaving this corner of mine at 10:20a, as I have to pick up something at Kaz.  Then, to the facility, to meet my untenably innovative, creative sister Katie.  Sure there will be fruit inspection, possibly de-stemming, but as I said in yesterday’s entry, can’t be sure.  And I love the not knowing, the completely universal lack of accurate foresight.  What makes it exciting, what makes me mentally alive.  And I think that’s what consumers want with their wines, something new, different.  A sipping surprise.
3-shot mocha endorsing this sitting.  Wine Bar Beats, in motion.  This winemaking mission will be life-long.  Will change my place in wine’s song.  Art, wine.  Literature, wine ... That’s what brought me here, vinoLit.  Today: auditory abundant, more than enough visual.  Tasting, touching.  And that collected nose of wine being made, there is no parallel.  But, even though this is a writing project for me, it is ALL about the wine, my sister’s time with me; instructing, demystifying, empowering.  Today will change everything.  I once read in a winemaker’s bio, while working on a project for the GM at NWG, that she wanted to do something new with her life, something that made her heart happy.  So, she alas answered curiosity’s call to try putting together a couple bottles, launch a little label.  And now, it’s a respectable label, I think in Washington, somewhere.  whoso, following suit.  ‘...whoso would be a man ... A NONCONFORMIST!!!’
9:09a, going to clock again to scribble a bit in the Comp book.  Later today, after winemaking lesson 1, sure I’ll be motivated to write.  First Bottled Journal, only pages away from fruition.  Want to blend some of these comatose writings, those in the plastic container, and on this portable monster, into a project.  Have the second Bottled Journal be more of a cuvée.  And, certainly, today’s immersion--a REAL immersion--will supply all the impetus necessary for such a Literary alloy, one that WILL sell.  This mocha, happy for me.  She, like Kelly, urges me to follow my curiosity with wine, winemaking.  She also, like my adored, ever-loved [did I just type that?], Kelly orders me to never stop being artistically or “intellectually” inquisitive.  That’s how relishable ripples appear. 
10/22/2011, Saturday


Tomorrow, winemaking.  Exhausted right now, after my first run in weeks.  Fourth connected Literary Lunch today, to succeeding stream.  Already anticipate losing sleep.  I’m an artist, Literary.  And now, oenologically.  Hoping the Cabernet I produce with Katie has more erotically situated allure than Bordeaux bully bravado.  Yes, I think it should be lively with tannic presence and flutter, but not loud as many ‘07s are.  Prefer my Cab tastes like the ‘08s, with that dark, tenaciously subdued, pervading character.  I will speak with varietal, terroir, vintage parameters, connectedness.  As I, an artist extremist with pen, so now doth trot with vines’ transmundane clusters.  
Meeting Katie at the facility at 11a.  Still am not sure exactly what her lesson’s to embody.  Either way, I’ll be closer to whoso’s actuality.  Tomorrow, I’ll make it mission to appreciate, thoroughly acknowledge every grape I touch.  Did a little research today, while cubed at NewWineGig, on punchdowns and pump overs.  Put a lot into perspective.  This winemaking apprenticeship, one of labor, as well as endless research.  This is more than a new passion for me.  The is THE path, at writing’s side.  A lifelong writing project, writing about my enviable station as a winemaker.  Eventually, AUTONOMOUS winemaker.  In order for my wines to unremittingly release revering character, I have to study eternally.  All passion, fervor.  No rest.  Ever.  Not much time.  32...   
Day to Self, Sunday, finally.  Going to miss the Kaz tasting Room, wines, guests.  But I need a day.  Thankful for my brother’s understanding, Humanness.  Time, 11:13p.  Sleep needed.  What was I sipping tonight?  Diet Coke, and now water.  Weather on the way, hard to tell.  Don’t think it matters, as all the grapes are coming off.  But, I’m sure there’s a few winemakers ordering a little more hang time.  Another lesson for me: reading weather, deciding when to pull.
10/21/2011, Friday