Barrel tasting, Sonoma Valley
3/18/12. 9:54am. More barrel tasting frenzying. Writing rushed. Don’t like this time squeeze, but then I do, very much. Last night’s Chardonnay, produced by Prof. Katie, has me, the writer, thinking of an article on Chards; what the styles are, those trending, pairing potentials. Think that’s the first Chardonnay I’ve sipped here at home, and for night’s cap, in well over a year.
May buy another Comp Book, make a project out of it. Just notes, scattered paragraphs, whatever the ink paints. I have too much reliance on this little monster, my flashy, “pretty” laptop. No one would need to borrow it, ever, no one could hack into it [speaking of the new Comp Book, if I lost you], it would be REAL writing, not a preponderance of types. That’s what real writing is–PEN, PAPER, INK. Just as graphic design is not real drawing, or painting, at least in my mind. What if your computer crashed, then what would you do? I know, back everything up on a stick or whatever, or an external hard-drive [is that hyphenated?]. But what if that fails at the same time, or shortly after? What if you lose you memory card, or stick, or chip [have no idea what people use, think I may have one somewhere here in the desk’s innards]. Either way, I’ll stop by the drug store just a block from base, snag one on the way home.
Tried finding my memory piece, but can’t. And I don’t want to throw away time on a frivolous excavation. But do you see what I mean, about technological dependence as a writer? Now I’m completely frazzled, with concentration severed… Dug one more time into the overwhelming clutter of one of my cupboards,. Found it. Going to “back up” [right phrasing?] my writings. I’ll be typing later, after the barreled stage. Wonder what Kaz is pouring. The Lenoir? That ’07 Syrah? Or will he break out the Tempranillos with the contrasting yeasts? Excited to be surprised. Still love his wines, his approach to winemaking, his views on wine life. Profoundly and universally Artistic.
Sun, struggling to get through clouds, through the blinds in front of me. Had a thought, but lost it. About wine… Kaz… Tempranillo… Can’t remember, have to move on, type on.
7:08pm. Back from winery, tasting a few barrels. Loved the wines, as did everybody else. My Kaz crew and I even engaged in a little blind beer tasting, which was my first if you can believe. Kazzy had a couple wines so new that even I had never even heard of them. One of them being the 2011 Pinot/Sauv Blanc Rosé, which was amazing, like nothing I’d ever before sampled–EVER, anywhere. Was hard to get past the intense cold, only made more fierce by the indignant wind’s chill.
Luke and I kept pouring, with me shooting footage, taking pictures, and tasting what he recommended. One urgency he had was to blend the ’07 Syrah with the ’09 Petite Sirah. Hypnotic, naughtily, and it’s wonderfully entertaining to play with the percentages. Was in more of a Literary mode today that a journalistic one. Met new friends from the Wine Truffle Boutique, and saw one of my favorite Sonoma Valley chefs, Mr. Steve Rose, owner of Vineyards Inn, just down the street. I mentioned how much I love his calamari, and sure enough he only a few minutes later brought some by for us all to enjoy. Never get tired of it. Before the barrel event began, he had some paella prepared with some sauteed garlic clove internally-garnished bread, pairing magically with the ’06 Red Said Fred.
The wind kept with its vision of chilling us all to our skeletons, so Kaz called us all inside the tasting Room, where we poured the featured wines of the day plus others we usually put into guest glasses. I spoke to a few guests about their favorites. No surprise, all over board. No consensus. It was as though each of Kazzy’s wines had their own loyal militias, I remember thinking behind the bar, only minutes from 5p. Then, thoughts of the writing, of my character, this new Comp Book, my wine in tis barrel, invaded my concentration. What do I do with her in pages? She’ll tell me, when she’s ready.
Mike Madigan is an independent writer with a master’s in English. He has been blogging about all things wine since 2009. In May of 2011, he started http://1stopwineblogshop.com/1stopwineblogshop.com, which also has a little direct-consumer accessibility that he plans to develop. Then in January 2012, he started http://bottledaux.com/, his second, and far more literary, blog. Mike also writes a lot of spoken word poetry and many other erratic entries that he leaves off the blog. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife and son.
Email him: email@example.com; find him on Facebook at http://facebook.com/mikeslognoblog and Twitter @Madigan529.