Today started out like most Sundays. A little coffee, some breakfast, a bit of work in the garden. But like the past two or three Sundays, I have spent most of the afternoon packing and preparing to go back on the road, working in another region. Last week it was Austin, this week it will be Houston. Such is the exciting life of Italian Wine Guy. Hotels, early flights (tomorrow the plane departs at 6:30 am) and early meetings. Not complaining, just the time of the business where we all must beat the streets.
Monday my colleague, Guy Stout, and I will conduct a 2 hour seminar on Italian wine for 40 or so salespeople, complete with about 20 wines to taste. All before noon. Another Monday. Weather in Houston will be around 90° F with thunderstorms. So, hot and humid. Real glamorous.
Today my son couldn’t make it for dinner because he had to work. The other children also had work or meetings, so it was empty nest day. I called my mom and sisters, but nobody answered. I could talk to the ones who have already passed over; at least I know where to find them. So today I talked with my grandmothers and aunts and fathers and grandfathers and uncles. There were all together, just like the old days.
I guess I am a little tristé. I long for the days where the family got together. That was before therapy. I still miss those long tables and the stories and the uncles and aunts and cousins. Tables where I had my first sips of wine among family who guided my journey on the wine trail so that it would be sane and sober, most of the time.
Those wines from northern California; Zinfandel and Carignane and Alicante Bouschet.
Last week I was fortunate to taste the brash and unapologetic wines from Four Vines Winery in Paso Robles. Wines with names like The Heretic ( old vine Petite Sirah), Anarchy ( Syrah, Zinfandel and Mourvedre) and Maverick ( 100 year old Zinfandel from Grandpere vineyard in Amador County). Wines not ashamed to express their lineage, but wines that can still rock with the best of them, from Clapton to Modest Mouse. Old California strutting into the 21st century. Wines like I grew up with; red, smooth, delicious and proud to be alive.
Now I, or is it we, just have to get our families together by the long tables again and keep the fires stoked.