Oh, the trophy life, it ain't no good life,But it's my life.
A short while later, I zoom off, to a private indie tasting. Yes, it’s still Napa Valley, but entering the room filled with the wafting aromas of ancient Nebbiolo and local Eruca sativa, I wonder about this life. Here I am in wine country, one which I am very familiar with, and for more years than most people in the room I am entering have been alive. God, how have I been living this kind of life for so long? One of the flight of the wines at the table reflect our host’s birth year, 1973. The same year I graduated from college nearby, and which that year, in Napa Valley, with friends in some kind of post-graduation revelry, found me sipping on Joe Heitz’s and Louie Martini’s Cabernets from the 1960’s as casually as one now sips a Qupé Syrah from tap? Did I really come this far?
Life is just another sceneIn this old world of broken dreamsOh, the trophy life, it ain't no good lifeBut it's my life
God, do we all really run around like this in the wine trade, looking to be here? It seems so many came this far to be somewhere else, with the endless run to another airport, to catch another plane – to New York, to New Zealand, to a new life?
Yes, I had an aha moment. I often do in my native state. I don’t need to go all the way, up Highway 29 anymore to get it. I prefer, in fact, the Highway 29 of my 1973 bubble. It was quieter then, there wasn’t so much traffic. And those ubiquitous people-moving vans, filled with the well-dressed (and well-fed) gilded set hadn’t come into existence. My Napa Valley is intact, unlike some of those old Barolos we sifted through the other night.
The famous wine personality brought an old, old Barolo. He proceeded to open it. “It’s corked!” he exclaimed. A collective groan impregnated the room. I felt a sigh of relief, for the old ones I brought had also passed from being enjoyable to merely “interesting.” Proof that wine has finiteness to it. A reminder to those of us in the flesh that we too have an expiration date.
And, as well, so it was, as I walked to my car, later that evening, that I was somewhere else. Maybe it was the lone gardenia that had bloomed, miraculously, that day, on the bush in the front yard, where my car was parked. Reminding me that I was back home, from where I had come. After all, I didn’t come this far to be somewhere else.
Oh, the trophy life ain't no good lifeOh, but it's my life
Yeah, it's my life
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