Sunday, December 19, 2010

Contemplating the Next Move

Maybe it is because we are nearing the end of another year. Or because the last five months have been so very busy. Perhaps it is the new look of the blog that has caused me to think about this. Or maybe this is just overindulgence from one who thinks too much about this. I don’t really know.

What I do know is this- the world as we know it, as we all know it, is our own little unique world. And everyone has one. Some of us have bigger orbits; some of us have more mobility. A few of us have means to make their world bigger than others. And many more of us have a world that has been handed to them, in an instant, and with little time to plan. And here we are, all together, but separated by our skulls. And so we aren’t really all together. We just live on the same funny little green planet. More by accident than design.

I have been writing here at On the Wine Trail in Italy for almost five years now. I have met new friends, made new acquaintance, widened the network. It has been a good run.

And no, I am not signing off or taking leave. Or at least, I don’t think so. But I am contemplating the next move.

I am mystified by the Italy I have studied for 40 years. I look at it and feel like I don’t know her. I could say the same thing for my own country. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. I just don’t think that wine is the most important thing in life. Wine as a metaphor, perhaps. And those who have read between the lines of these posts know that has been a theme.

The occasional person who emails me, to ask about a particular wine or place in Italy, does so thinking what I am writing about on the surface must be what I am interested in. But my friends know that is not what stirs me. I do not have patience to memorize the best vintages of Brunello or the crus of Barbaresco. There are lists and sites for those kinds of things. I don’t have that kind of mind or memory.

I was recently explaining to a friend that when I do think it is often not in words. It is in images, sometimes not even that. And thankfully both Italy and my country have been very helpful in fertilizing the mind for my imaginings. But that is really the realm of my world that no one else really sees. Or reads. And as I said in the beginning, we all have those little worlds.

If anything can be said, today, it is this: the simpler the better. The fewer encumbrances, the fewer decisions, the slice of the sword through the air to arrive at the edge of the bottle to open it and let out the frothy juice, that is what interests me in this period. And if this is something that is of interest to you, dear reader, then you are welcome to visit these pages in the next year. If you are looking for where to stay in Florence or where to eat in Avellino, look not here. If you want to know which is the better Chianti, the one from Castellina or the one from Pontessieve, I won’t be much help. If you want controversy or heated debate, there are other places to find that kind of activity.

I am free of those needs. This is my little bubble. It makes me happy. And if it makes you happy to be here, then, benvenuto. Because that is where On the Wine Trail in Italy is heading.

Thank you.


Adrian Reynolds said...

Amen Alfonso...btw, nice Parma shot!

Marco Marzipano said...

NO, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I remember a similar conversation recently . . . . I still can't believe you mentioned The Toolbox.

The NY Times Philosophy Blog is called The Stone. It's great for the stretching we all forget to do: there are pushups and crunches (regions and vintages or whatever) but I find philosophers and cog sci most helpful, especially for a lateral, restorative stretch.

I'm green but I'm learning that we work in a medium that defies language, and a visit with the folks still carve out that frontier helps. Besides, philosophy and wine emerge from the same cultural cradle, as I understand them . .. .

Thanks as always!

gary said...

Sounds like a good direction...count me in! Buon Natale!! :-)

Susan said...

I enjoy reading your posts, find them insightful. I hope you continue to chronicle whatever it is that is important to you.

Winethropology said...

I envy your clarity in thinking, honesty to yourself and your audience, and the huevos to follow your happiness. Salute.

Anonymous said...

Non capisco. Why are eggs (the word is uova, by the way) conducive to happiness?


Scott--DFW said...

Best wishes, wherever the new direction leads.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Wow, it's like you've just executed the rarely seen, and High Degree of Difficulty, Reverse Suckling!! Bravo!

I give it a 9.9, though the Russian judge only scored it 8.5.

Oh, don't mind me, Alfonso, my skull just isn't as nicely furnished as yours.

Mattie John Bamman said...

I always read your blog for the "between-the-lines" magic. Keep it coming until you feel that you've said all that you need. Once you've said that, well... what else is there to do but sit back and enjoy and watch as your legacy continues to affect others? Thank. You.

Thomas said...

Thsi is a test--do not be alarmed.

Thomas said...

Ah well, Alfonso. You got it to work.

All I wanted to say was that yours is a blog worth reading and yours is an attitude worth heeding.

1WineDude said...

I like your happy bubble!

Anonymous said...

I'm smelling the fulcrum of the book.

Serge Lescouarnec said...


Thanks for musing out loud.

It can be a good way to clarify one's thoughts.

I have not written much about wine lately, more about food and travel.

I have found a way to let other voices speak on 'Serge the Concierge' with 10 Do's and Don'ts where each week a different person from a different city in the world shares 1o things about the place where they live.

I hope to see you at Vino 2011 in January.

Happy holidays


Old Pasadena Friend said...

Imagine being perfect RIGHT NOW... and being perfect every moment..
Do you think that the Universe and Creation are guided by anything less than perfection?..
Why would you deny your place in this process?
Embrace the Bigger picture!

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