Sunday, December 12, 2010

Good Enough For Now

I’m so very sorry. I seem to have fallen off the wine trail, once again. I don’t know what to tell you. I know you want to know more about where to visit in Tuscany, or which are the best 2007 Barolos on the market. But I’m not able to fulfill those needs. I have been distracted. By life. By work. By the here and now. And here we are entering the mainstream of the holidays, so most likely there will be more of this from these pages.

In five years, the wine trail has gone through Italy, often. But life isn’t all about wine. Or Italy. I love the place and the wines, don’t get me wrong. I just have a larger world that I have been handed. And not a lot of time. So there you have it. Welcome aboard or bon voyage.

All last week was spent in Louisiana. New Orleans. 1st tier dining city. Wines are predominantly European. French first. Then Italian, Spanish, German, and so on. Bordeaux is big. Burgundy is bigger. Champagne is important. So are Rhones, Alsatians, Languedoc. It’s part of the fabric of a city for whom the term “food culture” applies. If you have never been to Louisiana, I recommend getting there as soon as possible. Start with New Orleans, maybe work your way west to Baton Rouge and Lafayette and take your time. Food culture. Music culture. Culture culture.

It is the closest thing to France, or Italy that is near to where I live. I love it, absolutely am crazy about the place. I feel like I am in France or Italy.

A week ago, in Austin, we ate and drank like we were in Sicily. Or Louisiana. One can find those experiences at home as well. Anywhere. But there is that old “spirit of place” element. The terroir of the Vieux CarrĂ©. And just as one can be bewitched by Bologna, so one can be as well by Baton Rouge or Big Bend. I think that is one of the beautiful things I have learned from travel and from Italy. Those things “particulare” that make up the interesting piece of a place can be found anywhere the open heart and eyes will peer into. Italy is everywhere.

I know it is in Louisiana, for my bones feel it. I dream about places in the city, I walk around it in dreams, wandering. Genetic memories from a great-great grandfather who lived there 150 years ago? Perhaps.

Before the end of the year, this blog will post some of the highlights of the year. Images, wines and travels. It’s been a great year and 2011 is looking like it will be filled with adventure. I have packed my bags already, for I will be on the road much of the year, New York, San Francisco, Napa, New Orleans, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Verona, Friuli, Abruzzo, Sicily, Germany, France, St. Louis, Columbus, Oxford, and all points in between.

The sun is beginnin' to shine on me
But it's not like the sun that used to be
The party's over and there's less and less to say
I got new eyes, everything looks far away.

Well, my heart's in the highlands at the break of day
Over the hills and far away
There's a way to get there and I'll figure it out somehow
Well, I'm already there in my mind, and that's good enough for now.
-Bob Dylan

Real Time Analytics