Sunday, October 24, 2021

Your Ice Cream is Melting

I’ve wandered so far off the island, at this point, for those of you who are still stopping by, here goes nothing.

I’m fixated on this relationship thing, post-career. And along with that, the transactional piece of those relationships we thought possibly more than they were.

It has hit home more than once in the last year or so. I’ve allowed for the epoch we find ourselves in: pandemic, social striation, a general turbulence in the balance of things on earth. Probably not something new, in geologic time. But for those of us in the here and now, it can be a bit disconcerting. Oh, and also, our ice cream is melting.

So, when I saw this post from an erstwhile associate, it gave me pause.

“Community. It’s a concept that is lost on a lot of people these days. I have been a part of many communities but none so important and fulfilling as the amazing people I have met in my life in food, wine and hospitality. A special bunch they are. I have always appreciated how people in the biz would genuinely applaud other people’s successes. You don’t find that in all industries.”

I know that feeling. Probably there are some reading who do, too. It felt real. It was real. Then.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Wine, Women and Watches – Gathering Joy in the Long Lunch

I’m kinda in a mood. Not the Glenn Miller kind. More of a Billie Eilish/David Byrne kinda mood. I’m played out with wine writing. Can’t read it. Can barely write it myself, these days. I’m so doggone burnt out with stupid words and clichés, and drama and asinine tasting notes, and the same old repetitive crap, all the blasted time, parading as wine (and food) writing. Who in hell cares what anyone drank (or ate) in Jackson Hole or Bucaramanga? The narcissists and cliché curators have taken over wine and writing about it, at least on the open internet. It’s done, they’ve killed the “thrill” of it for me. And, from the notes I get from others, I’m not alone. Not that it should matter. I am an introvert, after all. In the past two years, I’ve learned to live in relative solitude.

That’s why my weekly lunch, outside the home, is probably a good idea for my mental health. It’s like going to confession, but with food and wine.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

What makes a wine great?

From the archives

"They say that life itself is really just the dead on vacation." - Tom Waits

Over the years my ideas about wines have changed a little. A lot less than I would have thought. Looking back over 35+ years of seriously tasting wine, there have been moments when I tasted greatness. What was it about those moments? Was it the stage the wine was in, a moment coinciding with its peak? Was it the season? Was it my physiology? Was it a magical confluence of all the above and more? Or was it just dumb luck?

What makes a wine great? It’s in the back of my mind all the time, a touchstone sought and rarely found. Not that the pursuit of great wines is my primary task. I must constantly taste and evaluate wines for my work that needn’t be great. They just need to be good enough, or good values, or in-offensive. Not all days are vacation days. But this is not the time for that discussion. Today, I am pursuing greatness. So what is it that evades these pages, darts about, zips off the screen like a dragonfly or a refraction from a light source? Where does one find this greatness factor?

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Are You Collecting or Connecting?

From the archives

As I look through the wines in my closet, or study a wine collection from a deceased doctor or lawyer that the widow is trying to make sense of, I wonder about the nature of one’s relationship with wine. Odd to say it that way, as wine isn’t a person, how can one have a relationship with it? What one can examine, though, is one’s way of relating to wine and the people and places that make up the story of wine.

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