Sunday, September 24, 2023

Countdown to Zero

There’s this sci-fi novel about the end of the world. In it, the people of earth are trying to figure out how to get all the people on earth off. And with that there are those in denial who think it’s just some kind of fake news. Suffice to say, some get off and some don’t. Those who do are shepherded to another planet, similar to earth, far, far away in another corner of the galaxy. And those who don’t, well we the readers never find out.

That’s kind of how I see Texas now. It’s almost October here, and the temperature today is 99⁰F. And coming off two of the hottest summers I’ve experienced here in nearly 45 years. In other words, I feel like one hell of a slow-braised rump roast.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Celebrating Two Giants from California

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 1968 Charles Krug and 1983 Far Niente

This past week, in Texas, we've experienced with mixed results. For one, the weather has finally cooled down to mid-80’s, from a summer which saw an endless assault of 100+ degree days. Literally made me sick.

The other, not so welcome, was the expected outcome of the impeachment proceeds of our Attorney General. Acquitted on all counts, but it came as no surprise. Why would overwhelming evidence of corruption and unethical behavior (I watched the proceedings) necessitate an impeachment, when the political landscape here is so broken beyond repair, in my estimation. I’ve been here 45 years now - a stranger in a strange land.

That said, to end the week, a dear couple celebrated their 30th anniversary and we were invited. A generous wine couple I should say, with a rich and deep cellar. So, why not celebrate being alive and well, with maybe a cool evening, regardless of the celebrations that were probably going on (and most likely at taxpayer expense) in Austin.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

A Very Difficult Buyer

Social media has become the sound of a Band-Aid being ripped off with abandon. Last week, a friend of mine who has a wine shop in California posted a funny picture of a car that had landed on a roof, for a friend and colleague. Just something funny. That friend had a “friend” on Facebook, who commented about the poster. “A very difficult buyer.” And then proceeded, in later comments to remark that said buyer also had other enduring qualities of a toxic nature. This from someone in the wine trade, a supplier rep, commenting in a public forum, about a buyer, and not in a positive or affirming way.

Sunday, September 03, 2023

The Invisible Wine

“Sometimes the older ones, the ones that have been in there a long time, they get forgotten. They become invisible."

It had been a month of Sundays since I last updated my cellar list. Over the years I managed to work up a spread sheet. It was far from perfect, but at least it provided me a list with what I had collected over the course of a life and a career in the wine trade. Sometimes it was in multiples – of three, of six, even twelve. And often it was a lone solitary bottle, stashed away for that perfect dinner, or celebration.

And sometimes, a bottle would get away from me. Maybe we only had eleven and drank all of them. Maybe we actually drank the twelfth and I forgot to mark it off the spreadsheet. It happened from time to time. But when I’d do a full inventory, those stragglers usually showed up and were put back on the list.

This wine was different. It was, well, let’s just say, one of a kind. It was old and dark and from an odd vineyard. Not terribly fashionable with the snotty somm set that beat their drums loudly over every pét-nat and grower’s champers, or an ancient Barolo from Mascarello or Conterno, Aldo or Roberto.

No, this was a wine that had gone out of style around the turn of the 21st century. You could imagine where it came from.

But first, it had to reveal itself to me.

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