Thursday, April 25, 2013
You miss me yet? Blog world has been so quiet as of late I wasn't sure I should even bother filling everyone/anyone in on the doings out here in Girona. Figured I should just come on by and ask. Sort of the "If a blogger takes a poo in the woods and there's no one there to see it" sort of deals.
Here are a couple pictures to ogle in the meantime.
Hugs and kisses.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The red tail lights?
I’m headed for Spain….
I can see Daniel waving goodbye, looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes...
Just about to start packing and in a few hours a car will pull up to the front of my apartment building, here to gather me, a handful of my belongings and my husband and deposit us at a dingy but likely bustling international terminal at LAX where I am going to board a double-decker Air France plane and sail off to Paris for a quick layover before landing in Barcelona. It’s finally here, departure day, I’m off to Spain and it just so happens to fall on the anniversary of the sixth month of being smoke free. Perfect.
Cannot wait to feel the air in Girona. See the lush green fields. Smell the dust as our car turns down the dirt road that leads to the farmhouse that we will be calling home for the next couple weeks. Feel my feet crunch the tiny pebbles as I approach the front door, turn the heavy metal key, feel my dried out frame begin to plump and expand as I give myself over to soaking it all in…
So ready for this.
Adios Me Amigos
See you on the other side!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Ever get in those ruts where it feels like you can’t do anything right? Like each day is a series of “This is why you suck” moments that kind of crack away at your frame and inspire little more than trips to the couch where you can settle into the familiarity of potatoness. Feels like I’ve been spinning around in the suckie tumbler a bunch lately, everything from failing to write a post about the worst kind of wine pandering by a wine director at a San Francisco wine bar…Easter candy and wine pairings? What an asshole….to trying to indulge in one of the most basic and raw of feel good moments, the ones you choose to endeavor when the house is empty and the laptop is whispering, “C’mon, no one will know”. Yeah, not sure about you all but getting seven minutes into one of those, um, films and then having it dawn on you, “Hey, that woman has a penis” sort of a fail of massive proportions. Who fails porn?! Yeah, this wine slinger that’s who. Whimper….
So I’ve been bumping along, fixing my fuck ups, trying to figure out how I could be so wrong about certain things, being an ear for others even though I feel as if I have no business giving advice, I mean aside from tranny porn, to anyone seeing as I haven’t felt like my shit has been in anyway together. I write long erotic posts for a blog no one gets, (or “has” might be truer) to read and find my thrills sitting across the tasting table at work where the flavors and textures feel like long soothing fingertip strokes. Trying real hard not to get sucked too far into the woe-is-me tunnel and desperately seeking anything that will make me feel good, if only for as long as they rest upon my tongue and splash along the slippery insides of my mouth. Got Spain in eight days, and wine is once again pulling me up by my collar, calling me, urging me, reminding me with that sexy growl, “Baby, you are so good at this”…fucking need that so bad right now.
Friday night I hosted a sold out tasting of grower Champagnes, all comprised of mostly Pinot Noir, all luscious, sexy, powerful and rebellious, not easy to just close your eyes and suck back. These wines serious and requiring a bit more thought, not that spending time trying to figure them out is in any way a chore as these are wines that slither across the palate and spread themselves into your memory, hope that you admire and appreciate them but defy you to forget them…pretty fucking hot if you ask me. Hot and just what this seeking woman needed. It wasn’t one of those groaning nights of utter seduction, well not with all the wines and maybe my current cycle of, “Oh c’mon!” made me a little less open and more inquisitive, but it seemed as if the whole room was also into the chase, the wines running just far enough ahead that we all had to reach out a little further to wrestle them…sexy. Wasn’t sure how that kind of dance was going to go over with the group as a whole but the numbers at the end of the night, along with the holes in my Champagne racks, reminded me that sometimes easy isn’t always best. Sometimes it’s the things you have to work for that are the most fulfilling, rewarding, compelling…..thrilling. Remembering that has me opening up again, ready to board that plane to Spain and challenge myself a little more each day, urge and coax those around me and invested in me to do the same.
Wines of the Night For Me:
N.V. S. Coquillette Grand Cru Les Cles Blanc de Noirs ($47.99) I found this delicate wine one of the most wine like of the evening. Sure there were bubbles there but the sumptuous red fruit, subtle spicing and bit of tension on the palate just spoke more of Pinot Noir than of bubbly wine…and that right there, that drives me wild. Tight and tucked in but with perfect pitch and balance.
N.V. Gonet-Medeville 1er Cru Blanc de Noir ($47.99) I almost feel guilty buying and savoring these wines as I end up feeling like I’m getting away with something. Like the butcher has a crush on me and has slipped me an extra few slices of the good prosciutto for free. Aromatically the wines from Gonet-Medeville lean towards the geeky in that they do show some Sherried or slightly oxidized characteristics which actually end up coming off more nutty and toasty than like true Sherry. Match that with deep red fruit and browned butter and you have a glass of something that makes my legs tighten then go weak. Sexy stuff…
N.V. Godme Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs ($59.99) So you know that person you come in contact with that is that mesmeric combination of shy, strong, funny, goofy, scary and vulnerable? Yeah now imagine them darkly golden and sparkling naked in your glass and you’ve got what this Godme did to me. Without question the least forward wine of the night but there was something so intellectually challenging about this wine that I cannot stop thinking about….dreaming about it. Going to be losing its distribution here in our area so I am going to see if I can weasel another case….cannot bare to let it go without a couple more dances.
I loved the Camille Saves and H. Billiot wines as well but these were the wines made me think, made me try harder and even now, days later, I am still under their spell.
They happen and can be profoundly hard to ignore but…
So can be
Gotta bank the roll of the dice, and my heart on the latter right? Might be that big dumb heart of mine but, well it keeps thumping away and so will I.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
“I just want to get in and taste you on the wine, I know timing is everything with you and Rose.” I agreed to the tasting appointment being requested by the presumptuous jackwad on the phone but immediately felt the pang of regret after I did. Now I had to sit with the idiot. Dammit. There are very few sales reps that I dislike, most are cool enough, do their jobs and don’t bug me in the least. There are a couple that get on my nerves, for a myriad of reasons, everything from them not knowing anything about the wines they sell to just having off chemistry, but this guy, this guy I loathe for his misguided sense of familiarity…man do I hate that shit.
“I know how much you like Montel Williams” my moron of a brother one of the last times we spoke. Montel Williams?! I hadn’t watched Montel Williams in like two decades, and I actually didn’t like him much back then but here was my know it all brother acting like he knew everything, or anything actually, about me with some stupid and very beef-witted comment. Montel Williams, shut the hell up. Much like the above mentioned sales rep, my brother doesn’t know a thing about me and was resting upon some foggy memory of his drug addicted or drunk off his ass self being subjected to watching Montel Williams while he was tweaking out on the computer or passed out on the couch. I guess in his defense, (not that he deserves it) his life hadn’t changed much in, oh I don’t know, the past twenty years, but mine sure the shit had so how’s about not pretending you know anything about who I am. Sort of like when I walk into a new restaurant and the server tells me about a dish and adds, “I think you’ll like it”…peeve, big peeve. You think I’ll like it huh? Well seeing as you know dick about me your opinion on that matter, what you think I’ll like, well it means just that, dick. Tell me it’s good, tell me you like it, but tell me, a stranger to you, what you think I’ll like it and now you one gone and pissed me off. I would never do that to a new customer, sure I might add, “I hope you’ll like it” but never with a new person would I act as if I have some sort of comprehension as to what they are about…
“Just arrived yesterday and I’m getting things ready for your visit. There is a coffeepot here, as well as a bean grinder, but I will have some freshly ground coffee waiting in the fridge, as well as some halfway decent wines here to get you all started. I’m going to leave the good knives, the ones we normally lock up, out in the dining area for you to use and will have more tips and insights as they come to me over the next week or two.” Just reading the words in the email brought tears to my eyes but in that very best of ways. Here was a letter from someone I adore, admire more than most and who helped me figure out who I wanted to be in this here wine world and here he is, writing me with tips and information, (the email held lots, lots more tips on markets, where to eat, the best wine lists in town…) for my upcoming stay in his home, in Spain. His knowing me and what I might need spilling out in his sweetly excited for me letter. He knows me, what I like, will likely need to know, what I might be interested in doing an seeing while there and he cares enough about me to make it a priority to help me. Unlike those servers or that sales rep that know nothing at all about me, or my stoopid addled minded brother who only knows a me from twenty years ago, this man knows and understands this me and he not only gets me, he seems to like me and junk. Foolish but I’m grateful as all get out.
“We’re starting with the 2011 L’Avenir Chenin Blanc, ($14.99) from South Africa where they often call the variety Steen.” Me starting some folks out on the first wine in a flight of six all Chenin Blanc but from different places and with starkly varying styles. The L’Avenir brisk, tangy, raging with acidity and mouth-watering refreshment, then on to the 2011 Domaine Brazillier Vendamois, ($11.99) a wine from just outside Saumur-Champigny that is all mushroom, unripe pears and lemon rind. A wine for meaty white fish or roasted chicken and not suited to everyone but showed extremely well to those of us that crave intrigue. From there we sailed into the 2011 Husch, ($8.99) from Mendocino Valley, a slightly sweeter style Chenin with super soft acidity and a friendly, creamy mouth feel, the crowd staying with me and very vocal about their opinions as well as their impressions on just how different the wines were. “Now you we’re tasting Chenin from its most famous appellation, where they’ve been growing it for ages and can do with it what it seems no one else can…good or bad” as we were seguing into the other Loire Chenin Blancs, the Montlouis and Vouvray.
The 2011 Careme Vouvray Sec, ($20.99) was redolent with eastern cooking spices and freshly cut pears, mouth coating and powerful but with a seriously snappy finish. The 2009 Francois Chidaine Les Choisilles Montlouis, ($23.99) bone dry but oh so sumptuous. Honey, cooked pears, cinnamon and some balancing minerality but opulence was evident and as we sold out that afternoon, the crowd was digging it. We finished with the 2010 Huet Demi-Sec, ($37.99) a sweeter wine for sure but the mouth cleaning acidity made the wine appear less sweet than the Husch from California, plus it had like three times the body and texture but was also nearly three times the price. So as I poured and discussed the final wine with each person I asked them, “So now that you’ve tasted them all, which one tastes like Chenin Blanc?”….crickets. Slack jaw and crickets. As each attendee went on and on about how astoundingly diverse the wines were, how profoundly expressive and unlike one another, maybe with the exception of the last three Loire wines which bore broader bodies and deeper complexity, it was as if they were trying to praise me which while sweet, wasn’t the point. I didn’t mention to most people in the beginning of the event but in picking the wines and the order in which I poured them, I had a twofold agenda. One was to show people just how undervalued and underappreciated Chenin Blanc is, the second was to point out how useless varietal labeling is when you are talking the world stage of wine, “So which one tastes like Chenin Blanc?” making a roomful of light bulbs go off.
Much like people grapes are influenced by the things around them, changed by weather, the hand of the winemaker, the soil and experience. There isn’t one me that each person that has ever met me knows and understands and there isn’t one expression or flavor of Chenin Blanc. Each hand that touches me, each shared laugh, each patch of soil that my thick clumsy feet walk across, they change and influence the person I am and the same can sort of be said about grapevines, the place and the people that make the wines far more important than the kind of grape it is….variety might give you an idea but it doesn’t begin to tell the whole story and in many cases, assuming you know what it is going to taste like because you think you know, well it can leave you looking like as asshole.