Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bow Down to Washington - Wines and All

"Hello Dawg Fans",..."Hello Lou" we reply. It's homecoming week! And for those celebrating it around the country, it’s time to give in to the fun, soak up every moment of the festivities and recall how it was in your day; the pre-game rituals, the sound of the crowd, the smell of the barbeque, the noise of the pack stadium, the scent of beer on your breath. Yes, college was a time full of good and bad, so why not enjoy this one day a year when you can actually return to your home.

As a Dawg fan I plan to pack the House that James built. On the way to my seats I'll touch the 91 plaque and remember one of the toughest team to ever play the game. Next, I’ll enjoy a good laugh, remembering all the talk before Whammy in Miami. (By the way we still want those rings Dwayne.) It was after that game we started holding up four fingers at the end of the third quarter. (But I don't know why the rest of ya'lll do it around the country.) Once at my seats I'll give in to the stadium, becoming part of the infamous crowd who’s deafening cheers rain down on the players,..."GOOoooooo!,.......HUssKiessssss,....GOOOooo!,.....HUSsKIesssss!." At the half I’ll likely miss the homecoming court presentation and sadly the hall of fame inductees, (If ever a dawg deserved a ring) you'll find me enjoying a fine Washington wine at the tailgate. But surely I'll be back to my seats in time to catch the Husky Legend before the forth quarter. And soon another Homecoming will have come and gone. But before it’s over make sure to stop by our tailgate and celebrate 80 years. Just make sure to wear some purple and bring something good to drink.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Sweet Sound - Geyser Peak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

When I first started experimenting with wine, the world was a much simpler place and it seemed we had more time for simpler pleasures. Thinking back on those carefree times always brings a warm smile to my face. One activity that I dearly miss is grabbing a bottle wine (Geyser Peak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a personal favorite of the era) and making my way over to the sound garden.

There on cool summer nights, a steady breeze could awaken a concert of sound, that coupled with a fine wine would intoxicate the senses. Alone or with friends the power in that moment would transcend the present, creating a trance like state were in my mind I could explore the beautiful possibilities of tomorrow. It was and still is in my memory a place of peaceful harmony.

However, thanks to Homeland Security, the Patriot Act and other post 911 changes the sound garden has been closed to the public. Though I was disappointed, at the time I understood because the sound garden resides on land owned by NOAA, a government organization. And as we all know after 911 all government facilities needed to be secured.

Now that times has passed questions have grown in my heads as to why NOAA needed to be protected from terrorist. Perhaps, if those evil doers did stumbled upon the sound garden they too would be soothed by its charms. Sadly though I’ve come to the conclusion that the current administration didn’t care about a terrorist treat, it was me they didn’t want accessing NOAA land. Though people thought I was crazy current events support my thinking. It makes me wonder what other “crazy people” might actually know.

For now, I’ll revisit simpler times, enjoying a bottle of Geyser Peak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, and think positively about the future.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vote to Enjoy a Glass of Francis Coppola Diamond Merlot 2004

November is almost upon us, time once again to vote. So weather you call, email or work a phone bank for your favorite candidate of change; make sure you remind everyone you know to get out and vote. Don't tell people to vote because it’s their civic duty, (nobody wants to think they have more work to do) remind them to vote because the voting process brings the community together.

When I was a kid I loved the energy at the polling place. We'd see all the neighbors, new and old. My parents would take time to chat with everyone there. If we ran into the old lady from next door she always give me a piece of candy from her purse. Sometimes I'd wait out front, playing with the pets who's owners where busy inside. Other times one of my parents would take me in the voting booth and actually let me pull the lever, showing me how I might vote someday. The grandness of that small event always made me feel like a piece of a special process. Wearing the little "I voted" sticker on the walk home always filled me with pride.

Unfortunately, these days that sticker doesn't seem to embody the same prestige. Like many people I don't even go to the polling station anymore, instead choosing to vote absentee. I miss my neighbors, their pets and the candy. But more than that, the older I get the smaller my vote seems. Some of what I read makes me wonder if my vote even counts. Voting can feel like a chore that won't hurt anybody if left undone. You are not alone, many of us have lost faith in what use to matter.

When I think back to what people here and around the world went through to get a vote I'm reminded how sacred the right to vote is. I urge you, talk with your friends, your neighbors or even strangers. Invite people out to celebrate their vote. That small act is part of the the history that made this country great. Maybe over the generations we forget, but when you talk to an immigrant like my father they remind us that through voting we can have a peaceful transfer of power in this country.

I plan to celebrate my vote over a glass of Francis Coppola Diamond Merlot 2004, more than the wine's great taste I like the "blue" label. I hope you too choose to celebrate your vote. If you wear your sticker I’ll be happy to pour you a glass.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Found: One Muse. Where: in glass of Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc.

Summer is over and what do I have to show for it? Apparently a blog doesn’t write itself nor does a writer blog when he’s too busy living, thus the life in this blog was lost in the search for the inspiration to write. Basically when you dance to close to your muse you risk being seduced by her charms and soon find yourself chasing that muse. For me that translated in a summer of stories but no desire to share them. Rather, my muse and I danced late into the summer nights, drunk on joy and full of great times.

But as the days shorten and the nights are much cooler I find myself and my muse settling back in to a healthier symbiotic relationship, once again inspired to share my stories of life, wine and levity.

Warming myself by a fire, Ibrahim Ferrer croons in the background; I pour myself a glass of Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc. All at once my muse is with me, and our stories from the summer past pour out as I drink her in.

The floral bouquet of Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc fills my nose reminding me of the joy, love and passion experienced at the many ending I endured this summer. In the height of wedding season I often find myself overwhelmed by the perpetual party that is weddings. However, given the time to reflect, like a good bouquet the lasting impression of a wedding brings a smile to one’s face.

The bright golden color in the glass brings me back to the long summer day spent worshiping the sun and hiding from the work day. For ever more Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc will be the color of enjoying life.

On the palate the full bodied and dry wine shows great intensity, much like the long bar nights where I discover new friends, balanced by a fruity, refreshing acidity finish. The flavor of old friends, some sweet and then at times bitter but always entertaining. For memories without ones old friends might be pleasant but never lingering. Time spent with friends are the moments the last.

As I finish my glass I realize the summer has past and though I may not have shared the stories of a glories summer with you, thanks to my muse those stories will always be there for me to recall in a glass of Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc.