Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hello 2011 - Have a Drink on Me

On the eve of New Year's eve I find myself deep in thought. Part of me wants to scream, part of me wants to cry and all of me wants to drink; I'm just not sure what is motivating that craving.

I'd like to think my craving to drink is simply excitement for a newly popular Portuguese wine in my possession. I few month back I happened on a couple of bottles of wine that at the time seemed like a nice value selection. Little did I know, a few month later that wine would be one of Wine Spectator's top Ten wines of 2010. Had I known the wine's future pedigree I likely would have enjoyed the juice long ago. In truth, I would have purchased a few more bottles of the wine with the intention of selling this (now) hard to find vintage. And their in lies the problem...

As 2010 comes to a close I reflect on another year fraught by harsh economic times, the worst environmental disaster in know history and a country still at war. Please reflect on that moment yourself, so perhaps you can help me understand what have we learned?

With the a new year fast approaching it seems the biggest concerns facing the world is what outfit to wear, where is the "best" spot to be seen on New Years and what is Brett Favre up to now. I can't help be think we are all missing something. Something that is great, something important, something that is in all of us but we are scared to find out what it is. Instead, we remain in the now, ignoring that curiosity for something better in an effort to stay focused on chasing what we know, a buck. As the saying goes, "money makes the world go round."

My written ramblings brings me full circle to my current craving to drink. Tomorrow, I'll enjoy a fine wine with friends and strangers. We'll enjoy, enjoyment together. A feeling that is the perfect way to end one year and a blessing to start a new year. Top wine or not, best place or not and what I'll be wearing or not won't matter. If only for a moment we'll connect to the fact that what we have in enough and what that is, is each-other. Cheers to having "enough" in 2011, first drink is on me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Until You Get Your Way, Hold Your Breath

Like a four year old child, a New Zealand man is holding his breath until he gets his way.  Frankly, I don't blame him.  You can scream until you are red in the face but people seldom listen.  So maybe, making no noise at all, not even breathing will be more effective.  With that type of focused silence, a person can accomplish some amazing things.

The goal for this quiet tantrum; save the Hector Dolphins of New Zealand.

Yes, save the "dolphins".  I know it sounds a bit ridiculous with all the other turmoil in the world, but that is just it.  If we don't start appreciating all that is beautiful and strive to save it, what are we left with but turmoil.  Besides these beautiful creatures are pretty cool.  

I first laid eyes on them on a sailboat off the coast of New Zealand.  While enjoying a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc (the wine that put New Zealand on the map) a pod of Hector Dolphins thought they'd pay us a visit.  Perhaps it was the wine's distinct bouquet of ripe passionfruit, yellow plums, juicy limes and freshly picked basil that attracted our companions.  All I can remember was drinking in the grace of these animals while enjoying the wines long, crisp finish.  The white streak marking that runs the length of these classic grey dolphins looks almost like an artistic flame on a 50's hot rod car.  I was messmerized by these high performance "vehicles" as they crested and rode the bow wave of our modest little vessel.

A vision like that is worth saving.  In this season of giving, the best thing I can receive is the knowledge that I will have the opportunity to experience the majesty of the Hector Dolphin once more.  Until then, I hope that guy in New Zealand keeps holding his breath,... for all of us.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Grab Sum Booze, Let's Fire a Gun

Today the US Army announced a new infantry weapon with all the fanfare that only a great cliche line can capture, this weapon is "a game-changer".  However, I'm not sure what game the army plans to play with this weapon.  Briefly scanning the description of this weapon it becomes clear that the lethality of the new XM25 is not designed for any game my friends and I play.  In fact, when the XM25 is involved most enemies wouldn't want to play that game either.  This weapon system was not built for games, it was built to destroy.

The army proudly touts the guns ability to kill over, around and through any cover a target might hide behind.  When "smart" explosive rounds are unleashed, this is no game.  The gun was built to kill.  They military goes on to claim that this type of pinpoint technology will dramatically slash civilian death and damage on the battlefield.  One can only assume therefore that the more we fire this weapon in combat the more the "smart" explosions will find the "enemy".  In turn, we just might be amazed by the amount of "bad guys" that really exist.

The image of the weapon alone has me drooling to hold it in my hand.  Second amendment rights I say, this futuristic gun is exactly what the forefather had in mind.  Picture me, John Hancock, GW and Aaron Burr enjoying some fine french wine while shoot'n stuff up with our fancy XM25.  Now that is a history lesson any kid could get into.  

Forget the Red Rider BB Gun this Christmas Santa, I've got something better in mind.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Top Reason to Enjoy - #7 Schild Shiraz

Since the advent of the TSA we've been conditioned to leave behind liquid containers of over two ounces when traveling to the airport.  However, recent "security innovations" should have you rethinking that belief.  I have found that a 750ml bottle is the only way to deal with the ridiculous headaches and long lines that are the new reality of airplane travel.  With the busiest travel day of the year fast approaching, you'd be wise to bring a few bottles so friends and line-mates might also enjoy this festive time of year.

 
Being that it is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, not only do I bring a bottle of wine to drink while I wait in line, I also make sure to dress in my finest holiday attire.  My choice: the national formal-wear of the Philippines.  Not only does festive clothing enhance the revelry of the already chaotic atmosphere, it also serves a more practical purpose.  The transparent nature of the burong  makes the need of x-ray scanning obsolete.  No longer hassled by silly security as to what I might be hiding, I am free to share what I am enjoying.

Currently my enjoyment is focused on the #7 of Wine Spectators top wines of 2010. Schild Barossa Shiraz 2008 is a true expression of generous Australian Shiraz.  This wine exudes great presence, lingering flavors and all the hallmarks of premium juice form Barossa.  Once available at an affordable price this wine was a steal that I am now happy to share with anyone you needs a little reminder of the good things in life.

Rather then give in to the frustrations of the season, take a moment to rethink the wonderment of the world at hand.  Rather than worrying about how to change the fate of the world, share the beauty of what is available now.  If it feels like a hassle then you just aren't taking the time to make it fun.  



 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Three Legged Dog - A Change of Perspective

I want to be outside playing today, but it's wet.  I have a cough, I have work that needs to get done, I need to be responsible.

Rather then diligently typing away in an effort to meet my deadline, I catch myself staring out the window, mesmerized by the falling rain.  I'm feeling like a little kid; trapped inside, safely tucked away from the fun adventure of a blustery day.  Instead, I rebelliously decide to enjoy a glass of last nights wine.

The pace of my typing has not picked up but thanks to the Dunham Three Legged Red 2008, my enjoyment has.  Having spent a night in a half drank bottle did this juice some justice.  This already very approachable blend was able open to up a touch more giving the wine a slightly silkier, smooth finish.

Looking at the black and white dog on the label, as the wine slides past my lips, I thinks about an article I just read about the majestic moves of another beautiful black and white animal.  To gracefully slide on water like the orcas of the south, that would be a dream.  
More rain falls outside my window but finally I agree its time to work.  I'll pass on stomping in puddles today if it means floating through piles of powder this weekend.

It's funny how one glass of wine can change our perspective.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day

Just another day, could you feel it?  Another day to think about it, yes you know it.  It was another day to, did you miss it?  Another day to be alive and thankful.

But looking back only allows one's vision to go so far.  Turning around and looking forward allows one to see into forever.

Cheers to the veterans on 11-11.  It is time we stop riding on their backs to carry us through war.  The time is at hand to transform.   Wage Peace.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Not Oregon's Year - Poor Pinot

Leave it to Oregon to not get the memo about global warming.  Rather than joining the rest of the planet by setting record summer temperatures, Oregon chose to chill.  Western Oregon has posted the coolest growing season in 50 years, on pace for the coldest on record.  Normally, I'm all about enjoying a greener planet and a chilled out attitude, but not in this case.  There's only two things that I enjoy about Oregon, hot hippie chicks and tasty Pinot Noir.  And it looks like the weather down there is helping me with neither.  

Cold temps is a killer for hippie chicks.  When there free loving, let's get naked style is cramped by cold weather, they tend to allow body hair to become another layer of insulation.  In that same regard, cold temps hold back the beauty of the Pinot Noir grape.

Ever since that movie turned the wine industry sideways, Pinot has been the favorite grape of many Americans.  And those in the know, know Oregon grows the best Pinot Noir in the world; normally.  However with this unseasonably cold year in Oregon wine country, grapes have suffered, especially the delicate Pinot Noir grape.  The result will be less fruit, lower brix and all around lower quality wine.  For the wine drinker I suggest, start hording your favorite Pinots now.  And for the Oregon wine maker, with less to work with, I have some advice,... time to "Step Your Game Up".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Here Comes the Rooster - Tierra Del Sol Malbec

Chill'n on the train with some local kids. Funny anyone under 30 these days is a kid to me, even though I'm not much older than them.  I break out a bottle I happen to have on me.  It was for later but I'm sure I can find another. They are going nowhere and honestly I have no clue where I'm going.  So we decide to sample the wine.  I say cheers and pass around a bottle of Tierra Del Sol Malbec 2009.  

When it returns, I turn off my computer, take a healthy swig and catch a glimpse of the passing landscape. It is soggy out there.  Not good news for the grape harvest. The report of continued downpours must have farmers rushing to pull their fruit.  What might be a bad year for grapes has part of me smiling though.  The chill in the air tells me this same storm is dumping white gold at the Mountain.  I'll be skiing in no time; maybe I do know where I'm going after all.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Craig's Sale - BYOB

When you read on craigslist that Craig is having a garage sale and then you get a FB invite to attend, it's kinda something you can't ignore.  

"This is going to be a party", were the first words that went through my head.  Immediately, I go to the calendar to save the date.  At that point I realized I already have a pretty nice little weekend planned, pretty nice little weekend indeed.  Shoot, if we have enough time you might see me sleeping it off in Bed Bath and Beyond.  (They have the comfiest beds)

Fall for me is always a busy time of year.  Winter is right around the corner, and for those that don't know were to find me, like a bear I tend to disappear once the snow starts falling.   Also being harvest season there are lots of loose ends to tie-up.  But maybe the busiest part of fall is football season.  You never want to miss a game, especially one at home.  The demise of my first business can be traced back to the time I missed the season opener.

So wouldn't you know, "the garage sale to end all garage sales", happens this weekend.  A classic busy weekend in the fall.  But if you're like me, you realize you can bare down and get it all done.  Weekends with the fun potential that this weekend promises are weekends that you need to go out and enjoy. 

Looks like it's time to breakout the wine I made from last harvest, dust off the old debit card (I hear they'll have paypal at the event) and get after it.  Cheap stuff to buy, a good buzz and laughs with friends; who can turn that down? who'd want to, especially in these interesting times.  I'll see you at the sale

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rubicon Wine On My Mind - Wash This Bad Taste Away

After last night's rant, I tried to chill out with a little TV.  For that, I turned to AMC.  I was hoping to find a smart, entertaining show that would allow my mind to peaceful drift into a different world.  The show I turned to shares the name of a wine, that vintage after vintage, I continue to enjoy.  One sip of Rubicon, the superior wine from Coppola's estates in California, always takes me to a happy place.  Without a bottle of Rubicon on the shelf (in these tough times I've had to reduce my cellar inventory) my hope was that Rubicon the new AMC show could produce a similar pleasure.

The show states, not every conspiracies is theory; true I say.  I'd add, not all conspiracies are entertaining either.  Maybe I missed something, this was episode ten.  With no background on the series, perhaps I dove in over my head.  Then again perhaps not.  I may have been asking too much from a show simply because it shares it's name with a great wine.  Or maybe that is the conspiracy of the whole thing; a writer who's dreams were destroyed by Coppola, decided the best way to get revenge was to destroy Coppola's best wine by creating a disappointing show of the same name.  That is Diabolical.

The show did have one highlight.  A piece of dialog, that for me, will be a classic line, "what is the significance of 4:20."  Maybe if I'd taken that thought to heart the show would have made a lot more sense.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Open Letter to Dawgs - Still Reason for Cheers

All season long we'll be pouring wine, drink beers, and clinking glass cause no matter what it's Husky football season.  But after what I saw at the last home game, I just can't stay quiet...

New Rules For Husky Nation.

It's a bye week so, I took sometime to reflect on last weeks game.  Sark says not to dwell on the past, and that's good advice for the team, they've moved on.  But as a nation, I don't think we've taking the time to think about the mistakes we made last week.  I know as a fan I did.  You might say, "who me?", I wasn't out on the field. But remember as fans they can feel us, feed on our energy, fight to the end and walk-off knowing I scraped for every extra inch today because I know those people were entertained.  Remember that feeling we all had last year, walk out of that stadium after beating SC.  Remember that feeling on the field.  (note: to me that is sacred ground, and you don't go down there unless invited) But, the feeling after that game was electric.  You don't think the players felt that?  True Dawg fans make a difference.  So, I'm calling out fans by laying down some new rules to live by until the next home game.  Simple rules:

Have I thanked a Dawg? Who gets a game ball? rule one: Thank a Dawg.
Have you made your apologize?  I did, my aunt and uncle were in from out of town and I had to apologize for getting my brother kick-out of the stadium.  They are from the SEC and thought it was funny that we got kick-out of Husky stadium for cheering to loud.  ("Legendary Husky Stadium" my uncle jokes, "home of the wave.")  Sometimes you want to punch them, but when you've been out "played", you tip your hat and make apologize if you have to.  After being beat at home I say we have to. rule two: Man Up.
Have you reviewed the tape? Are you ready to be apart of next weeks game? rule three: Do Your Homework.
Have I done my part? This is simple are you part of husky nation or not or do I really know what that means?  rule four: Step Your Game Up.

These are the rules Dawg fans, be ready for ASU.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Break Out Another Box - We Still Have Wine


Cardboard it seems has a bad reputation.  Why that is, I don't know.  Cardboard, in my opinion is a versatile invention, that like a good friend will be there when you need it.  And in these current tough times, we all could use a good friend.  

Dream homes going up for auction.  Families struggling to make ends meet.  Smart people out of a job or worse settling for any work they can get.  Geez, when was any of this part of the American dream... never.  But just when things look their bleakest, true friends step up to the challenge.  Enter my pal cardboard.

Admittedly, I don't have the same buying power I did a few years ago, but to my buddy cardboard, that doesn't matter.  Thanks to cardboard I still have a home.  And though to many, a cardboard home might not be glamorous, my other good buddy wine would beg to differ.  Tasty and more affordable I'm not ashamed to be seen in public with cardboard and wine.  In these still scary economic times they've been their for me, and I thank them for that.

...honestly though, I do miss my other friends, million dollar home and stocked wine cellar.  Once you get to know them they aren't as pretentious as they sound.  

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Greed Works, But For Who?

For a lack of a better word, "Greed" Gordon tells me, "is good."  In his thinking greed is the motivator.  Rather than siting on one's ass, greed pushes people forward to strive for the best in life.  Greed "clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit". Greed it turns out keeps us accountable, it weeds out the weak and rewards the strong.  In Mr. Gekko's way of thinking we can thank greed for making things better.

For sure, it is greediest fruit that produce the most sugar, that become the riches in nutrients and thus is able to transform into the most complex of juice.  The richness of the greedy grapes makes the Barolos that I lust for possible.  In a sense, I must admit that old Gordo is right, greed works.

I'll make sure to tell him that when he is finally released from prison.  I'll pour him a glass of wine and let him enjoy it before asking him to elaborate more on greed.  I'm sure the greedy actions of his ex-wife have helped form some fresh opinions on greed which he will undoubtedly be moved to share.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Step Your Game Up

 Yes we can, just hasn't been getting it done, most of the problem being people would just rather not.  Personally it has been driving me crazy.  With unemployment inexcusably high in this country, environmental issues on the rise and corporate malfeasance seemingly out of control, I turn more and more away from society, choosing instead to go deeper down the trail of a solitary existence.  Good wine, long walks and video games would be the the contents of my data sheet should I have a centerfold layout.  Some people might think of me (and the many other like me) as a burnout, wasting time in rather than making a difference.  But maybe we are just a reflection of the times, laking a uniting voice to rally our generation to make a difference.  It seems crappy jobs and bad ties are all we have to look forward too.

...But suddenly a leader has emerged, and now I am compelled to make a difference.  Tell it like it is Marcus.  It's time we all stepped our game up.  Crack me another bottle of Malbec cause I'm all in to make a difference.  Let me just complete one more level on this game.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Don't Have to Be Stuck - Make it Simple

Sitting down with a good book and a glass of wine, it is amazing what you might learn.  Simply opening a hundred year old first edition and reading the forward my mind is blow away.  Holding in your hands a direct a connection to knowledge gives time for pause.  A sip of wine during that pause allows for contemplation.  I'm left to explore the first shared thoughts that catch my eye.

"On my road to Deli I passed a hundred travelers, each was my brother."

After another sip, I swirl my wine before sipping again.  Such contrast on the roads today.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Ready For Some Delicious Fruit

rather than living in frustration I close my eyes and imagine a new tomorrow.  one by one the troubling realities of today transform.  taking shape first as a dream, I can see the outline of their reality.  isolated in the wilderness I have increasing become reconnected.  I am not alone.  great prophets already live among us, calling out, hoping to stir us awake.  turn off the tv, tune out the hatred. Open up your eyes and see all that is beautiful before us.  The world is bountiful, it is time once again to taste the fruit of knowledge... I will proudly be cast out of the garden in which we currently live.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Where Do the Days Go?

The last few months have flown past like a drunken blur from a high school weekend.  Meaning, I've had fun but I knew things could be better.  Life around me seems to suck but I know better days are on the way.  And worst of all I haven't been enjoying good stuff, rather I've just been enjoying whatever is on hand cause it is easy to get to.  Though I've learned it's a good thing to grow-up, I guess, sadly sometimes we must digress to appreciate all that the world has to offer.

With all the troubling news in the world, the tough economy and a strong desire to find happiness in these gloom filled times, I've spent more time in the wilderness then writing.  Back with nature, high in the Mts, deep in the woods or lost on a beach; it has been good to get away from it all.  The more the remote, the more I found my enjoyment, save one important detail... wine.

When gas stations are the only supply stops quality wine is hard to come by.  So now back in-town, I'm stocking up on "essentials" for my next disappearance.  I wonder what Mitolo 'Reiver' Shiraz 2006 will taste like in my camel pack?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

We Need Your Help Captain America

Still at war, (two of them) high unemployment, and oil pouring into the gulf, life in the States has felt bleak.    As a nation we are hungry for inspiration, hoping that our boys in South Africa could spark some joy.  But now with our backs to the wall, even they need help.  Where are you Captain America?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Not Bitter, I'm Just Right

My glass of wine tastes bitter tonight.  I should be drinking a beer, or better yet a scotch.  Instead, I allow my attitude to ruin an otherwise elegant wine.  It's the last night of another nba season and I'm supposed to care.  Titans in history, giants in rivalry, legends in legacy are battling for this years title.  I only know this because people kept asking where I'd be watching game seven.

Prior to today, I didn't even know who was playing.  Nor did I realize after tonight, a champion would be crowned, meaning another season would come to an end.  My seaming lack of knowledge is not a result of a hatred of basketball, on the contrary I love the game.  (I also learned today that one of my favorite former college players is playing tonight.)  My lack of knowledge of tonight's events stems from the fact that I HATE the nba.

The once glorious league has devolved into a perfect example of everything that is wrong with our society.  Lies from the wealthy elite, corporations allowed to change the rules and worst of all the people have no voice.

Bring back my SUPERSONICS.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Why Whine When You Can Ride For Wine

I had to ride today.  I've had so much pent up frustration I had to do something to get me away from all the bad news on the computer.  I needed to have space to clear my thoughts.  With no direction in mind nor a destination as my goal, I set out on my journey.  My only thought was to peddle away from all the despair.

When your head is clogged with things to contemplate its easy to loose track of time.  The fatigue of my journey didn't really set in until I found myself half way up a steep incline, muscles burning, legs giving all that they could just to keep momentum forward and lungs straining to take in air.  Suddenly I was back in my body. Worries, stresses, global messes, none of it matter.  My only focus was the peak of that hill.  Rhythmically I pushed on.  Getting up from the saddle I alternated standing on each leg; one, two, oone, twwo, ooone, twwwoo, ooooone, ttwwwooo.

Just over the crest I discovered a small cafe with a beautiful view of the bay.  Exhausted from my accent, I decided I'd earned a moment to relax with glass of wine.  As I stared out across the bay, I enjoyed the wines elegant bouquet of rich black fruit with hints of dried herbs.  My mind once again drifted off;  how lucky I am to live in a place so beautiful and safe from the spoils of corporate malfeasance. (at least for now).

Taking a sip, my mind rushed back to my physical body, tired and yet content.  I had a good ride home ahead but for now I had a pleasant glass of wine to enjoy.  In fact, I just might have another.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dark Waters in the Gulf

All the wine in the world won't make this mess in the Gulf dissappear form our coast or in my mind.  As the weeks go by I continue to be amazed by how little is being accomplished, while the mess continues to grow.  Where is Prince Wrenn and his team of misfits when we need them.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

On the Road Again - I Just Can't Wait

The contents of my car...

A old boy scout pocket knife that belong to my grandfather.  
Two boxes of business cards, each for a different job.
A plastic owl.
A odd assortment of hats.
A sleeping bag and pillow.
A workout bag, with gym shorts, socks, two t-shirts, sandals, two pairs of googles, swim trunks and a towel inside.
Ski googles.
Running shoes.
Yoga mat.
Three note books, each half full of thoughts.
Bag of coins.
A folder of gas receipts.
A tape gun.
A stick from the beach.
A book on the Chinese economy.
A wine opener.
A clutch of pens once held together by a now broken rubber band.
An empty pack of gum.
A picture of me with my ski students.
An old Powder magazine.
A plastic bag with toothpaste, an old tooth brush and shampoo from a hotel.
A clean but well worn towel.
A flashlight that needs batteries.
A packet of AAA batteries that need to make it into my house.
Running shorts for a woman.
A collection of business cards that need filing.
Two eagle feathers.
An orange that needs eating
And a bottle of wine I am currently drinking.

Lately I've felt like I've been living in my car but after cataloging the contents I know I'm not.  If I was really living in there I'd surely have more than one bottle on hand.  You never know when guests might stop by.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Who Drank 09?

How does a year pass so quick?  I'm standing on the edge of March of 2010 and I can hardly retrace my steps back to 2009.  In the sense of time it blew by, but in the sense of attitude it feels like a life time ago.  Much has change in a years time, most of all my cellar.  I swear, I had some nice bottles to share, but appearently they're all gone. 

I better click to the store, I'm sure friends will be visiting soon.  It is always best to be prepared.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Who Are You? - A Delicious Barolo


The second day of a great experiment and I can't wait to get home.  It seems that I can hardly focus, every few minutes my thoughts drift back to the beauty that awaits me at home.  The minutes of the work day seem to drag on, I know this because I'm constantly checking the clock, but I must wait. I made a promise to myself.  I'd get a whole day of work in before I gave in to temptation.  A promise is a promise after all, and an unkempt promise to oneself is the worst unfulfilled promise.  So I wait, counting the seconds before I can partake in the last glass of my great experiment.  

Yesterday morning, working from home, I decided to spice up the day with a glass of wine for brunch.  Maybe it was the start of the month, maybe it was the stress of the day or just maybe it was because that bottle had been starring at me for far too long.  Whatever the reason, I found myself acting on an impulse.  The bottle of Clerico Percristina Barolo 2001 was going to be enjoyed.  A friend had warned drink before 2012 would be like opening a present before Christmas.  No matter, the pedigree of this wine was to great and my desire for her to grand, Christmas was coming early this year.

Still, I made a deal with myself.  A beauty like this is not meant to be devoured.  Noble juice such as this is best contemplated.  Therefore, I would open the bottle now but only drink one glass.  Later, a post lunch glass could be enjoyed, another for dinner, then at lunch again the next day and finally after a full day of work, the last glass would be consumed on my deck accompanied by the setting sun.

At first taste the wine does not disappoint.  A robust Italian red, this Barolo is full of minerality.  I wanted to chew on the wine as it was my brunch.  Later, post lunch, the wine soften some and the complexity of balance began to show through.  At dinner, paired with food the floral notes really began to show through.  In fact, I think it was the breathing wine that called me to dinner.  After a full day her bouquet had filled the room and I was craving another glass.  

Today for lunch I expereinced Clerico Percristina as a sweet and powerful yet luxurious Barolo.  Loaded with ripe dark fruit, spices and chocolate that flow onto the palate with stunning length, delineation and balance.  I was hooked, I did care what the price was, if I could find it I was determined to enjoy another bottle.  In the meantime I was happy to know one glass still remained.  So that is were I sit, waiting for the fulfillment of a promise and the enjoyment of a superior wine.

...plus I know where to get more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can't Avoid the Truth - Starbucks Sucks.


What the hell was I thinking, trying to return to a relationship I knew was a bad idea?  As the old saying goes, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”  When I decided to walk into that Starbucks I should have heard that faint scream inside my head, shame on me.


Prior to a meeting, I found myself in an unfamiliar part of the city, in need of web access.  The closest and most recognizable establishment happened to be an old nemesis, Starbucks.  Years ago I began a personal boycott of that company because the founder and CEO is such an ass.  Along the way other moves by the corporation reinforced my belief that I had made the right move, Starbucks sucks.


Still, even knowing this to be true, I’m amazed by the amount of people that still use their service.  The majority of these “sheepeople” list convenience as their top reason for continuing to shop at the overrated coffee house.  “Can I get you anything?” my friends would ask as they attempted to pull me in. 


“No thanks”, my standard reply.  Still, I could tell the constant barrage of friendly offers was eating away at my distain for the company.  How can you continue to hate something that, no matter how despicable it is, everyone else around you seems to love?


So in a moment of weakness, I stepped out of the rain and into a Starbucks.  I came for a cup of warm tea and web access but not surprisingly I left disappointed.  It wasn’t the scalding hot water that destroyed the tea I ordered.  Nor was it the fact that I couldn’t even bring the tea to my lips without feeling the burn.  It also wasn’t the fact that the only way I could use their “free web access” was to purchase a Starbucks card what disappointed me.  It wasn’t even the sterile corporate attempt to make a cozy space that disappointed me.  I knew to expect all of these shortcomings, because I already know the undeniable truth, Starbucks sucks! 


What disappointed me (and also made me feel a little dirty) was that fact that I succumb to the supposed convenience of a suckie Starbucks service.  I was thinking like the very sheepeople I generally mock. 


My meeting now over, I parked myself in a more familiar spot with a more familiar beverage.  A glass of Sineann Pinot Noir Oregon 2008 helped wash away the earlier sins of the day.  Every sip reminds me what true commitment to quality can produce.  It may not be the most convenient wine to find (though I do know any easy way to order some) it is worth the hunt.  The wine is dark, aromatic and has great natural acidity, with a long, long finish - a good sign for the future of the wine.  In a world of suckie standards, it refreshing to experience a quality wine.