This Pinot…

Just pulled it off the shelf in Whole Foods, Yulupa, at random.  ‘Cause I was curious about img_2427the wine from the label and the way the color scheme was situated on the label, all of it.  Finally when I was able to taste it, 3 hours after opening it—which served as a boon for sakes of natural oxygenation, no decanting, just the room’s atmospheric delivery naturally assimilating down into neck—she decided to recite, and loudly, vividly and with an unusual creative intonation.  Wild berries and spices, certain dried floral petals colluded with vanilla and something like olives, or sweetened river rock, I don’t know.  You know me, I don’t talk about wines like that.  And this Pinot is most assuredly above such a wikipedia approach and deconstruction.  This bottle makes me think of poetry readings I used to frequent in Berkeley when in graduate school.  And how I need to now write more verse, read more like I did this morning with that student in my 1B class.  This Pinot fiddles in philosophy and curiosity, epistemology and a query of its own mythology— people always talk, “Pinot…Pinot…” but don’t know why.  The being of this bottle and its contents so symmetrical and sensuous zooms its offering past your senses and then back again for another hue.

Have a little bit left in glass, just before I call the day.  Pinot Noir and I have never had any kind of altercation or momentary skirmish.  What I found today on the shelf and randomly pulled served to only embolden my affinity for the Burgundian visual—  I remember looking at the bottle in hour 1, 2, 3, while it just sat there open on the counter and wondered what I would meet.  What I felt was fantasy and form, a certain vocalization of wine’s nucleus, why we writers do what we do and why wild wine writers like me pepper the Comp Book’s sheets in such erratic spats.  First sip of last glass and I dive further into my thoughts, ignoring technology and anything too modernized.  Pinot I’ve always thought is about rawness and an impulsive expressiveness.  Unfettered, unfiltered, more understood.  Most wine “writers” would rate the bottle they’re talking about, but I just want to let you know what I’m sipping and what it’s making me think about— where it takes the writer’s scope and senses.  Where I am, on some journey or knee-jerk jaunt.  Don’t care.  I’m free.  Nothing planned, I realize, a strange note of rosemary tied to something like soy or black licorice…. Again, I don’t talk about wine like that.  Bottle’s been open now about 5 hours, and I’m sure it’d like a break from oxygen.  Cork in, and me back on couch, last glass gone.  But I’m still surveying and noting without noting physical where my understanding is with Pinot Noir.  I don’t understand it.  That’s why I keep exploring, to not so much explore as wander.  Manuscript maze, phenolic haze, structural trance… lightly disturbed by accidental enlightenment.  Sip again.  I can’t.  But I’ll dream about doing just that, staring out into Bodega Bay, or at Russian River, or at some vineyard on River Road.  This poetry is in no way bottled, contained, restrained or trained.  Cosmic autonomy, what touched my lips.  She had, has, will forever have, me.

(5/17/17)

note— Charmé

img_1823I’ve always seen wine as a literary being, not so much a chemical or agricultural product.  The relationships we realize and develop with whatever wines we prefer and chase down are OURS.  Don’t just blindly follow some sommelier or critic.  Don’t let them tell you to like or dislike the character in the bottle.  Approach the story with an open mind, I suggest.  Last night’s Chardonnay still on my thoughts with its slow rolls over my senses, punctuating its prime shapeliness and subtleties.  For a while, right after opening the bottle, I just sipped—  Didn’t look at my phone, didn’t take a single note in the Composition Book, just listened to what it had to say.  I listened to it like my mother was talking, or sister, close friend or one of my children in their own unique tongue.  The communication was elevated, and yes because I enjoyed the wine.  But, even if I don’t like what I sip, I still listen.  I learn from the flavor construction and the tactile composition of the wine’s momentum.  In wine being literary, it’s alive, cognitive, evolutionary, complicated and self-contradicting, musical and unpredictable.  If I’ve ever followed a wine, and let it deliver its thesis before I react, it was last night.  Tellement amoureux.

(4/17/17)

note

We as lovers would first educate ourselves.  If you want to take a class here and there, or get some certification, or whatever, that’s fine.  But first, we should educate ourselves.  Go get books, read them with measured embrace, take notes.. always be a student, and your own professor.  Dive into it not even head-first, but all-you-first.  Wine has always spoken to me with humility and curiosity, urging me to be more like It.  If you love something, someone, and wine is more a ‘someone’ than a ‘something’, then you learn.  But it’s not class.  It’s life.  IT’s words and feelings, reactions realities.  Tonight’s wine again made me a lover.. interpreter or so I hope— lost in my dazzle, rouse, rabble— conflict but not so much afflicted.  I’m writing when all I want to do is sleep, and I have tonight’s yours to thank or that.  Heater coming on, rain maybe outside, but the bottle continues to me speak in verse I’ve never before heard.  Teaching me in a full-time sense, nothing adjunct’d.  Keep writing, I tell myself.  I’ve been most purposefully taught something tonight— how wine can yell a different verse, show a different scene and cry with loving absorption.

Mr. Jason Elkin, and the Bottled Coherence and Unification of his Sippable Saunter

img_1256Hopping over the hill to revel in a liberating appreciation of Napa.  Something different, something human–  this is what any lover of wine needs and should seek.  Jason avails openness and acceptance, and he actuates what he advertises.  We met at the David Fulton property to discuss everything from wine to wine marketing, to wine philosophies.  We sat on the veranda overlooking the vines and decided to ease into a robust exploration of wine and industry scenes.  Mr. Elkin has an ambition that’s difficult to catalogue and encase, as the prongs multiply multitudinously as you progress into discussion with this vino bloke.

Monsieur Elkin approaches the wine world and rhythms not just as an “innovator”, but a tireless and inexhaustibly reaching creator, animated in playing the wine ideas like piano img_1347keys, but not just playing… bringing all to a fruitful and tasty fruition.  He sent me a bottle of Equality Cabernet and the Red Blend.  Both wines, to be blunt, were like whirling and palatable invitations and thought-generators for the wine lover.  The palates were consistent, but in no way predictable or lacking any type of complexity or narrative– they both disclosed unique identities and motions about their respective flavor suggestions and strokes.

Jason doesn’t just boast and promote openness and acceptance, diversity and inclusiveness… he epitomizes it, teaches the everyday wine consumer something about why we love what we love.  He’s an inventive mammoth, something quite refreshing in this day where so many just want to produce another SKU.  Mr. Elkin wants to say something– he has a thesis to support, and he does wildly, something of a tasty instruction and flavor-syncopated lecture, perfect for not just a wine journalist and blogger like this writer, but everyone.  Wine’s meant to unify, and that’s what these bottles, and their charming principal, remind me, us, of.

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