Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why Write?

I hit this wall, after the newsletter I always hit this wall, I feel like I have so much to say but am compressed by the walls of, “will this sell or will it not?”…sucks

I end up feeling compacted and constipated for days, like I ache to say something but my voice….MY voice has been stuffed down so deep that all I can hear are the gurgles as it tries to fight its way back to the surface. In all fairness I am also finding that my newsletter writing has also suffered from this, “which voice” thing, a fact that has become very clear with each newsletter and lack of, “I loved your last article” comments from customers.

I was asked to keep to the facts and sell, less Sam and more wine for the newsletter…I get it and in truth that is part of the reason this blog has been so cathartic for me, I get to say what I want here and not let my thoughts be consumed by those, “Is this going to sell any wine” feelings that weigh heavy upon my shoulders and have plagued me in my past writing…which was for the newsletter….only.

When the economic times were better I was free to write my little rants, passionate prose and wax rhapsodic about playing hard and living well, times have changed and the more serious nature of the general “feeling” out there has left us all wondering what it is that people want to hear, what will make them feel okay about getting their swerve on and how we, as an industry can make them feel okay about doing just that. How do you tell people that have been listening to nothing but bad news, people being laid off, house values plummeting and the implosion of the, “American dream”….how do we inspire people to pop a cork and let themselves feel good for a minute or two? We are so conditioned in this country to “cover up”, not let anyone know that we are doing fine when they are not…taught to feel guilty when we are having too much fun, laughing too hard or finding some way to find pleasure amidst all the ruble….that in itself is confining and just piles more shit on the heap.

Things are fucked up, there is no doubt or argument there, but a little perspective may be in order. I read recently that places like Olive Garden have seen a bump in business over that past month, like people are just starting to dip their toes in the pool of feel-good-id-ness but are as of yet, unwilling to plop their whole bodies in…really? There is pleasure, even on the minutest scale to be found at Olive Garden? If that is true we have a long way to go folks, and I for one can only hold my breath for so long…..how long can you? Spending those valuable dollars on a meal or a bottle of wine that gives you a, “meh” feeling is NOT…I repeat, NOT going to make you feel any better, in fact, long term it can only make things worse….I fear that we are going to be left with a “why bother” feeling and historically that is not a good thing. We lose options with each “well, maybe this will be good enough” and each time we settle we lose something, someone, a flavor, a memory….when the dust settles what are we going to be left with?

I believe in this business, I believe in people’s desire…need to feel good, to taste something spectacular and their curiosity for the next best thing…it gives me hope and even in my most constipated of moments, drives me to taste, write and share…for that I cannot thank you all enough. I will keep fighting the big ass fight as long as you all keep opening your palates, your minds….and for all of us small retailers/restaurants, your wallets a bit, I’ll be here, squawking and ranting!

I feel surprisingly less plugged now….ahhhhh, I love blogging!

See, this is what happens when you mix a samll salad with a bottle and a half of 2008 Domaine Sorin Rose, ($9.99). The wine was awesome, bright strawberry fruit, subtle minerals, plump in the mouth with the texture of red wine but the refreshing finish of a white....delicious, too delicious without enough in the tummy.....b-u-z-z-y.

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