Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am sitting here alone tonight. Feeling more alone than I have in a very long time, the voices that normally fill this space….my space, either out of town or simply silent as they are attending to whichever parts of their lives need them more than I do. Finally looking at having a couple days off after a crushing six day week complete with finger almost sniffing and a rather disgusting battle with the brownie like textured goo that affixes itself to the underside of our drain covers. We have these covers, (that don’t come off by the way) that have holes just a touch larger than the ones in my shower head….cannot get anything down there, well aside from disgusting bits of softened cheese, bread and the chunky bits, (gagging) of backwashed wine. Somehow this crud builds up so I have to take a bamboo skewer, poke it in the holes to dislodge it and then keep poking and picking until it finally washes down the drain. This is a vile task and I do in fact gag a few times while doing it. Once completed I feel great, accomplished and like I did good for the store, yesterday was no different. I was admiring my work, watching as the water raced cleanly down the drain. No water filling up the sink, it was awesome, I was all, “Check me out” that was until I noticed that I could not hear the water dumping into the floor drain….fuck. I turned around to see water overflowing all over the kitchen floor. So yeah, I successfully dislodged the goo….and sent it in a big nasty blob right into the drain of the floor sink. Lots of gagging, wet knees and loads of frustration later I cleaned up the mess I made while cleaning and was on my way home.

Walked through the door, no wait…unlocked and then walked through the door. This almost never happens when you have a husband that works from home, the door is always just open and walking up to a closed front door was just another reminder that I was on my own. The next reminder was dinner, it was a non-issue. No conversations about what to have, no shopping lists, nothing, just me. Standing in front of the fridge grabbing this cheese, that cured pork bit slice and a jar of olives. I am a food freak, shocking I know…I mean have you seen me?! I love food and food plans. I am one of those people that will stand in line for Korean BBQ tacos…..from a truck no less, and take the 10:30 reservation at Mozza, (Mario Batali’s joint here in LA) on a Monday night. I adore the scene, the passion and while I cannot put away as much food as my tiny friends, well I love picking and tasting, but when I’m alone after a long ass week….I can literally live on crackers, olives, cheese and salty pork products.

Handful of crackers and chewing on a pickled carrot I flipped open my laptop to check my email. Dammit. Two facebook notifications alerting me that two people I don’t know made a comment on the post of someone I barely know. Alone. So blaringly silent. I opted to just enjoy the quiet, let myself be silent as well….no talking, no typing, no I love yous. Just still and feeding my bone weary self on shit television and salty snacks. Listened as my white trash neighbor cooed her love song to her more-absent-than-there, jailhouse tattooed, droopy, shirt off, beer drinking while smoking a “grette” with the same hand, husband…”Johnnie, if you are going to go out please tell me! I woke up, (which means emerged from passing out) and you were gone, my heart fell out of my butthole!” now that’s love people and I had to listen to this while sitting alone. Sigh….

The more screaming the silence, (after the lovebirds went inside) the more I was back in my goddamn head. Fuck I hate that. Poured myself a long, deep glass of Domaine de la Fouquette Cotes de Provence Rose, one of my favorites from our Saturday tasting. The aggressive aromatics, sharp and damn-near snarky…lime rind, fresh herbs and a touch of that white tangy, wet, crunchy bit from a slice of watermelon. The wine possessing just enough “stuff” to pull my head out of my….errr, head and making me feel what it is I was longing to, attention. It wasn’t that I needed attention to be paid to me, I was looking for a place to rest my attention and this wine was able to handle me. Took me in line and pulled me along with each deep and soulfully satisfying sip. It was to be my lover for the evening and I was more than ready to shed my bullshit and simply give myself over to it.

As I emptied the last little drops into my feed-me-more glass I wondered if it was wrong for me to drain a bottle of wine alone like that. To let my mood influence me, let lonely move my wrist and pour another sip. Amazingly I found the answer in that last glass of wine. The answer came to me as the last few drops spilled upon my waiting palate. Nope. Not wrong at all….

Is It Wrong….

That I refused my husband’s many requests to have me fly out and join him on his Vegas convention trip?
Nope because you see, had I gone I would not be making love to this wine right now. Would not be here talking caked sinks, gagging and Rose with all 14 of you.

Is It Wrong….

That I ached for time alone but feel pangs of lonely when it is given to me?
Nope because you see, that is part of the “crazy” that is me. I am here and now I’m fucking rhyming…damn you pink wine and silence. Damn you.

Is It Wrong….

That I pontificate about fancy food, how important it is to eat local and fresh but find myself falling into the “easy” and noshing on like Chex Mix for dinner?
Nope because you see, to love and truly appreciate anything is to know and taste it all. To fully understand how brilliant a meal is you must dip your toes in the…other stuff. To truly appreciate how lovely it is to share a meal, well you must eat a few alone.

Is It Wrong…..

That I shit talk on wines that are too sweet but have been known to suck back a few glasses of Plum Wine at my favorite Chinese restaurant?
Nope because you see, these glasses are often a gift from the house….a thank you for being a good customer. The kind of customer that is remembered and watched, The kind of customer that is brought a tiny tea cup full of water after the place is closed, and told, “We know you smoke, please enjoy your cigarette and your wine”. The kind of customer that will remember this and be back over and over again.

Is It Wrong…..

That I talk openly about sex and sensuality? The way everything from words to wine can begin the purring, the soft spine….the deep, chest filling breaths while keeping my “body count” below ten in the twenty-seven years I have been, um…partaking?
Nope because you see, I find real humor in how seriously people take themselves. Their wants and desires are not that set apart from what the rest of us want, long for, ache for but for some reason everyone gets their crunders in a twist when you speak of slippery, pulling, pulsating…mouth watering. Wine, food, sex all things that when fed properly…will have you coming back for more. When, “fed” the right way, the natural unpolished and unpretentious way, from any of the above…I giggle. I chuckle when someone plunges a piece of perfect food between my lips. I laugh when a wine slips inside me and I can feel its fingertips bubbling beneath my skin and the other…well, a deep guttural, raspy giggle will let you know…I am pleased.

Is It Wrong….

That I let the sensual part of wine be my guide? Let the feeling, the texture and the stories surrounding the estate move me?
Nope because you see, without lust and passion it is just a product. Wine is and deserves to be so much more than a product. The sore backs, the cracked and dirty fingernails of the winemaker, the sweetly shy way they take our praise, all of these things should be at the table with you. In the glass as you open your lips and take their works in. They made something…grew and molded something, for you. Let yourself feel it, taste it, be lit up and buzzy by it…but remember there is someone, somewhere hoping against hope that you are enjoying it…damn, how sexy is that?

If any of this is wrong, well I want to meet the judge and jury. See if they can sway me. Change my mind…make me see it any other way, because as I sit….right now all buzzy on my Rose, listening as it fills in my missing pieces, soothes my crazy days….fuck I just want to wrap my fingers and palate around another glass. Scraping goo, sniffing fingers and being alone, all made tolerable, laughable and desirable when there is something vibrating between my lips….


Thomas said...

The only thing wrong is that the wine comes with alcohol. If it didn't have to come with alcohol, taking in the second bottle would also be right.

After tasting de-alcoholized wines, I can say with confidence that wine has to come with alcohol, and after trying to get through a second bottle of wine, I can say with even more confidence that, it may not be wrong, but it certainly doesn't make you feel right!

Anonymous said...

Many a night I've done the same, the mind and soul searching, accompanied by the wine. You just express it so much better than I'd ever dare to!

Chris said...

Wow, what a post.

"Is it wrong...that I let the sensual part of wine be my guide?" Heck No.

Wine created and grown without passion is just another product.

Samantha Dugan said...

Yes I am fully aware about the alcohol and its effects...too much of it and I write something and post it!

Maybe it's a Samantha thing. I have not even read the post yet this morning....was pretty saucy last night so I am kinda afraid to see what I wrote....

It's true and when I hear someone get all retentive about brix, what the blend is...and at what percentages, or scores it is like listening to another language to me. What does it feel like in your mouth? What flavors does it inspire you to does it make you feel. These are the things get me going. Are the brix, score people wrong? Nope but I just don't understand them...

John M. Kelly said...

One of the many things I disparage in American culture is the pressure to be happy and surrounded by "friends" all the time. Just like happy is meaningless if you never feel sad, companionship is less appreciated if you never feel lonely. So believe me I get it when you crave being alone so you can let yourself feel lonely.

And Fouquette Rose can't taste so good without Rombauer Chardonnay to for comparison.

Anonymous said...

It was good. Thought provoking and true. Throws me back into that "in my head" place that I'm not sure I want to go to... at least not without a bottle of rose.

Plus now I've got a yearning for a good rose. I spent an hour last weekend at my local shop, all they carry is sparkling rose crap. I went in search of the Joguet Chinon, they just stared at me blankly, then pointed me in the direction of the non-champagne 'champagnes'. Sigh. Seems a trip to LB might be in order.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thanks for getting me love. You have always been one of the ones that do and for that I feel truly lucky.

Well thank you lady, that is very sweet and seeing as I just got off the phone with someone that assured me it isn't terrible....I'll go read it. Oh and it's good to spend time in your head, that was you can revel in the times you are out of it!

On the Rose deal, get on The Wine Country's website girlie. We have tons of amazing Roses to choose from and we ship...we can keep you in the "Pink" all summer long.

vickibarkley said...

Thanks for drunk posting! There have been so many times I've been buzzy when a comment is called for, and no matter the venue (FB, Sansdosage, you name it), I stop myself. Then, the next day, with a clear head, I'm always sorry to see that the moment has passed, and my comment would have been fine. And I'm aware that, though censorship sucks, self-censorship is the worst.

As for time alone, I feel exactly the same way! When I don't have it, I crave it, and when I have it, I'm lonely.

I toast you, and my fellow readers, Dear Friend, with "Polygamy Porter" that I'm drinking with Jackson in the Salt Lake City airport. Traveling with an adult son is so much better than a toddler!

And, I'm sorry that I won't be there Friday night, but I'll be sure to post about our dinner at Kevin Gillespie's Woodfire grill tomorrow night!

You inspire me, and give me courage!!

Samantha Dugan said...

Wow. "You inspire me and give me courage" one of the most humbling and profoundly touching things you could ever say to me. Thank you dear lady, thank you so much.

Stop self censoring!!!! Especially here dammit, I mean what could you say here that might be seen as inappropriate?! I need those comments girlie, they feed me, they are my reward for slowly pecking away at my keyboard in the middle of the night after a bottle of wine. So say whatever you feel here woman, it is always welcome.

Annie Browne said...

That was a GREAT post!!! And I totally get you...on the alone/lonely thing! It's an art to be able to actually let yourself get into your head...can be a weird and scare place (for me, anyway). Cheers to you, and NO, it's not wrong!!!

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

As you know, I'm a person who lives in his head almost all the time, and I enjoy it. Though I envy your candor and honesty and talent no end, and would enjoy being you for a few days. Especially if I can wear your brown shoes. You have a fascinating and wonderful mind, and possess the talent and voice to be able to allow it to express itself. That you allow us to share in the conversation is a gift, and a special one.

Here you skip from disgust to sensuality to Rose seamlessly, just like I like my nylons. With wine as your muse, as your facilitator, your writers block vanishes and, behold, there you are, staring up at us through the computer screen, cajoling us, challenging us, loving us. Those who think what you do is easy clearly have no gift themselves. You come alive in every post. You make the mundane seem numinous and the sacred seem human.

And, God bless you, you dislike your work as much as I dislike mine. That's why we're a perfect marriage.

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

Samantha Dugan said...

Welcome back you! You know it's funny when you share something, say it out loud, to see how many people feel just as you do. Why don't a people talk more? Really rather unifying and makes one feel like less of a weirdo.

Ron My Love,
You always know just what to say and your remarkable talent, the way you string your words together...the way those braided words slip over me...hold me tight, make me feel safe and so very much loved, it's astonishing.

You take my breath away with your praise and as you know I took a rather harsh shot today, this beautiful comment was just the braided hug I needed. I love you and thank you.

The Woo said...

Dude - now posting from the completely non-exciting and anti-interesting town of Mahwah, New Jersey. Decidely less fun than Hong Kong, London or Paris. Worst of all, I had to bail on dinner at Eleven Madison in NYC to do a CONFERNCE CALL with Asia. Dude.

But I digress.

None of this is wrong. It's all good.

We need to go on a food romp through LA. I LURVE the KOGI Taco truck and am so happy they have added an OC run. There is some seriously good stuff out there. Only thing about going to Vegas though is that you missed going to Lotus of Siam. A-Freaking-MAZING. Perhaps the best Thai food in America. Seriously. Arguably one of the BEST German wine lists I've ever seen. Randy would shit. Tons of GK wines too. Dude.

The Woo said...

Oh, one more thing... the Butterscotch Budino at Mozza is maybe my favorite dessert in LA... although the Rice Pudding at the Lazy Ox is battling it out with it right now.

Samantha Dugan said...


Okay you live in Coto and now you are in Jersey, are you Housewife hunting?! The Kogi truck is awesome and would love to do a food crawl around LA with you. It must involve a few taco stops and at least one shared bacon wrapped hot dog.

Judging by the text you sent me the other day....calling me an enabler, (better than another customer Bill who calls me the devil...which I admit I kind of like) I know you get the whole, "Just a little more" thing. Just one of the many reasons I adore you.

I've heard of the Butterscotch thing at Mozza and everyone raves about it but...well I have a butterscotch issue. Long story involving Schnapps...blame Call-o, but I am a huge fan of rice pudding so I have put that on my list!

Charlie Olken said...

So, Samantha, I heard that you have been nominated by a wine rag back east for having the worst tasting notes on the planet.

I guess, you can now also get nominated for having the least appetizing first paragraph intro to a discussion of foods you like.

Somehow, I am having a hard time wanting to eat brekkie now knowing that there is goo somewhere lurking in the kitchen.

But here is the thing about being called out for your writing on SSD. Please let us know when you actually start to write tasting notes as opposed to love letters. The guy who did not understand the difference probably works part-time making gas chromatographs or other scientific measuring devices.

I suggest that you send him every new post here on SSD. No one can resist this place for long. Hey, he might even find a way to smile, cry, share something of himself, discover his humanity. Now, wouldn't that a turnup for the books.

Samantha Dugan said...

What?! You didn't like the goo description? That was truly gross I swear to you. Oh and NO I was not nominated for Worst Wine Reviews baby, I WON! Sucked. Sucked for the reason you point wasn't a wine review. Grrrrr. Trying to put the "ouch" and whatnot away and find a place where I can share the story with my other readers so I am getting over it.

I absolutely adore how this silly blog has been a place where people come to feel and share, who would have thunk? You are just the sweetest Charlie My Love, I adore you.

Charlie Olken said...


I think you should put the link to the article here in SSD so that everyone could have a good laugh.

Samantha Dugan said...

I cannot figure out how to linky-thingie for the posts I love you think I'm gonna figure it out for that dude?! Dunno maybe....

Anonymous said...

You highlight the word you want as the link ( ie: this *post* made me cry); a little box will pop up asking for the link address; open a new window, go to the exact link you want; copy the address using Control-C; paste back on the 'link box' back on your blog with Control-V; et voila! linked. :)

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Anonymous said...

Crap, i missed a step...
after you highlight the word you want as the link, click the link button at the top of the blog post, it looks like a world with a chain over it. That will make the link box pop up.

Then you should have no probs.

Anonymous said...

Third time's a charm...

Okay, either the link button at the top of your blog post box is a symbol (chain,world) or it actually says, um, "link".

Yeah, I missed that blatantly obvious word, lol... I'm a dumbass this morning. Sorry.

Samantha Dugan said...

Now I'm confused! I thank you and your effort to teach me has inspired me, gonna figure this shit out and get a link in my next post.

My weekend has yet to begin, one of the cool parts about retail, my weekend begins when everyone else is back to work. Hoping that tonight is my Friday but am relying on someone that is flying home from Portugal tonight....he better freaking make it as I have a movie date with my 4 year old neighbor/boyfriend...Toy Story 3 here I come. Have not been to the movies with a wee one on like 10 years, cannot wait.

Thanks again for trying to help and have a great weekend girlie!

Dave said...

Where to begin...

"I wondered if it was wrong for me to drain a bottle of wine alone like that."

Wrong? Hell no, a magnum maybe, I was told it's a personal size. The 375s are single size lunch servings, right?

Drunk posting? If a nice bottle is all it takes to release the flow of thought provoking soul searching words that keep us all here and in tune, so be it, commas be damned. Personally, I need help to keep from breaking my post third martini posting rule.

To start your weekend off on the right note, your shipment arrived at the hotel in Santa Barbara the morning we did and I had a bottle of the Chidaine chilled by the time I had drained a martini. Can't believe how quickly the travel tension disappeared with each sip of that lovely wine staring out over East Beach, helped make our short two day visit magical.

Now, as if the ride with you so far hasn't been enough on the nirvanometer, I learn you are a fellow taco truck chaser. I've had the Korean tacos on my must do list for some time (along with a bacon wrapped Mexi-dog) and while sipping that rose, reading up on foodie things, I learned that Roy Choi has opened a bricks and mortar place called Chego. I don't see the tacos on the menu, but might be worth a look.

I see Woo has tipped you off to another of my top of list places, LOS in Las Vegas.

Short answer to your last question, nothing's wrong, unless you decide to turn off the spigot. Much love, and have a great "weekend".

Samantha Dugan said...

Cannot tell you how thrilled I am to here that your order made it to you in time. I confess to being a little worried that something would get hung up and you would be on your way home before the wines arrived, very happy to read that is not the case.

Also thrilled to hear that you liked the Chidaine! Had a bunch of people asking for more this past week....sorry kids, all gone. I'm not kidding when I tell you that the wine is better once open for a day, hard to hold off from drinking the whole thing but highly worth the wait.

If you can believe it I heard about that restaurant opening the night I was eating my first Kogi fact they were having a soft opening that same night and the driver of the truck was telling me about it. Have not made it yet but you can bet your ass I will be there. I have but a few obsessions; tacos and burgers....the perfect renditions of both, french fries, wines that make my bits tingle and some of the ones that don't, writing, Dave Matthews (Google Alert!!!) and of course, The HoseMaster....

Enjoy your wines sweet thing and be sure to tell me what you thought of the ones you so trustingly let me pick for you. Hard when we have not worked together before but I am hoping you enjoy them as much as I do. Thank you so much for all the lovins' Dave, touches me to hear such kind and supportive things.