Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Please Do

NOT do this. Oh Gawd, this looks so vile. A "cake" made from ground turkey and stuffing with mashed potatoes as frosting. I'm going to blame the Queen of Cheese Sandra Lee. Please don't do that but...

Please DO have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Eat well
Drink better
Laugh loud

Take a moment to remember the faces and laughter of those that might not be able to rest their feet beneath the table of this years feast. Be thankful for their contribution, their seasoning of your memories. Honor them by finding joy in the picturing of them.

Most of all just be thankful for what you do have
For those you love
Those that love you in return

I wish I had a table large enough to invite each one of you that has touched my life
Said the absolute right thing
Made me feel loved and appreciated
Time and time again
I am so thankful to you all....

I will raise a glass
Whisper your names in my head
Smile thinking of you happily nibbling away at a table full of love and laughter
Feel thankful for

Samantha Dugan
Wine Slinger
Occasional ranter
Humbled Storyteller

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Okay, This Right Here Kinda Sucks

You know those weeks that are sailing along, full of promise, laughter, love and that utter amazement at how lucky you are to be awake and alive? Yeah that was last week. This week could not be further away from that.

Started with being behind on my newsletter stuff, I’m not a stress case kind of person, I just don’t get worked up in tizzies too often but when I feel like I am letting someone down like I do every time I am late getting my write ups to Randy? Well it sends me into a stress filled, self loathing kind of spin that leaves me dizzy, and speechless…which is always perfect when you are stressed because you are late getting someone your words, and like a complete loser. Then comes the aftermath of introspection, why am I always late? Why can’t I just spill all the love I have for a wine that intrigued me enough to purchase for the store into a shelf talker that will make everyone want to buy it…maybe that’s the bit of pressure that stands on my neck making it impossible to speak. Whatever, between the stress dizzies and the beating up of myself I end up exhausted and lifeless….and that was only Sunday.

Monday, my cherished day off and date night with the wee boyfriend, this had to perk me up right? Um, yeah had to cancel the date night. We were having our annual Wine of the Year judging at the shop so after being called a “wet blanket” by my four year old boyfriend I headed out to taste and vote. Now this is always a fun tasting, the staff is all fired up to share the wines that make our hearts pound, the wines that stood out in a year’s worth of tasting appointments and classes. Great wines, we get to taste, talk about, vote and argue about great wines, a perfect day for me but even this had me feeling a little gloomy.

“Have fun!” the husband chirped on his way out the door for MY date night. “Oh my wines are going to get clobbered” I responded. There was really only one wine worthy of my Wine of the Year this year and I just knew it was going to be knocked out in the first round of judging. Maybe it was the post newsletter gloom but I was sullen when I walked in the shop for the judging, just knowing that a wine I was so in love with was going to get tossed aside and deemed “too weird” or just not good enough.

Wrong! I was so wrong and my odd little wine swept in the White Wine of the Year battle. Amazing, felt amazing and when I got home I could not shut up about it. I was just so thrilled that the wine spoke to everyone and even more excited that a big bunch of people would be giving the wine a try based on our giving it a Wine of the Year approval. So imagine how my heart sank when I got an email from the importer telling me they had made a mistake. “There are 10 cases coming but it won’t be until January and it will be a new vintage” Fuck….fuck. Most of you probably won’t understand how crushing this was for me, for that consider yourself lucky that you are not as big a geek as I am but….my eyes literally filled with tears as I read those words. It’s not winning, hell all the wines I put up took the win this year, it was this one wine and the hope….the belief I had in it, the way I wanted everyone to have their hearts pound away too. Deflating but….that was just Monday.

Tuesday found me picking at the scab of an argument that never truly healed for me and brought the added benefit of rage, disappointment and hint of condescension from someone I love very deeply.

Wednesday was a whole ball of wax; found out we were in fact not done with the newsletter…a big important part simply forgotten, (insert self loathing here), an email from another loved, a giant slap in the face and questions of loyalty, a documentary that ripped my heart out and sent me to bed puffy with tears and wondering how people can be so cruel but….that was just Wednesday.

I woke this morning still puffy but giving myself the post cry pep talk, “Well least your eyes are wicked green today” the one upside to a big cry. I was ready to take on the day and then the text that done me in

“They are changing the rules at work. No one can request time off and no one can leave the week of Christmas” Jeremy. Jeremy may not be home for Christmas this year. The first year in 21 that I may not get my most wanted thing, a hug from my baby Christmas morning.

I’d like to ask whomever is holding the voodoo doll in my likeness to ease the hell up already. I am breathing a heavy sigh as I get ready to leave for work this morning, placing all the hope I can muster in the basket of selling wine. A great day at the shop I love, selling wine to people that adore it as much as I do….least I still have that. Sheesh…..

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I’m two days late for deadline, hoping that Randy has once again given us a little pillow of time pushing….knowing his devoted but procrastinating and writers block stricken staff as he does, and as I sit here in my jammies, still unwashed, smoking too much, sipping on a glass of “inspiration”….my standard punishment for my tardiness, this “You can’t go anywhere or do anything until you finish” thing, and my mind is wandering. The lust and want I wish to inspire with descriptions of Champagne, Meursault and Northern Rhone Syrah getting lost amidst my own desires, my wants…my lust. All of it mixing with guilt and threatening to overtake me…

So I came here. A new Word document, a blank page, to purge. Rid myself of these consuming distractions that are pulling me in too many directions, tugging at me…making my stomach flutter, my heart pound and are suffocating my focus. No matter how many times I rub my makeup-less face, no matter how severe the tone in my, “Knock it off and focus!” growl, no matter how many times I beg, coo and plead these images, memories, flavors, fantasies and cravings refuse to leave me and let me work.

So I came here. Here to fill this page, fill my loyal readers and ask that you read them, hold them for me, feel them for me…keep them warm and wanted until I can once again let them roam freely throughout my mind and my body…let them once again raise my skin, own my will, move me. Hold them tight, picture them vividly, groan at the very thought, assure them that they are craveable, desirable and wanted so badly….

No one needs to take them all, you can spilt them up, take turns caring for them, trade them when you need but I beg of you….promise them that I shall return for them. Assure them that they are mine, that I need them and that without my overwhelming desire to attain them that I could never be this woman that I am. Whisper my name as you hold them, devour them as needed but do not let them forget where their home is and that I will soon be back to collect them.

I trust you all….

I’m dreaming of

The smell of a fire while snuggled beneath a blanket

Warm water climbing up my back and spilling down over my shoulders

Resting on my tummy while fingertips trace my tattoo

The crunch, the give and tug of a perfectly fried scallion cake

That almost painful stab in the side of my neck with my first sip of Sancerre

My teeth piercing tender dumpling flesh and feeling the insides spill onto my palate

Lips brushing against that soft patch of skin behind my knees

A smear of thick, pungent Epoisses on hot from the oven bread

Frozen shards of Gin melting between my lips as I suck them from my martini glass

Desperate stolen kisses

The weight and aggression of Grand Cru Burgundy in my mouth

The kind of voice that arches my back and makes the skin on my body tight

Words, no matter how few, that take my breath away….

These are the things that are spinning around inside me. The wants that need a place to land until I am once again ready to let them swim around beneath my flesh, hold them for me…love and want them for me. I need them so badly but right now…I need to work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quick Detour....

What the hell?!

This bottle was forced in my hand by some random "sales rep" this afternoon. The second I saw it I thought for sure my bosses were testing me. Like they sent this aggressive woman, this wont-take-no-for-an-answer beast with her bad hair, loud perfume, even louder shirt, shitty attitude and eyeliner that was either a result of her dt's or some sort of seismic reading. I figured they sent her to see how I would react in such a situation, see if I could refrain from making my, "Are you high?!" face complete with snarl and scary Sam eyebrow.

"I wanted to show you this" the beast says while handing me this bottle wrapped...and I kid you not, in a plastic bag like the ones you shove your leaky meat into at the grocery store. I looked at the bottle, (scroll back up and feel my pain) and looked back at her while scanning the store for Randy and Dale peeking behind case stacks to see of I was gonna go Di Nero on her ass.

"It's already doing well at Vons" she told me with her one bar too many crinkled mug. This, this was my out. I handed the bottle back to her, the plastic kind of sticking to my hand and said, "Oh okay, we don't stock things that people can find at Vons" grinning, I was grinning....not because I was feeling bitchy as much as I was relieved that I would not have to actually taste it. Stare. Hard stare with a smirk, this is what this plastic bag wrapping, glitter bottle peddling, Baby Jane looking woman gave me. Oh...okay, it's on.

"It's doing well. Why wouldn't a place like this want to stock a wine that is doing well?" she challenged. "Why the hell would anyone drive here, to get.....that, when they can buy it while buying their suppositories?" I replied again looking for Randy and Dale sure that I was getting a giant "F" on this test. "Look, we are a destination store, people have to make the effort to come here and if they can get this while shopping then there is no need for us to have it" I said refusing to take the sticky bag bottle again.

"Here" she said shoving the bottle against my arm, "Just let me leave the bottle and I'll wait for your call" I let the oh so many ways, bottle fall in my palm and watched as the sea hag marched triumphantly for the front door, my shock and awe hanging like a bubble of drool from my "how the hell did this happen?" lips.

Got the wine home and after showing it to my husband who instantly said, "What the hell is THAT?" I shoved the bling bottle in the fridge to give it a chill. An hour later I pulled the hideous bottle from its chilling chamber and popped the cork...

Budweiser, smells exactly like Budweiser. That sweet, insipid stank of the world's worst beer....awesome. Took one sip of the nearly clear liquid and again....King of Beers. Fantastic. The one beer on the planet that had me thinking all beer was utter shit was now wearing a fancy gold bottle and calling itself sparkling wine....still shit.

Best part? This hooker juice wholesales for...$21.99 a bottle. Well unless you want the bottle without the "jewels" and yes, that's what Baby Jane called them, you can get the less bedazzled bottle wholesale for $sixteen something....fuck.

Cannot wait for her follow up call......

Saturday, November 6, 2010


We sold 1000 oysters last year at our Oyster Fest
This year they brought

Had to limit our customers to only six and we still ran out in less than an hour...and just guess how many your writhing, wanting, teeth squeezing blogger girl here had....

Dude, not a one.
We have scrapped our Blind Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon tasting that was scheduled on Novemeber 27th and we are doing a Annual Oyster Fest 5 Part Deux. This was not a Fest, this was a tease.

I would like to thank our ever gracious customers for their patience and understanding, was a horrible mix up and I assure you no one was more upset than we were and you were all so very cool in the face of this toying with your oyster loving emotions moment. Trust me, I feel you...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cannot Wait....

I’ve just been counting the hours
It’s been too long
I satiate myself on the idea of someday
I can now count the hours until I am on the other side of someday
With you

You must forgive me the way I devour the very thought of you
The way my tummy flips
The way my flesh erupts with tiny bumps
My eyes slipping into that seductive half rolling stare
Each tiny blonde hair on my skin alerting me to their interest
In…just one more time, with you

Your scent
Oh fuck, the way your scent sets my mind ablaze with images…
Skin dripping
Chin dripping

Still hours away I can smell you
Feel you hard against my lips
Salty and ready to slip inside
The way I toy with your flesh
Roll it around my tongue
Holding you firm against the slippery flesh that lines my mouth
My teeth gently squeezing you

The way my breathing gets deeper
Nostrils flared and devouring you….remembering you
The way I pull you back into my throat
Feel you squirm
Silky, wet, plump
Holding you there not wanting to release you
Until the want overpowers me
Pries open my tight throat

My heart pounding
Your warmed from my mouth body
Our waiting for someday
Slipping deep down inside me
Tummy flipping
Already dreaming of someday again

My lips
My mouth
My tummy
My everything
Full of you
Just need

This Saturday I shall be swallowing my beloved oysters and washing them down with crisp, nervy, reviving white wines….you coming?

Where- The Wine Country
Time- 1:00-4:00 PM
Cost- $20.00 for wine, oysters 6 for $10.00

Oh this was too much fun…..

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Killing Me Softly

If you’re going to suffer you should suffer magnificently.

Not sure where or when I first heard that but that phrase resonated with me. Spoke to my slightly untamed and indulgent nature. Was louder and more enticing than the sullen voices and memories of hollow women that would scold me for laughing too hard or too loud, falling in love to often or giving myself over to any real pleasure. Somewhere around fifteen I was sitting at a table in a restaurant, my mother and her mother both whispering, scowling and passing judgment on a group of people three tables over. The group was opulent for sure; many empty bottles and more on the way, food remaining on their plates while they ordered dessert, lots of laughing, cuddling, touching, kisses. I sat there watching this six top of shameful behavior wishing I could slip out from under my chair, ditch the “civility” of whispering women, the clinking of the ice in the cold glasses of tea, the slow, guilt laden, stabbing of food….the glances around the room to see if anyone was seeing them pleasure themselves when the morsels landed upon their twisted-with-envy-and-regret palates. I ached to slip away and let myself plunk bits of food…food that I picked at with my fingers…between my lips. Longed to pick up one of those glasses and let the warm with alcohol liquid slip down my throat and loosen the behavioral corset that bound me so tight that I was incapable of feeling much of anything at all.

I sat there, them shaking their heads, looking over their shoulders, bitter words of “trashy” and “no class” feeling slightly fragmented. My years of trying to please these women urging me to agree, to denounce these people for…and that was when it hit me, denounce them for what? Having fun? Living too much? Laughing too hard, enjoying their food too much, touching? Oh I felt shame for sure but it was at the boorish, uncivil and very clearly jealous snapping of the people at my own table. If this was what you got from living your life by the rules, restraining yourself from feeling too good too often, this holier than thou attitude full of judgment and ugly words sputtered from a tight lipped frown, well then I was ready to go stomping around in puddles, naked, Slim Jim between my teeth, someone’s lips on my hips while I danced to Let’s Get It On.

Now I know there are wicked smart and driven teenagers but sadly I was not one of them so I went about this new, “Gonna get my feel on” thing all wrong. Took a lover, took a lover at 16, as if the fumbling of some 16 year old boy was somehow going to please me. Fail. That was my first of many failures when it came to discovering what made me feel good…although I did find that I derived tremendous pleasure from “seducing” him, so much as it was. The way he would risk just about anything to be with me simply by me giving him a certain look or brushing the back of his neck with the tips of my fingers….the way he would stutter, stammer, tear at my clothes, the way I could get him to follow me behind the building where he worked because I “Simply had to be with him”. Wish I could say that was the greatest 3 minutes of my life, wasn’t but I did start to figure out that I was getting the real pleasure by making him feel.

The relationship was bound to end, fuck I mean we were only 16 but it was doomed more by my pretending it was just for fun when I actually cared very deeply for him. This thing of ours went on into our twenties, both of us in and out of relationships but always lovers. He wanted the body I was freely giving him and I wanted all of him. To this day he holds the record for breaking my heart, hurt me the worst and to this day….I don’t blame him and I would do it all over again. To learn as much as I did, to hide the way my own heart was pounding away when he would kiss me, the pain I felt when he would talk to me about his newest love, the way I cried every time he left. If you’re going to suffer….

Now at almost forty I am often at that “touching bottle filled table” using my fingers to eat whenever I wish, pouring plenty of warm alcohol rich liquid down my throat and still playing around with whatever bit of sexy I might have. Flirt, bend my body, wet my lips and growl saucy things to make people stutter but I’ve found my true pleasure comes from using my words to inspire want. Being able to describe something in a way that drives people to seek out that moment, that bottle, that taste…now that is what truly drives me wild. I’m lucky enough to work in an industry that kind of requires that, unbelievably lucky to have a boss that allows me, often encourages me to do it in my way and…I have this place. This place where I just talk and all you amazing people come to feel me…you simply cannot know how much pleasure you give me.

I spent yesterday just couching. Recovering from a weekend that saturated me in amazing wines, pouring them alongside two men too humble to truly understand how much they have changed me, drinking with, dining with and selling wine to people that either drove hundreds of miles or flew out to be there…because my words, the ones they found here, inspired them to do so. Unreal to me and truthfully a tad overwhelming. I was just a puddle yesterday, drained and exhausted, too tired to do more than fondle the remote but…damn, sweetest exhaustion ever. So while this painfully shy woman suffered a bit from being kind of in the spotlight….I assure you, I was suffering magnificently.