Friday, May 31, 2013

I'll Take Your Snob & Raise You A Twat

Yesterday morning I was scrolling through the lines of babble over on Facebook and I came across a quote from Wine Journalist Eric Asimov that had been posted by a friend with a line attached, “This quote by Asimov really resonated with me” so being the good Facebook friend I am I clicked the linky thing and checked it out. The quote was, "But much of it is mundane. Why should anybody who cares about what they eat and drink settle for familiar and icy rather than something full of character? The wine industry has no problem with that sort of unconscious drinking. It feeds sales and increases profits. Hence it promotes the notion of “starter wines,” mediocre bottles that help ease newcomers past the shock of transition until they are ready to try the better stuff. Nonsense. The idea is merely a rationalization for selling millions of bottles of mass-market junk wines. Skip the insipid wines. Go right to good bottles. Discriminate!" I found myself nodding with Eric’s assessment, and mini rant, about insipid Pinot Grigio being foisted on the masses as if we were doing them some sort of favor by dumbing it down when my eyes happened upon the first comment or response to the quote, “Snob”. 

Never ceases to floor me how often people cover up their own insecurities or lack of…not sure which it is, interest or taste, by calling anyone the least bit discriminating a snob. I know my idiot of a drunk and living in a shack brother calls me a snob simply because I am a French wine specialist….as if I ever said, “Domestic wines are shit and I shall only allow French wines to pass between my lips”. And I’ve been seated across the table from my in-laws at brunch when the nice man comes around, screwtop bottle of “Champagne” wrapped in a white towel only to hear my mother in-law, in her New England tone and volume, blurt out, “Oh! Sam will never drink that!” always with an emphasis on the never and always with a slightly embarrassed and slightly mocking ring to it, followed quickly by a, “Oh like we could tell the difference” as if simply because I can in fact tell the difference, and would rather partake of a Bloody Mary at brunch than that bubbly junk, well that makes me a snob? Kinda thinking if you can just name call like that, you might just be more of a snob than the rest of us…..

Have seen the same thing in the world of wine/booze media as of late. Not sure if it was just on blogs that I was sent links to or if they were from actual publications, like where these wankers are paid to be blowhards but after reading a whiskey lover rant against Robert Parker scoring Bourbon, and how now all the wine “snobs” he encountered on his last trip to Napa, the ones he described as such“the sheer douchebag factor of guys in their 60s tooling around in Porsches with chinos and checked oxfords dangerously unbuttoned at the collar, made safe by the addition of a blazer. Perhaps a cable-knit pastel sweater was draped over their shoulders with an artfully-tied knot designed to look careless and casual, while saying all the while “I sweated the hell out of this knot” would be gobbling up all the precious Bourbon he and his, I don’t know…regular not snobby Bourbon sluggers, have been tasting, reading about and studying for years? Finishing his “Not snobby guy” rant with, “For the average consumer, it’s yet another crowding out at the hands of shameless trend-hoppers who saw this on TV, will make no attempt to understand the culture or the spirit, but instead will blindly make pronouncements in the absence of knowledge” Wow, sort of like name calling and bashing of whole groups of people that just happen to be into something different, just as geeky mind you, but different than you are? Hmmmm, just wondering Mr. Pot, what color is your kettle? Top that with reading some stupid article saying tasting notes are pretty much full of shit, one that ended with, “You’re better off drinking beer, its better anyway” and I’ve had it up to my pickle green irises. Sick and goddamn tired of everyone and their holier than thou horseshit, finger pointing, eye rolling, chest huffing and….oh but wait, in all fairness let’s give the other side, the everyman his chance to un-stuffy this fancy and snobby world of wine. Give the icy cold Pinot Grigio huffers their whack at it as it were….

A quick 15 minutes on the internet and I can say with all honesty, I’ll take your Snob and raise you a Twat.  Counted no fewer than 10 chocolate and wine tastings happening in the next 2 weeks, not one but 2 salsa and wine pairing tasting events, countless cupcake or Girl Scout cookie wine events and my latest favorite, a reenactment of the wine world’s most adored Jersey Boy, Crank Yanker, that Gary VanderwhoZit goodfella, another whole article on breakfast cereal and wine, this time taken up a notch. Where Gary V paired Riesling with Cap’n Crunch, (“The single greatest product ever made” according to the Yanker while burying his nose in the glass of Spatlese and telling us all to take a, “Sniffy sniff”….fuck me) and milk, no this new article….wine in place of milk in your breakfast cereal. Fan-freaking-tastic. Nothing says everyday wine lover like a snort of Bordeaux in your Cinnamon Toast Crunch, that or raging alcoholic, take your pick.  I browsed the rest of the blog/site, my eyes blinking wildly as I tried to figure out if this was some joke when I saw a link to a previous piece called, “Six Tricks to Sound Like You Know How to Pair Wine With Food” and before I could even finish processing that I said, “Not one of them is telling anyone to pair wine with cereal you wad!” So if being picky about what I put in my mouth and not trying to shove wine in places where it has no business makes me a snob, dude I’ll take that over fake-ass-wine-yanker trying to pretend to be sophisticated by having wine be so non-fancy that it can and should be poured over your Corn Pops, I’ll proudly display my snootery if you concede your twatitude.  Deal?

Look, I think many tasting notes are over-the-top and full of descriptions that the majority of people imbibing in a glass will never pick up. Not all of them but some which is why I tend to write notes more focused on weight, structure and texture, often with emotion, than to rattle off shit like, “tomato water and pickle skin” when describing wine for our customers. I just turned in about 25 shelf talkers for 2012 Roses, any idea how hard it is to do that? For one article? I would love, just once, to list the wines with their prices and in the notes section write, “Everything you want in a dry Rose” but being that it is my job to find the subtle differences, I can assure you, they are there and those regular folks, least the ones that shop at The Wine Country, they want to read about them. Are they going to get watermelon rind and lemon oil when they taste their Rose, dunno but it sounded like something they wanted and they bought the bottle so we tools that write those notes, we see them as the tools they really are….and most of us aren’t going around calling you all names because you don’t agree. You cookie and cereal folks on the other hand….I might have a name for you.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gift With Purchase

“Oh fuck me, another gift with purchase? You know, if it is in fact a gift, shouldn’t you pick it for me?” my strained and whinny voice as I stood with my pudgy, sweaty arms pressed against the thick glass at the Lancome makeup counter. Face scrunched to hell, back screaming from a day of running stacks of wine on a dolly, with the added tension of knowing that I would have to take my greased up, day-caked ugly mug to the makeup counter at the fucking mall. There to buy makeup from some tartish looking twelve year old chick that while sporting a pound and a quarter of face gunk I would never, in my life, try and putty on would blink her fake lashes at me, my head cocked as I looked at them thinking, “So that’s what it looks like when spiders hump” as she sized me up by the spent balls of day old makeup that filled in the deep lines of my face like caulk.

Feeling deflated, fat, old, ugly and deflated I was reduced to begging the tart for help, “Can you….can you just pick something for me? If this” me waving my day weary hand in front of my face like a deranged mime, “tells you what I am in need of and you have a tiny bottle of it or whatever in one of those options, just please, for the love of whichever god you chose, just toss it in my bag and charge me, thanks.” Slung the perfumed stanking bag of needed face junk and not needed “gifts” over my shoulder and shuffled my thick frame through the heavy, and heavily finger printed Macy’s door and headed home to wash the caulk from my mug. Tossed the bag of free goodies in a corner of my bedroom, until a Hoarders marathon sent me blazing through my pad, black trash bag in hand, riding myself, and the others that live or have lived here, of stuff I was sure we didn’t need. 

Happening upon a shiny white bag beneath some piles of old clothes I wanted donated to the local woman’s shelter, “What the hell is in here?” my muttering as I rested my hinny on the bed and dug through the bag that held empty boxes from my last face makeup and powder purchase to find two baggies full of rag-tag makeup and lotion samples. Poor little whorish 12 year old, I freaked her out and she gave me both “Gift with purchase” options. That or she took one look at me and my caulky face, figured I could use all the help I could get. Either way I chucked the frosty lip junk, put the face cream on the bathroom counter, the tube of body lotion on the table beside my laptop, there to soothe my elbows or whatever other chapped bits I might have whilst digging through the internets and answering emails. 

“Damn, that smells so good” the growl coming off my curled lips as I rubbed the much needed, and nicely aromatic goo into my dry bits late one night while I was bumping around my nearly dark living room. Found myself reaching for the smallish tube a couple times a night and have been guilty of nuzzling my nose extra deep in my pudgy upper arm on the nights when I slather on a thick layer of free lotion. Always well past midnight, just moments before falling asleep, my nose deeply sunk into arm pudge when I flash on a memory. A fuzzy recollection of thin legs, tightly curly hair, smooth dark skin, Levi’s always a size too short, the sweet voice that cooed and begged, and the dry, old looking hands that would twist my flesh when I teased just a little too much. As all the little windows shut down in my brain, my day closing down to a slow hum just loud enough to lull me, I would drift off to sleep wondering why I chose him first, why I pushed him away when he came back for me years later and why the fuck I was thinking of him thirty years after the fact, while I was trying to sleep no less.

“I’m going to start with the red Burgundies, then the whites, from there the rest of France then I will come find you and you can have me taste whatever it is you want. Work?” my strangely sergeant major sounding words to our newest buyer at a trade tasting the other afternoon. I actually ended up starting with Billecart-Salmon, (still a no go for the store folks. Too much for too little, resting on reputation I’m afraid) then moving on the Vogue. Comte de Vogue. Started my tasting afternoon swirling, sniffing, zhoozhing Bonnes Mares and Musigny, some of the rarest and most stunning Burgundies on the planet around in my mouth whilst scribbling notes on my folded over tasting sheet. And that, that was just the beginning. Ran through no fewer than sixty wines that afternoon, teeth stained and burning from the acidity but we still had Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados to access.

Twisted the key into the lock on my front door, grocery bags digging into my palms, mouth dry and stained, tongue fishing around under my top lip looking for any kind of moisture. Dumped the bags of fancy dinner fixings on the dining room table before kicking off my shoes and changing into by biggest and most comfy pair of jeans and my pretending-to-be-sexy see through thermal looking shirt dealie. The day’s booze not taken in for fun but still saturating in that way that makes any chore seem like more of a….well, a chore. Tossed dinner doings in the fridge, heated up a couple smoked turkey hot dogs, (Oh shut up. Trying to do little shit to eat healthier) before flipping on the music and cranking the clumsy knob on the bathtub….bath. I needed a bath, stat. One loud whoosh and the shattering, splashing sound of water falling back onto itself as I stood and I was steaming, pink, wrapped in a towel, and steaming. Lumbered up to the table for that strangely intoxicating tube of lotion to smear on my still warm flesh. Puddle of cool cream in my hand as I swiped it across my shoulders and began rubbing it in….that was when he came again. Tight curls, smooth dark skin, big begging eyes and wrinkled hands digging into my thighs. What, the fuck?

Polo. Polo cologne. Somewhere above my knee I realized that the white goo I was rubbing on myself reminded me of Polo cologne and that, that was why my first lover, the one from 30 years ago, was on his knees whispering and begging, touching and visiting me. His scent sliding between my fingers as I rubbed his memory deeper into my skin. Didn’t take long before I was on the interwebs seeing just how much this “free” tube of memory lane was going for….

“Take it out of that awful wrapper and put in the foil” my mother when we would get back to our house after our under cover procurement of weirdly orange government cheese. My mother a proud but desperate woman that was resourceful enough to talk her best friend into being the one to stand on line for the hand out…the big, hulking block of ugly and texturally unsound cheese that we would sustain ourselves on when actual food was a couple-days-from-payday-away. I remember the reckless abandon with which I would hack into that hideous block of tasteless dairy. The big solid strips I’d cut off and not even finish when we had the giant log to slice from but….as the month wore on, those slices became nearly as see through as my after tasting blouse and you can bet your ass I gobbled down each and every flavorless morsel. Never quite sure if there would in fact be a next meal, I learned to gauge my hunger and want and calculate how many more x’s there were on the kitchen mounted calendar before payday. Orange cheese of waxy texture is right up there with pancakes as far as shit I hope to never eat again. A constant reminder along with the holes in my shoes that my mother’s life didn’t work out as planned….

$35.00, that’s what a tube of Lancome Hydra Fraichelle, (come on Lancome, a regular name wouldn’t kill you and it would make things far easier for your 12 year old counter whores, and me) memory lane lotion costs.  I thought of him, how he sweetly and just as innocently as I was, seduced and taught me. Got me to wiggle out of my jeans simply by pressing his slight but hard chest against my shoulder blades, my tummy and hips bruising from the force of the floor under me, his flesh sweating and the scent of Polo cologne, all oily and pungent filling my bedroom the more I touched, kissed and folded beneath him. $35.00 to be reminded of the second he shivered and succumb….the second I figured out that I could be, wanted to be, and would be in charge of him and this. In charge of my body and what I would put inside me, what I would finish. 

Started with waxy cheese

Big dreams

Fears and insecurities that splayed me wide open but….

Left me with an acute sense of smell and the awareness of just how powerful that truly is…

Vogue and 33 year old Armagnac, long way from government cheese. 

Feeling very humble, and grateful right about now, for this unasked for but given gift with purchase.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More. I Want More

You ever feel yourself on the cusp of “Oh what the hell”? Feel your feet hovering…calves shaking as you try and restrain yourself right before plunging your bare skin into that cool pool of wicked, silky, slippery, staining, enveloping…fantastically fulfilling indulgence? Your head trying to remind you why you shouldn’t, the rest of you not giving a shit and aching to get lost in tastes, touches, tongues, texture, aromas….anything but control? Allowing yourself to give, bend, surrender to a spoonful, a forkful, a glassful, fingers full of something that our self imposed….society imposed structure and boundaries keep us from slithering around in whenever we wish? The way you feel alive each second of your life but a little more so, the heart pumping, the blood surging, the mouthwatering right before you melt and swim around in the,” yeah I’m going to pay for this” pond? Me too and you know what….I want more.

Maybe it comes from becoming a mother when everyone else was being wistful and rebellious. Maybe it stems from an inherent unwillingness to be told what to do, how to behave, how to dress, how much love and want is enough. As much as I try, (which aint all that much) I just find that restricting myself, not allowing myself those stolen moments….well not only is it frustrating I just don’t see what good it does. I’m never going to be the “most” or “best” at anything and the last fucking thing I want to do is wake up one day and realize that while I followed all the rules I’ve lived a life full of steady medium. Just not what drives me, moves me and inspires me. I need that twinge of, “no” I crave that tickle of, “You ought not” and while I am not reckless with the things that I adore and need in life…I get a very real thrill from living in, and reliving in those moments spent off the path of straight and narrow. Each one nibbling at the base of my neck, enticing me, seducing me and reminding me to live…really live in each and every second.

Live sweetly and respectfully
Indulge in lust and want
Feed my soul with love and family
Let the fringe take a bite out of me when the moment is right

Work hard
Play hard
Dream big
Love big
Go big….

Martini at 9:00 AM on a Sunday….Yes, more
Family dinner around the table…Yes, more
A late morning snuggle between the fan kissed sheets….Yes, more
Whispering “fuck” in an ear aching to hear me…Yes, more

Value bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on Tuesday….Yes, more
Bottle of $60.00 Champagne on Thursday….Yes, more
Plate of grilled veggies for dinner….Yes, more
Pile of beef tartar to be scooped up with crispy French fries….more
Letting my love draw me home every night….more
Letting my want dig its fingers deep in my heart, spread it wide open and make room….Yes, more.


Balance. I often speak of balance and much like wine, life needs that little bit of acid, that spike of tannin to keep all the “fruit” in check. The fruits of our labor, the effort with which we care for ourselves, our family, our relationships…they need to be rewarded from time to time and I for one shan’t pass up that spoonful, glassful, and mouthful of reward. A scoop of raw meat on fries, whispers that brush my hair across my neck, an amazing bottle of wine….never for no reason, sometimes they are the only reason.

Feet hovering
Pool waiting
Stepping in…..

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Where You Belong

Gawd I missed you
So nice to have you home
Where you belong
Here with me

I think you ought to know
Be made to fully understand
Just how evocatively you affect me
How simply thinking about
Indulging in
Feeding on
My time with you
Can make me feel like there are soft fingertips slipping across my exposed shoulders
Then slowly down the center of my back

Eyes closed
Our first meeting
Travelling fingertips
Breath sucked violently deep into my chest
Back arching
Aching for more

The sense of comfort I find in your gentle
Unpolished nature

The unyielding sense of urgency when I think of having you

God I missed you
Welcome home

 Slipping clandestinely out my screen
Past closed doors and windows
The sound of my own breath syncing with the patter of my bare feet
The stream and its soothing gurgle
My heart thumping in my ears
Head pounding with memories

My lips finally open
My tongue saturated with you
My warm soft hands changing you
My throat and heart open
The stream
The moon

Once again dancing beneath Our Moon
What a fabulous night for a moon dance
With you
My Love….

(2009 Just arrived at The Wine Country. I was allocated 24 paltry bottles, 6 bottles have already sold (Facebook, gotta love it) and another 3 are coming home with me. Cannot wait to feel the cold steel of my opener, the spongy give of that cork, the warmth of true love as is flows down my throat....damn.) 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Don't Care What They Say....

I’m not sure how this started. Can’t quite pinpoint the exact moment when I first felt my tummy flip, my insides flinch and pull with uncontrollable want just thinking about you. Don’t know when this shifted from a playful flirtation, a fun but respectful flash of bare skin, giggles…lowering of the eyes just before things get too intense. Not sure how we got here but here we are and….I need to be with you.

 I’ve gone over all the reasons why it’s wrong, sat in my comfortable bubble of familiar…tried to find resolve in the touch and smells of my commitment but now I find even when I’m safely tucked against the chest of my chosen one….you come to me. It seems that no matter how tightly I try and board up the little gaps you seem to find a way in, some little crack, a tiny unseen and unsupported doorway and there you are again. My eyes tightly closed, the fear of losing my way, my heart writhing and pounding against my chest….my breathing becoming more labored and desperate with each imagined and painfully ached for touch.

I’m afraid. Afraid of being found out, afraid of letting myself slip into a relationship that from the beginning has been based not on mutual understanding or paths to the future but on a primal, animalistic craving that holds me hostage to thoughts of devouring each, and, every inch….to draw from your well until this insatiable thirst for you is quenched. Afraid that once I surrender and first take you between my lips, feel your power land upon my tongue, afraid that once I swallow that thirst will become a part of me that I will never be able to completely quench…your moisture the only cure. I’m afraid but….I need to be with you.

So here I am....










I don’t care what anyone thinks…fuck, not even sure I care what I think but….I’m ready and I need to be with you.