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Untangled Vine

An attempt to sort through all things wine. Specifically of, and about, but not limited to: Food and Wine in Toledo, Ohio. Plus the day to day musings of a Wine Distributor...

...tan and rested

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My brain has been taking an extended vacation from creativity. Since I haven’t, in some time at least, devoted myself fully to creative expression on a semi-regular basis, I’ve been waiting for the tank to run dry this year, and it seems as if it briefly had. With a backlog of zealously written articles at my writing home, I’ve been at the mercy of inspiration for this blog, and that inspiration has been a cruel, cruel mistress.

You know what they say, when it rains it pours, and having just returned from a brief jaunt to California, I have many items on my mind, and a few articles that will materialize in the coming days. First, let me weigh in on some issues at hand…

a) wine bloggers being ripped. Craig Camp gave me a heads up on this little ditty about us all being self-absorbed and prosaic. Umbrage I take! Wine Blogs have given me 2 things that are irreplaceable and invaluable- An open dialogue with wine intellegistas, and a creative outlet. If no one read this, I’d write it anyway. This is a good place for me to crystallize my thoughts and opinions, and it gives my out of town friends and family a chance to read what get’s published only locally. There is an enjoyable camaraderie that comes from this sort of subculture, and it translates to many different topics and demographics. It’s always easier to tear down something we don’t understand, than support something we don’t have the capacity to fully envision.

b) Southern Wines is just evil. This has come up often in the blogo-world recently, and I weigh in with a word-evil, like the fruits of the devil, evil. I would divulge more, but I watch Sopranos, and somewhere in Florida, there’s a giant Bada-bing, and in the back room, they may be already discussing my demise. O.K., One quick believe-it-or not story (This is how I heard it, I make no claims to the accuracy, other than the person that told me this story is a highly sincere and respected winemaker in Santa Barbara). My winemaker friend, let’s call him Mr. X had just returned from a Vegas trip, frustrated. Southern had just bought his old distributor, and not only did they not seem to care about his artisinal, hand crafted wines, they billed him back for escorts for one of their most important buyers. I’ve already said too much…

c) Wine Lists. They seem to have a life of their own. They are all at once a display of ego, buying power, bravado, etc… Rarely are the strategic for the cuisine. Even less frequently do they educate. This last weekend, we went to The Ranch House in Ojai. WS Awards all over the place. Recently they downsized from Grand to best of. I love this list. Instead of just rattling off wines, and assuming everyone instantly understands the wine’s significance, they actually will write several paragraphs above a single selection of Hermitage, just so the consumer can understand what makes this wine special. And those comments are lovingly written for many categories regardless of how many wines are available, or how much that may increase their sales.

More to come, I will actually finish writing my opus about the Farmer’s Market Bill, and rant about many more fun topics.

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