The problem as I see it is that we all dream of this. The lush vines sagging under the weight of their fruit, the intimate backyard tastings, the rocky earth, the turquoise sky above a mountain, wind chimes barely making their music, the coolness of the winery, the large-bowled stemware filled to just over 1/3, the smell of the burnt French oak barrels and dusty under-ground caves. And some of us, of stalwart farmer stock, may actually do it. I know many locally and beyond that are living the dream. But for the rest of us mere mortals, there is this.
Guy Lelarge, owner of local Valencia Wine Company, didn’t steal someones idea over 10 years ago when he opened his wine tasting bar, though many jokingly have told him he did. Juan Alonso, owner of the grounds pictured above and adjacent to his locally famous restaurant Le Chene, may have stolen his ideas but only from his childhood in Spain and France.
But the rest of us, mere mortals once again, don’t have it in us.
Is this a flaw? The reason we become so passionate about drinking (or writing) about wine is because the mystique and romance holds us? We don’t have to comply with the everyday whims of Mother Nature or pesky liquor laws.
But, we continue, to covet thy neighbor’s field. I tend to believe it’s something more than mere desire. In coveting the winemaker we pay tribute to his work. Work that we aren’t willing to do ourselves. In coveting the wine store owner; again, we are coveting his willingness to kowtow to a retail market.
In coveting the wine, and all that it takes to get it to our waiting lips, we pay tribute to all of those that allow us, by doing the hard work, the mysticism required to find something new in every swallow of every bottle of every time.
Yours, in wine and out,