I went to the Apple Store yesterday at the Grove in Los Angeles with my children – Jack, 13, and Isabel, 9. They just arrived from England for their annual holiday visit with their grandparents and great-grandmother. My daughter’s i-book had a sticky keyboard, so it needed replacing. Luckily, they had one in stock and Clay at the Genius Bar fixed it in a snap.
It looked like my kids had splashed some juice or something in the keyboard. I was happy it was only a little bit and it could be repaired. I remember years ago when I was inputting tasting notes in Alsace with Per Mansson and I spilled a glass of Hugel Gewürztraminer Alsace Sélection de Grains Nobles into the keyboard. I am not sure the portable Mac was ever the same! I think we barely got the tasting notes out of it. If I remember correctly, the culprit was the excellent 1989, which I had this year and it was drinking beautifully.
Anyway, I was thinking about Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and how it all began in a garage in 1977. And how they changed the world of personal computing. I have always been a Mac person ... think differently ... the Mac Dude and PC nerd ... you know the story. Macs are the coolest.
Garages brew up cool things too, even in wine. For example, the garage movement in St. Emilion in the 1990s was a significant catalyst for change in the stodgy tradition bound world of Bordeaux. In a nutshell, a handful of new faces came to the region and began producing small amounts of fruit-forward wines from less than great vineyards, and proved that excellent wine could be made even without what the French think is great terroir. It was essentially transplanting Burgundian viticulture and winemaking methods to Bordeaux. In other words, it was about hand-made viticulture and winemaking techniques with tiny plots of vineyards (some just literally garden-sized) and in garages in the village of St. Emilion.
Garage wines are certainly less popular today than they were a decade ago. But that’s another column and I have written a number of stories about that. But no one can deny that garage wines had an impact on the evolution of Bordeaux – both good and bad.
In fact, my thought made me remember that I started in a garage too with Wine Spectator. I was just out of journalism graduate school at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I took a job from a Los Angeles Times advertisement as an assistant editor for a wine magazine, just before Christmas 1981.
The magazine looked like my high school newspaper – tabloid and black and white, except for the claret-colored logo. It was put together in a tiny garage/office next to a car repair shop in Clairemont Mesa, San Diego, California. We had a paid circulation of about 1,000 subscribers.
We have come a long way ...
... Happy New Year.
Trevor Witt — Waterloo, Ontario, Canada — December 29, 2007 3:39pm ET
James Scoptur — WI — December 29, 2007 4:46pm ET
Steven Balavender — Tampa, Fl — December 29, 2007 10:55pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — December 30, 2007 9:22am ET
Michael Mcdonnell — Basking Ridge,NJ — December 31, 2007 10:30am ET
Michael Myette — Sacramento, CA USA — December 31, 2007 1:11pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — December 31, 2007 1:17pm ET
James Suckling — — December 31, 2007 4:50pm ET
Albert Jochems — The Netherlands — January 1, 2008 6:55am ET
Thunevin — France — January 3, 2008 11:10am ET
Barrett W Conway — Heidelberg, Germany — January 3, 2008 11:27am ET
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