Well, I’ve gone and stretched eight weeks into 11 awesome months. That is in part due to me being so slow with the blog but hey, I’m working at it! Since my last installment, I’ve been pondering what to do with this one, my final of this run.
I’ve been to France and seen some very wonderful things. There is such an awesome culture of friendship and camaraderie in Burgundy; it really is compelling. I suppose that is what wine is really all about.
I’ve thought about this last blog walking up and down the slopes of St.-Joseph with Jean-Louis Chave. There you see such amazing work—work like I’ve witnessed in no other vineyards anywhere on this beautiful earth. I could riff for days on the beautiful and underappreciated wines that can be the product of some of the most intense labor on the steepest slopes, and yet they see so little recognition. When the grower says that the work is a labor of love, that it doesn’t make sense in modern terms but it is something that they are compelled to do, all I can say is thank you and wow.
I’ve also taken much time pondering this last blog over so much bad coffee in France and wondering why is it so bad there? For goodness sake, they share a border with Italy and are at least in the running as the most evolved culinary culture, yet they seem intent on making a bad watery brew. If I ever needed to give up that fine bean, I’d move to France straight away! (Tea is actually a pretty fine, if not superior, alternative.)
I’ve thought about this blog as I’ve moved my own home and rearranged my own wine cellar, reacquainting myself with old friends and, hopefully, meeting new ones. Considering what is special, what to collect and why. That’s easy, because I love those wines and the folks behind them and I will be sure to actually drink them too!
I’ve thought about this last installment while checking out Portland for the first time in a decade—great music, print, people and wine from all over the world abound. I also dig the very cool independent restaurant scene dominated by great but casual small joints.
I tripped up to Seattle where they too are doing supercool work and had the good fortune to check out Ahmad Jamal at one of the greatest jazz venues on earth, Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley. Watching that legend, at 78 years of age, and his graceful command of that Steinway, one is given over to all kinds of musings. Pick the direction; no matter where you start, you end up happy to be participating in this great thing called life.
In pondering all of these things, I’ve really enjoyed the process and working to get in touch with and reconcile what are, at the core, emotive experiences. This is perhaps the biggest part of what I’ve enjoyed with this blog, throwing it out there, thinking in type, attempting to resolve issues that resonate and hearing back from you along the way.
I feel especially privileged to have been invited by Wine Spectator to share these thoughts, experiences, emotions and attempts at reconciling them with you, the Wine Spectator readers. For that, I sincerely thank them, I thank you and I very much look forward to more good things vinous and otherwise.
Brad Kanipe — Atlanta — August 16, 2008 1:25pm ET
Richard Betts — denver airport at present — August 18, 2008 7:43pm ET
John Osgood — New York, NY — August 19, 2008 1:11pm ET
Serge Laporte — Canada — August 19, 2008 6:21pm ET
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