Moto Perpetuo, Op. 11

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Paganini wrote that piece because he felt that all of the music written for violin at the time was boring.  Fair enough.  Perpetual Motion.  Not boring.  Arguably the hardest violin piece in the world.  But check this:

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That’s a cornet.

It’s because she’s got the whooping cough and eats margarine

A little something for the Brother.  And it’s funny as hell.

To pick up from where we were yesterday, Food Inc., is about how food arrives to us in this country.  It talks about how McDonalds and such dictate how chickens are to be grown, how beef is to be grown and how food is delivered to us in this country.  I will confess that I could not clean a fish so I had to stop fishing.  I don’t know how I could ever clean a duck or a chicken or a turkey.  I suppose if I had to I would, but I don’t have to so I don’t.  The same with cattle.  I was talking to my Dad the other day about how the quality of game is determined with how it’s treated in the field.  I have a friend who is a very good hunter.  I have had venison and elk and salmon and abalone that he has bagged.  I am sure that the reason why his game is so superior to other hunters is his skill in the field.  I’ve got no skills.  I’d be eating gamey steaks.  The point of the movie is how we’ve changed nature and how that isn’t good for us.  It’s interesting how we are living longer, but much less healthy lives.  And as Americans we think it’s our God given right to be waddling sloths.  For some reason we no longer take responsibility for our health.  We expect the Doctors to just fix whatever it is we messed up and keep on going.  The Unknown Chef has an excellent rant on this.  All these people who don’t want to pay for this or that.  Hey!  I don’t want to pay for a bunch of people who are living on chicken mcnuggets and fries and smoking Lucky Strikes and swilling a suitcase of PBR every night.  How about that?

So in an effort to get myself a little more back on track I did some reading.  High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I never really paid much attention to it before.  It’s a sugar.  I get that.  What else do I need to know?  Well, it’s an engineered sugar which makes it more along the lines of the pink stuff or the blue stuff or the yellow stuff which is really chlorine bleach.

I know.  Y’all love me for that one.  So naturally all of this has got me to thinking.  Way back in the day when I first started lifting weights I got a book by Franco Columbu.  He was Arnold’s business partner, a good friend and Mr. Olympia back then.  He’s also a chiropractor.  I followed his program for women for a long time.  He was born in Italy and his nutritional advice is something I keep coming back to.  I have the 1982 version of his book.  Low-fat lean proteins, including milk, yogurt and cheese.  Variety.  He also talked about eating the salad after the dinner.  I started having my salad after the main meal back then and still do it today.  He also talks about eating real food.  Don’t have margarine, it’s an engineered product.  Eat butter, it’s a natural product.  Your body knows how to handle it.  Better still, olive oil, because that’s how he was raised.  28 years later it’s still sage advice.  It’s one of the reasons I stick to wine and imported or craft beer.  So I’m going to give up the coffee creamer and go back to 1/2 and 1/2.  I guess I could get fatter, but I think with less HFCS it might have the opposite affect.

And I went shopping at Whole Foods where something amazing happened.  I went to the San Ramon store yesterday after showing property.  I was out of vitamins and had decided to get some organic fruit, bulk flour for my bread and some other small inconsequential items.  OK! Jesus!  I got a fricking cupcake OK?  Anyway, it came to around $30.  Just as the transaction was about to be done the terminal froze.  The clerk punched furiously at the buttons, nothing.  Another clerk came and pushed some buttons, nothing.  She suggested he crawl under the counter and check the connections.  She then got the people in line behind me and moved them over to another terminal.  And there I stood.  Easily 10 minutes had passed.  They couldn’t get the machine back up.  Everything was already bagged.  I figured I was headed to another register to wait in line again and take everything out of the bag and put it back in.  Because that’s what you want to do at the end of your day right?  Then something amazing happened.  The young man said to his manager, can we just let her have this?  It was only $30 bucks.  And they did.  They sent me on my way.  No charge.  Customer service win.  That’s how you fix a lousy situation.  Nice job Whole Foods.  Nice job San Ramon crew.  A happy customer tells 3 people, an unhappy one tells ten.  But a happy Wine Dog broadcasts it on the internets.  Whole Foods, San Ramon Crew, FTW.

I saw those high-stepping sexy witches, sons of Satan, sons-of-bitches

Let’s stay in our happy place.

Ahhhhh.  Wasn’t that nice?  I said I might discuss what goes on inside the Wine Dog head.  I’ve been thinking about it for about 10 days and I decided that it doesn’t really matter, so here goes.

I have had a recurring dream for probably the last 20 years.  It’s simple.  I’m driving.  Originally it was over the Coronado bridge.  Since then it has been along the coast north of Laguna and on a pier in Alaska.  Originally I drove the Mustang and more often than not I am driving the Mustang.  Occasionally I’ll be driving the truck.  Never the BMW but I don’t know why that is.  Anyway, I come over the top of the Coronado bridge and halfway down the decline it’s water.  The road is swamped.  I hit the brakes but the car slides into the drink.  I climb out the window and swim away.  Sometimes I come around the corner north of Laguna and the road is underwater.  I hit the brakes or sometimes I think I can drive through it.  I get swamped and swim away.  The one in Alaska, Xica was walking on a pier.  There was ice on either side of the low wooden pier.  Xica turns towards the truck and stops and I touch the brakes.  The truck slides into the drink and I swim away.  I’ve been told that the symbolism is that I’m overwhelmed but my subconscious knows I will get out of it.

A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out with the Berkeley All Blues.  Not really.  I played for them in the early 90’s retiring from rugby in 1993.  Anyway we were at an airport, I think it was John Wayne and this giant bird came down and took our assistant coach.  Now we didn’t have an assistant coach when I played, but this team did and he was a young guy, 26 to be exact.  And this giant eagle came down and grabbed him and flew him up to the 21st floor and dropped him.  And he died.  And because the team wanted to get home because they were tired from the tournament, they put him in a body bag and were going to check him with their luggage.  So here’s all these bags that say “Berkeley All Blues” on the side lined up at the airport and then this one big black body bag that was the assistant coach.  Good luck figuring that one out.

There is a haunted house that shows up a lot.  It’s a narrow railroad flat from San Francisco.  And it’s pretty dilapidated.  So bad you can’t get from floor to floor very easily.  But it’s haunted all to shit.  There are really evil spirits in this place.  They look like Klansmen but they are already dead, they’re spirits.  And I’m always stuck in one little room hoping the evil spirits don’t get into the room.  I always have to go to another room for some asinine reason too.  And it’s really really scary.  The house is all off white inside and it’s always night time.  I’m always pretty unsettled after that one.

And then one night I was in a flop house.  And there was a murder and I discovered it.  Somebody came in a lined up all the junkies and cut their throats and left them in a nice little row.  And I was the person who discovered it.  I didn’t want to go into the room because I could smell the blood before I came in.  And they were all dead and there was no way out and I didn’t know where the bad guy was.  Seriously.  That’s the shit that goes on in my head when I’m sleeping.

That makes puppy dog pictures and lettuce growing and dog farts pretty good fodder.  I feel sorry for any poor schmuck that gets stuck with me in a nursing home.

I tried to get a guy into contract last year, never did.  He didn’t want to pay over a certain number for a house and it went for over that number.  But he had these great peppers in his back yard.  And I saved the seeds.  I planted them in peat pots yesterday.  Along with some tomatoes, some habaneros and some jalapenos.  I know The Brother says to just buy plants but I had seeds.

Speaking of seeds, please go watch Food, Inc. before my head blows off and I can’t stand it any more.  It really is scary when you start thinking about it.

Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon

Time for the Wine Dog to go to her happy place.  Apparently my spelling and grammar are better in my happy place.  Besides they say as long as the first and last letter are correct the human brain can figure out what you’re talking about.  I don’t know what happens when the sentence is “Who dat?”.  And I’m thrilled to see all the commenters.  Serious.  Keep it up.  I love it.  Well most of it.

We all know what a great fan I am of Cathy Corison and her really amazing body of work.  Well another guy who is all wrapped up in that story is Phillip Titus.  He is currently the winemaker at Chappellet.  Cathy Corison was the winemaker at Chappellet when I first heard of her back in the mid-80’s.  There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the women of wine.  Back in 1984 there weren’t too many of them.

Anywho, this is actually about a sweet little bottle of wine I found out about last night at the Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants.  Sparrow Hawk Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s made by the Parsley Family.  They make négociant wine.  Négociant wine is wine made for a specific seller.  The BevMo nickel sale is full of négociant wine. That Valentin I like so much is a négociant wine.  The Parsely Family make Silver Stag.  It is a mainstay on the menu at Morton’s but you can’t find it very many other places because it’s made for Morton’s.  I don’t know who Sparrow Hawk is made for, but the Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon was made by Phillip Titus.  Seriously.  And the Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants have it for $24.99, $19.99 for club members.

This is a real cab.  And Mr. Titus knows real cab.  He make the Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon which can be found in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 every year.  That Sig Cab is a good’en.  And this little Sparrowhawk is a good’en too.  It smells a lot more expensive than it is.  It has good fruit on the front but isn’t a fruit bomb.  It’s a fresh wine so it’s not going to have the developed elegance yet, but it’s got the structure to develop it.  Parsley keeps the source of the fruit under wraps.  That allows them to continue to get great essentially over flow juice from vineyards for a decent price.

At home I opened the Fort Ross Pinotage.  Why?  Because I had a pork tenderloin on the grill.

I was out of chipotle peppers so I made a dry rub out of brown sugar, California chile powder, Ancho chile powder and New Mexican chile powder.  (3 parts each) Then I added 1 part cinnamon and 1 part allspice and rubbed down the meat.  Threw it on the grill and it came out awesome.  As far as that Fort Ross is concerned…

It had the earthiness of a Pinot, some vanilla, oak and Earl Grey in the back palate.  Gentle tannins and a refined finish.  Very interesting wine.

So said the Wine Dog back a few days ago.  And I concur with myself.  Excellent wine with an amazing pork tenderloin.  I don’t know how I stand myself and I sure don’t know how y’all stand me.

You look so angry as I crawled across your floor

You know the downfall of this country is going to have nothing to do with Obama.  It’s going to have to do with lack of education, racism and hatred.  Did you know that there are more groups dedicated to racism and hatred in this country now than there were 10 years ago.  We’ve created a culture where it’s ok.  It’s ok to yell “liar” at the President of the United States when he’s delivering his State of the Union address.  If that was ok, then why did no one yell it about the phantom WMD’s?  Or are y’all still jackstepping to Karl Rove and Dick Cheney?  They manufactured intelligence, just like they manufactured intelligence for Viet Nam.  And then they lied about what happened on the ground, just like they did in Viet Nam.  Did they forget that the truth did come out about Viet Nam?  Do they think it won’t come out now with 24 hour news stations?  And of course Faux News, who won’t report anything that any conservative or Republican gets wrong anywhere.

The downfall of this country will be guys like these assholes.

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Hereis the full report and interestingly enough if you look at the people hollering against health care, I’ll show you a bunch of people of Medicare.  I think Congress missed the mark because I think we should have gone to a single payer system.  Actually, I would rather pay what I pay for health insurance in extra taxes and have the thing actually work.  Mandating the purchase of insurance seems to me to be fraught with peril.  Corporate executives in this country always find a way to jack the public for their own personal gain and I can’t imagine that the same slimey bastards who have been screwing us for years won’t figure out a way to continue to stick it to the general public.  But that’s just because I grew up in the Viet Nam era when the country spent a lot of time lying to us.  Kind of like the Bush era.

But the thing that bothers me the most it the outright viciousness of the extreme right and how it has trickled down into the Republican Party.  It doesn’t help that the victim was a Parkinson’s patient.  He was also a former nuclear engineer who has been debilitated by the disease.  And this health care bill will help him.  Next to Lou Gehrig’s, I would say that being debilitated by Parkinson’s is one of the worst things that could happen to you.  I never got to play golf with my father.  Like Letcher, he is trapped in a body that won’t work for him any more.  As for Chris Reichert, the dirtbag who threw dollar bills at Robert Letchert the Parkinson’s patient, it’s between him and his God.  He better hope his God is the forgiving one and not the unforgiving one the extreme right likes to extol.  Because he’s in some deep shit if his God is unforgiving.   Reichert whines that “people are hunting for me”.  Well, jackass, hate begets hate.  You showed who you are and now you get to sleep in that bed.  Personally, I think that fact that he is scared for his life is the only reason he said he was remorseful.  Little does he realize that the last liberals to get it together enough to actually do any damage were the SLA.

The other thing that infuriates me about the recent behavior is that the idiots who are acting like this have no idea what they’re talking about.  Last night I saw someone say that Lincoln was a Republican and George Wallace was a Democrat.  What they don’t understand is that the evolution of the Republican party that Lincoln was a member of has now become the DNC of today.  And George Wallace was a Dixiecrat and most of those guys are Republicans now.  They have no idea who John Lewis really is or what he’s done for this country.   And if God forbid he was morbidly ill not one of the Tea Klansmen BaggersPartiers would be qualified to carry that man’s drool bucket.  As for Barney Frank, if they knew anything beyond the bullshit rhetoric they read on the Internet they would know that even Congress calls him the most partisan and the most bipartisan Member of Congress.  Translation, he’s the biggest lightening rod.  And he’s a big old Queen.  And tough as nails like a Massachusetts Congressman should be.  And he’s good for Massachusetts.  And he’s good for America.  Did you know that Barney Frank has consistently supported the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment?  That’s the one that would prohibit the DoJ from prosecuting medical marijuana patients.  How is this good?  Decriminalization is the first step towards taxation.  Imagine not spending all the money that we spend to track down pot dealers/smokers?  Then imagine getting 8.5% on the sales?  How many gazillion dollars will that save the government?  Frank fights tirelessly for the republic, if they knew about his accomplishments on both sides of the aisle, well, they’re too stupid to understand.  He was attacked for being gay.  “I’m used to being in the minority.  I’m a left-handed gay Jew.  I’ve never felt, automatically, a member of any majority”.  He said that in 1996.  The Tea Klansmen aren’t qualified to speak to Mr. Frank.  They are bullies.  Hateful, racist, bigoted bullies.

Of course I blame all this crap on Reagan.  I lay it firmly on his doorstep.  He wasn’t the Great Communicator.  He was an actor.  His rhetoric led this country away from a place of responsibility in this world and to a place of Me, Me, Me.  Because the 8o’s were the Me, Me, Me generation.  And we taught our children that.  And now there’s a whole segment of this population who are so self entitled that they behave as if they are the only individual on the planet and the rest of us are there to serve them.  It’s time as a nation we rejected this and got back to who were are supposed to be.  This country was founded on the freedom of religion and the rejection of taxation by England.  We were a nation of approximately 2.5 million people, in 13 little States.  With that growth some things need to change.  And some will remain the same.  Freedom of religion means something different today than it did in 1776.  Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were slave holders.  Human bondage is not something to be proud of.  The King got richer with the taxation back then.  Now taxation results in services.  Not the same.  And there was no electricity back then.  Most homes had no floors.  Most people lived in very cramped quarters with several generations of the family.  Doctors didn’t discover until 1847 that simply washing their hands before delivering a baby dramatically reduced the death rate in the new mothers.  The world has changed.  You can’t have it both ways.  It’s like a Chinese menu.  Pick a little from here and the little from there and know that the other people at the table are going to have something different than you.

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He once was a mad bull, a wild and a bad bull

In lieu of a really really angry rant, we’re going with pictures.  Lots of other blogs have Wordless Wednesday.  I don’t have anything nice to say, so here goes.

We will return to our regularly scheduled jackassery tomorrow.

Who’s crying now?

Well, they did it.  And I really hope they got it right.  The Republican Party does not have any idea what the American people want or need.  They don’t know what our lives are like.  They are rich bastards.  It’s all good for them.  Strangely, I think Carly Fiorina gets it.  She was faced with the worst diagnosis she could have gotten but because of her station in life, her existence was spared. For the most part I think she’s ineffectual and during her tenure, I thought she was what was wrong with HP, but I think she gets what’s wrong.  At the end of the day, I really hope that the American people win here.  Remember, the Wine Dog can’t get insurance because Randy Sierra is an ignorant bastard I had that bout with tachycardiomyopathy.  I have insurance with the Board at a rate of $300 a month with a $2700 deductable.  Think someone in Kansas could afford that?  Nope.

I am sad that Teddy Kennedy didn’t get to see this.  His absence is palpable.  Half of this rhetoric never would have occured under Teddy’s watch.  But they did it, and they got it passed.  Rest in peace Senator Kennedy.  You are missed tonight.

Let’s see, some of my favorite quotes of today…from the Ignorant Wench from the State of I can’t Remember who said that the members of the military didn’t want the government to mess with their Tricare.  Hello?  Stupid.  You don’t want the government to mess with the military’s government health care?  Idiot.  Seriously, how stupid do you have to be?  It’s not like I can sign up for it.  And good on the Gentleman from California who said that the American People deserve the same health care that is afforded Congress.  Yes we do.

And really, these guys quoted Reagan and Jerry Ford.  Seriously, one woman quoted Jerry freaking Ford.  That guy’s role was to keep the seat warm for the next guy.  That’s it.  Do I have to talk about WIN buttons again?  Don’t make me go there.

And now for a moment on the subject of racism.  I almost went all postal on this but I have decided to dial it back.  Devin Nunes (R-CA) defended the TeaKlansman and their racial and bigoted attack on Barney Frank, Emanuel Cleaver and John Lewis saying that “When you use a totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy”.  Where was this wetback Representative during the Bush Administration?  How quickly we forget eight years of “shut up we know what’s best for you” even though they got us into an illegal war that we shoudln’t be in.  WMD?  No such thing.  Which really makes Saddam Hussein’s execution questionable and possibly murder by the Bush Administration.  And I’m not talking about the suspected terrorists they murdered in custody.  Want to talk about tyrannical?  How does it feel being the bus boy on the other side?  Pot kettle black.  You are way out of bounds Mr. Nunes.  The time to resign is now.  You can’t swim?  I’m sure there are still holes in the fence between here and Tijuana.  Yeah, how does it feel?

The TeaKlansman are a bunch of racist, bigoted assholes.  They aren’t smart enough to even understand why they are so wrong.  Not only that, their banner was created by a Progressive Palestinian.  You guy’s are really idiots.  Here’s a quote from the Moron from the Great State of Wisconsin Paul Ryan tonight.  The country’s founders believed in nature’s god.  If so, then the fundamentalist Christians are out.  Way out.  Because nature’s god equals paganism.  Dumbass.  That’s how stupid our Congress is.  But we aren’t educating the public so what do we expect?

Years ago, The Brother said that Dan Quayle’s roll was to lower expectations of the American people so Bush I’s idiot son could be elected.  Sounds like it worked.

We all shine like stars

I’m beat.  Two weeks of 12 plus hour days and no day off.  So today is dog pictures and nonsense.  First up, Britain’s got talent.

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The Brother sent me this one.  Oh yeah, he knows this dog.  I don’t.

And the Teabaggers show their true colors.

And the Borowitz Report.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Don’t Mess With Textbooks
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

I’m thinking about sharing the last week’s worth of nightmares.  They’ve been epic.  Murder, mayhem, accidents and freakish occurances.  And no reason other than stress for these strange occurrences.  Needless to say it really messes with your head.

But now it’s full of evil clowns

I’ve been ridiculously busy.  If I hadn’t woken up at 3am today and decided to get up, you wouldn’t be hearing from me now.  Sometimes something comes through that’s too good to resist.  I give you, last night’s Jon Stewart Show

I’ve decided to start composting here on the Farm.  Because I don’t have enough to do.  And because it’s the right thing to do considering I rarely even go out on the back 40.  How rare?  Apparently a tree snapped in half and fell on the neighbor’s shed.  He’s probably waiting for me to do something about it, but I didn’t even know it happened.  The good news is that I get to play with the chain saw on Sunday.  Because Sunday is blocked out for me.  And my chain saw.  Anyway, I’ve been researching the way to do it and what I can and can’t compost.  And I’m building a dog crap septic tank.  Or dog crap composter.  Or whatever it is.  There’s a lot of dog crap here.  Might as well put it to good use.  If it weren’t dark out I’d get a picture of the chard that’s doing really well and the lettuce that’s coming along nicely.  I’m not sure that the fava beans are going to do what they need to.  It’s been a constant fight with aphids and ants with them. 

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Actually, I’m composting because the jack ass garbage company picked up my cans.  We disagree on when the bill was paid and whether or not they should have picked them up…20 days after the bill was paid they picked them up for non-payment.  Blink.  Blink.  And then refused to bring them back without me paying a $60 trip charge.  That’s $60 that they will never see.  Ever.   I’ll just pre-cycle as much as I can and then compost the rest.  It’s not like the bums don’t like the bottles and cans.  OK, there aren’t any cans, just wine bottles.  And I’ve been putting half the wine bottles in the neighbor’s for years anyway.  That way I don’t look like the block alcoholic so who are we kidding here anyway?

I’m spending too much time figuring out how to take this place completely off the grid.  If they really start selling those Bloom Boxes for $3000, PG&E can kiss my ass.  I’ll buy two and convert the heat to electrical.  If I can start diverting water in the creek behind the house, I can get all Ted Kacynski on everyone.  And add a page to Pink Bunny Ears for my manifesto.  I always remember the Guru saying that the legal measure for the insanity plea was whether or not you had a manifesto.  Do you have a manifesto?  Great, you can now plead insanity.  It’s like a freebee.   I’m still making my own bread.  Sonofabun wants me to get chickens but they would have to stay outside and there’s too much risk for me getting up and finding out that something got into the chicken coop and killed all my chickens and I don’t think I could deal with that.  And I certainly couldn’t butcher one even if I had to.  So chickens are out, as much as I’d like to piss off my NIMBY neighbor with a rooster.  Now the wild turkeys here, that’s a different story.

A gopher with a grin

Have I mentioned my charmed existence?  Yeah, I’m pretty lucky.

Last weekend Marcy Gordon, travel writer, wineaux and general good gal invited me and some other wine bloggers up to the Wine Sensory Experience in Calistoga.  I hadn’t had a day off since January 24th so it seemed like a grand idea.  It was also a bit humbling.  T’Anne Butcher, owner and general Mad Hatter put the whole thing together.  There were a total of seven sensory experience that broke down into the various components of aroma and bouquet in wine.  There is a difference.  Hell if I can remember what it is.  Thankfully there’s The Google.  And this is exactly what T’Anne told us.  There were 26 disciplines for us to get wrong.  I got 12 of the 26 right.  There were different kinds of glasses with the same wine in them and we were supposed to pick three favorites.  And I didn’t like the glasses I was supposed to like.  There were 20 glasses that each had a different aroma or bouquet in them.  It was our job to differentiate between them. 

I did things like misidentify the orange as lemon and then go blank on what the lemon was.  The glasses were black and we weren’t supposed to look inside them, which I did not.  It was really hard having the rest of your senses removed and then trying to identify by my sense of smell what was in the glass.  I missed softballs like strawberries and prunes.  I mixed up apricots and plums.  And that was just the fruit aromas.  Then we went to the components of Pinot Noir.  I mixed up Black Tea and tobacco, coffee and chile, cedar and white pepper.  And I like Pinot.  The herbs were particularly brutal.  Camomile.  Really?  I don’t know what the hell that smells like but I said Dill.  I got thyme, basil and rosemary right, but tanked oregano.  I had no idea.  The fourth discipline was Oak Barrel bouquet.  It might have been candy store roulette.  I mixed up maple syrup and caramel.  So naturally when we got to caramel, I had nothing, so I went with marshmallow.  Thankfully T’Anne didn’t have a gong or a buzzer for my wrong answers.  I did nail coconut, vanilla and chocolate.  So I can make a German chocolate cake and live.  As long as I don’t ice it.  The next discipline was 71% chocolate laced with flavors.  Here is where I mixed up the lemon and orange.  That equals 2 wrong.  And who puts thyme in chocolate anyway?  I guessed cardamon.  Yeah, I know.  Real wrong.  I did get raspberry, coffee and chile right and that ought to be worth something.

The whole experience was eye-opening to say the least.  I thought I was pretty good, but maybe not so much.  The palate does play tricks on us.  I was talking about it with my pals at the Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants and they were all surprised that I performed so weakly.  They all said I had one of the best palates they’d seen.  I don’t think I’m that good, but maybe they helped get my mojo back a little.

T’Anne’s parents own W.H. Smith Wines.  Yeah, that W.H. Smith.  Her Dad is an amazing winemaker.  We got to try several of his wines.  His Pinots are something to behold.  His Purple label Cab was amazing with cherry pie and layers.  Amazing structure in a wine that could lay down comfortably for years.  The wine that blew me away though was the one that she and her husband made.  2000 Kailey Cellars Zin.  Full of concentrated fruit, caramel, coconut (goddamit) and a big fat mouthful of fruit.  Really an amazing wine at $35 a bottle.

On the way home I stopped in at Freemark Abbey to pick up my shipment.  They have changed a lot since Kendall Jackson took them over.  They’ve lost a bit of their rough and wooly devil may care approach, but Ted Edwards still makes damned fine juice.  Tim Bell has headed off to the pastures of Kunde.  I don’t know the back story on that one and won’t even speculate.  I really like both guys and I would hope it would improve the quality of wine at two wineries now.  I’m not a big Kunde fan.  Anywho, I got involved in a great conversation with a gentleman at the tasting bar about how I measure all cabernets against the Bosché.  It’s not the best one out there and it’s not the worst, it’s the best value and the barometer to which I measure all others.  I managed to get out of there with a copy of their library wine price list.  The library Freemark Abbey in my cellar is worth around $1500 retail.  And that’s only about 8 bottles.  They’re selling that 1999 Bosché for $200 a bottle.  Sure glad I still have two of them.  Wish I hadn’t drank up the other two.  Or maybe I’m glad I did.

Last stop was the Sift in Napa.    Mostly because I was pissed off that I took three calls from my broker on a Sunday and another four ad calls.  My phone had been riddled with crickets for 10 days until I decided to spend a day in Napa.  So in an act of total defiance, I stopped at Sift and got a Snickerdoodle cupcake.  And a Red Velvet.  Yes I did. Sift rocks.

Dear FCC assholes, we were all comped at Wine Sensory Experience.  I was not asked to write about them.  If I didn’t enjoy the experience and learn something I wouldn’t have written anything because I think if you can’t say anything nice after you’ve been comped, then don’t.  I am a wine club member at Freemark Abbey and was treated like any other member.  And I paid for my own damned cupcakes.