Thoughts: DC and LA / Cremant d’Alsace / Beauty / God / Life

17 Aug

I am in a certain mood right now that defies exact transcription into words.  Surely you’ve been in those moods before–everyone has, if they’ve cared enough to notice.  Perhaps I could define the parameters of that mood by listing some of the songs I’ve been listening to this early morning, this not altogether-unpleasant warm and humid DC early morning.  For instance, on the lighter side I’ve been listening to Oscar Peterson, in his Big 4 incarnation (“You Look Good to Me”) and supporting the “Montreux Kings”–Eldridge, Gillespie, Terry–trio of horns (“(There Is) No Greater Love”).  Charles Mingus (“II B.S.”) has verve but also a dark foreboding to it, something menacing that feels right right about now.  Nick Drake and Elliot Smith.  I haven’t decided on my old standby, Van Morrison.  It doesn’t seem like a Van Morrison type of morning.


I have been incredibly fortunate.  I think that this could be assumed just by the very fact that I even have a wine blog.  At the same time, it is a truth of life that there are struggles, disappointments, and tragedies.


I read the Bible when I was young–perhaps when I was ten or eleven years of age.  One thing that struck me even at that young age was when the Israelites turned away from God, time and time again, even after He saved them and gave them great miracles.  Their disobedience, their lasciviousness, their plain stupidity caused Him to bring hardship upon them.

Reading about this cycle of forgiveness and sin made me wonder how the Israelites could forget His grace so soon and so absolutely.  Now, I can understand.


I don’t know if I am fortunate that my greatest tragedies came not to me but to others.  But–there is time.  And later this week I will find out whether time waits for me still.

What then?  Will I go before Him?  Will I admit to Him that I’ve turned away?


DC is a decent city.  It has good restaurants just as every other city has good restaurants, nice areas just as every other city has nice areas.  But there is nothing charming about it.  There is something about it that again defies description in my book.  LA–or the Bay–I like much better.


One of the last memories I have of LA before leaving again for DC last Tuesday is of a room, bare save for a desk piled with books, a large wooden chair against one wall, and a smaller white rocking chair upon which a beautiful young woman sat taking in a men’s tuxedo shirt.  The late afternoon sun streamed in from the open window, covering her in a light that seemed divine.  Her short dark hair glistened; her fingers moved deftly, running a needle over and under, into and out of the white fabric on her lap.

As we kissed waves of happiness flowed over me; but why at that moment did I think ever so fleetingly of the Israelites in their relationship with God?


Later that evening, as we were eating a meal in that same room, I poured a bottle of the Huber Bleger Cremant d’Alsace–a sparkling rosé–for us into small glasses.  It tasted of strawberries, was dry with an undercurrent of minerality.  It was refreshing; I drank it glass after glass after glass.  But maybe I enjoyed it because of the company I was with, or because of the food, or because I was leaving.


It took a woman to open me to the beauties of Berkeley.  It took my family, and two wonderful women, to open me to the beauties of LA.

But beauty–oh beauty.  It is so ephemeral.  It doesn’t last.


There is nothing ever certain about life, or about the future.  At least there are good wines to drink.  In tragedy and in celebration, for life.


2 Responses to “Thoughts: DC and LA / Cremant d’Alsace / Beauty / God / Life”

  1. Shea August 25, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    Whatever fate or furry you are talking about, I hope there is a catharsis to accompany it in due time. Great post and it certainly touches a chord with this fortunate wine blogger.

    • vinicultured August 26, 2009 at 1:19 am #

      Thanks, Shea! The particular fury I was writing about passed, thankfully, but life is full of Furies (Greek-style). But, for now I’ve my health, my friends, my family, and many blessings. And, needless to say, a few bottles of wine with which to appreciate them.

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