Archive for April, 2012

A Wine Common-seur

April 30, 2012

ImageThere is a 12 Step program for most everything including sex, drugs and booze. While I have not worked the program, as far as becoming a wine expert I have completed 12 steps minus one. 

  1. Visited wineries
  2. Spoken to experts
  3. Taken classes
  4. Learned food/wine pairing
  5. Joined clubs
  6. Tasted beyond my comfort zone
  7. Offered in-home wine tasting parties
  8. Read all the magazines
  9. Joined wine blogs
  10. Experimented with wines
  11. Kept wine journals
  12. I have not become a wine maker

Bottom line is I like wine. But I believe there are too many wines to waste time on those of poor quality.

A recent trip to Temecula Valley Wine Region was a wake call on the tasting experience. I consider TV (Temecula Valley) to be the Disneyland of Wineries. Do you like big? You will love TV. Do you like queuing up to the bar? TV is just the place for you. Do you like limo land and bus stops? Then look no further; TV is your place. Do you like tickets for tastings? Yes, you guessed it;  TV is the place.  It’s pristine, well-manicured, and Irvine-like: master-planned.

TV claims to have American Viticultural Areas (minus the culture) where there exists hot blustery winds during the day and evenings when the temperatures plummet. What that does to wine making, just ask the local winemaker. But unlike many of the most memorable wine tasting experiences, they are no where to be found on the grounds.

TV has a history that dates back to the 1970’s but more than 20 years later it was attacked by Pierce’s Disease that was carried into town on the backs of the glassy winged sharpshooter More than 1,000 of the 2,300 acres of vineyards were decimated. But TV fought its way back to the bank! 

This review will neither change opinions or wine tasting destinations of nearly 1,500 folks on any given Saturday. It will show my true colors as a wine common-seur. 

The Seder Saga

April 5, 2012

The table is set
the door’s open wide
in hopes that Elijah
will come on inside.

No trace of the chametz
but the matzoh is here
Haggadahs are handy
the plagues, they are near.

Seder plate prepared
in all of its glory
from Charoset to maror
for the Exodus story.

The guests with their questions
and four cups of wine
break the afikoman
It’s Jerusalem next time.

Where do we go from heartbreak?

April 3, 2012

Ask me, a parent,  about my role and there is one way to sum up parenthood: there are days of joy and there are days of heartbreak.

I find myself looking back on experiences of sweet happiness with each step my son took;  and today as he  ventures out in the world I watch as he makes his way. Mostly, I can recall some of the  proudest moments when my son as a child was a good person. When I see that he does good and is happy, I thank God  for that joy.

Yes, we watch our children ever so carefully and yet, we are unable to see every important decision our he or she will make; many decisions go unnoticed. But we know, if our child is a good person, does good for others, there are no greater rewards.

Heartbreak should not come as a surprise to parents, and yet I know that each time  my son has had to face disappointment, hurt or suffering , how my  heartbreaks. Uncertainty , blame, hopelessness and fear surrounds us during these difficult days, like  a darkness that last for so painfully long.

Joy and heartbreak, I wouldn’t trade one moment.