Things I’m Thankful For …

On November 23rd of 2009, I posted a “Things I’m Thankful For …” list on this blog, in the spirit of the coming Thanksgiving holiday. I’d like to offer a new list for 2010 (though there may be the occasional overlap!) …

Things I’m Thankful For:

That despite a list of shortcoming that rivals the biblical begats, the gods and fates and powers-that-be have nonetheless chosen to bless me with an absolute miracle of a delight of a wonder of a wife, and a daughter who is to me perfection and miracles and magic …

The blessing of great parents, who are young, healthy, vibrant, and close by, and who love their children and their grand-children …

That the 1993 Monte Bello, in 375ml format, has really come into its own …

Friends near and far …

John Coltrane …

Lambchopper cheese, which is just SO good …

Han-Shan’s Cold Mountain Poems …

That the collective wisdom of Ridge Vineyards is just bent enough to have bestowed upon me the honor and opportunity of hosting this blog …

Pizza … especially mushroom and jalapeno pizza. Especially when I’m putting a piece of it into my mouth, when my mouth still has half-a-quaff’s worth of Ridge Vineyards Geyserville in it …

The new wireless surround-sound speakers that Chuck O’ Connor helped us get for the Monte Bello Tasting Room …

The book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind …

Decanters with a rounded glass lip instead of cut glass …

That just about everyone who visits our tasting room knows not to rinse their glass with water between tastes …

Monterey Bay, and the whales who breach up from its depths into the murk and mist of a winter dusk when you’re standing on the beach with your very pregnant fiancée, wondering what on earth is going to become of you all …

Acidity, and the palates that love it …

That the 2008 Pagani Ranch just sings, and sings, and sings …

That Paul Draper and Eric Baugher and David Gates and Caleb Mosley  have all  been so kind with their time, slowly ushering me into the vast halls of their collective knowledge of vineyards, wineries, and all that Monte Bello mojo …

That everyone else at Ridge has been so equally kind to me …

Lloyd’s Tires in Santa Cruz, and the Mazda company; without them, I’d never survive the Capitola-Monte Bello commute …

Haig’s Hummus. Not only because it’s the greatest hummus in all the world’s long history, but also because it pairs so well with our chardonnays …

That Ryan Moore and his lovely missus Dulcie have joined the Ridge family …

Flat-bottom glasses and the third-day Monte Bello I drink from them …

Moleskine notebooks …

That my daughter, at 22 months, can already play a bit of piano, and a bit of saxophone, and that, when she wakes up from a nap, she turns to one of the posters on her walls and says, “Wake up, Miles Davis!” …

Head-trained and dry-farmed vines …

Every single member of the Monte Bello Tasting Room Staff …

That Sandy Johnson has been named the Lytton Springs Tasting Room Manager … and every single member of the Lytton Springs Tasting Room Staff …

That we double-decant every wine before we serve it in the tasting rooms …

Pesto …

More pesto …

That those who got a tattoo (permanent) just because it was a trend (not permanent) will in some way or another eventually get their just desserts …

Sportcoats …

Champys …

Champys and Salt & Vinegar crisps …

That I own a piano …

Drinking wine and playing piano …

Drinking wine and listening to someone else play piano …

Drinking wine …

The phrase “evidencing secondary maturation characteristics” …

All the wine bloggers who’ve been a part of our Wine Bloggers Tastings …

That almost everyone who works for Ridge has really groovy footwear …

Indian food, specifically Punjab Choley, paired with Ridge Vineyards Buchignani Ranch Carignane …

Listening to Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction sing “Comin’ Down The Mountain” when I’m comin’ down the mountain …

The Pneumonia’s Last Syrah campaign …

Non-sequiturs …

Horizontal tastings of a wine in multiple bottle formats … especially when I’m in charge of decanting and tasting everything before the wines are served … and particularly if it’s Lytton Springs …

Manual typewriters. Particularly Underwoods, Royals, and Remingtons …

My daughter’s giggle …

My wife’s giggle …

People who read both Rilke and Bukowski …

People who drink both Three Valleys and Monte Bello …

Chelsea Boots from Wales and PF Flyer Tenny-Runners …

Drinking Ridge Vineyards Carmichael zin while wearing Chelsea Boots from Wales, or drinking the Ridge Vineyards Mazzoni Home Ranch zin while wearing PF Flyer Tenny-Runners …

Every work in charcoal that my very talented missus has ever made …

That someone believed in me enough to publish a book of my poems, and that a wonderful work in charcoal by my very talented missus graces the cover of that book …

That Nicole Buttitta didn’t think it was prohibitively weird that my first interview with Ridge was a phone interview, with her in her office at Monte Bello, and me in a 28 ft. truck at a truck stop in Wyoming …

That on Thelonious Monk’s birthday, we are able to play 8 straight hours of his music in the Monte Bello Tasting Room …

The magnum of 1989 Monte Bello that we’ll be having on Thanksgiving …

The 2006 & 2007 Monte Bello chardonnays that we’ll be having on Thanksgiving …

The couple that brought the last third of their bottle of 1964 Monte Bello into the Monte Bello Tasting Room for everyone to taste, the morning after they’d opened it and found it to be delicious …

Wine nerds who keep handwritten tasting notes for years …

My new  Ducti Duct-Tape wallet that my missus got me,which is a replacement that the company provided when she mailed my raggedy old one back …

Film noir …

William Faulkner …

Every word between the first word of Winnie-The-Pooh and the last word of The House at Pooh Corner …

California; specifically the northern part …

The view of Northern California from Monte Bello …

That the Rattlesnake Sign is real …

The half-bottles of 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet that I still have, and that I’m going to be drinking and sharing more than one of them on Thanksgiving …

Tasting Room staff who stick by their guns and always ask for proper ID …

Unorthodox food and wine pairings, like Cabernet Franc and Enchiladas …

People who understand why real funk players hated disco …

People who like to argue about vintages of Monte Bello while smiling …

People who wear black-frame sunglasses, and don’t wear white-frame sunglasses …

People who understand Coupe glasses, and why they’re the only way to drink champys …

Wine Bars that don’t play rock n’ roll OR electronica …

Ridge Vineyards wines …

Ridge Vineyards …

That I have a job at Ridge Vineyards …

And every single other thing I could mention, including Watsonville Sourdough, the poems of James Wright, well-played pratfalls, the elegance of the 1992 Monte Bello and the funky muscularity of the 1994, books, Sketches of Spain, what a really important wine tasting looks like when you’ve set up all the glassware but no one has arrived yet, the sound of cork extraction, my gorgeous amazing wife and my beautiful astonishing daughter, people who not only write poetry but read it, fog, mist, and rain, long black wool winter coats, people who nod knowingly when I quote Robert Pete Williams, burdock and wasabi, wine-colored socks, people who can wear suspenders and get away with it, a great hat, sediment in wine, wine in my mouth, cars that don’t have bumperstickers, e-mails sans emoticons, and the persistence of love and faith and belief in the face of hurt, danger, illness, age, and violence.

May your lives be full of things to be thankful for, and may you be thankful for the fullness of your lives. May you have a chance to stop, breathe, and appreciate. May you have lots of wine in your home, and lots of beauty to toast. May you use the word love in more than one context very soon. May you have a very happy Thanksgiving.



Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Chardonnay, Food & Wine Pairing, Geyserville, History, Lytton Springs, Monte Bello, Paul Draper, Rhone varietals, Ridge Memorabilia, RIDGE Staff, Santa Cruz Mountains Estate, Social Media, Tasting Rooms, Things I'm Thankful For, Varietals & Blends, Vineyards and Oenology, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Poetry, Wine and Jazz, Wine Blogs, Wine Tales, Winemaking, Zinfandel

2 replies

  1. Great post. I’m thankful the the experience in the MB Tasting room we had this year. Thanks CW.

  2. That is just perfect, though I would raise yppur champagne with salt and vinegar potato chips and suggest pairing with potato chips & pate instead. Kind of magical.

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