Well, it’s been quite a year.
I am certain we all say this when we reach the end of a journey, but in this case, I really feel this year took a LONG TIME to play out; thinking back on the events of January, they seem to shimmer so distantly in their translucent veil of misty obfuscation, I can hardly make them out. Perhaps a ride back in time can help us recollect and reassemble the complicated patterning of this mischievous and mercurial year gone by.
Hard to believe it was only 12 months ago that Warren Buffet was wielding his substantial shares in Kraft to try and block their proposed acquisition of Cadbury, that The Dauletabad – Salyp Yar gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Iran was being opened, or that Rihanna was busy making international news by falling off the stage at the NRJ Music Awards at Cannes. And doesn’t it just seem like ages ago that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed five new Senators? And do you remember when the fine folks at Fatted Calf came to our tasting rooms? Were you here? Can you even remember that far back?
Yeah, it was pretty memorable. I remember it too.
February starts to come into a little more focus for me; who could forget Beyonce’s legendary awards acquisitions spree at the 52nd Grammys, or that Yahoo sold HotJobs to Monster, or that Goodluck Jonathan was appointed acting President of Nigeria? And of course, February 2010 was when EMI put Abbey Road up for sale! None of that, of course, compares to the excitement of the ZAP festival, but then again, what does?
March was all about NEW. A new name at the top of the world billionaire list (Carlos Slim), a new baby elephant at Taronga Zoo in New South Wales, a new record deal (the world’s largest!) for the estate of Michael Jackson, the signing into law of a new health care bill by President Barack Obama, and perhaps most exciting of all, the debut of our Wine Bloggers Tasting!
April was all about celebrating birthdays: Ron “Horschack” Palillo (from Welcome Back Kotter!), Rachmaninoff, Marvin Gaye, Herb Caen, Muddy Waters, Billy Dee Williams, Billie Holiday, Eudora Welty, and this blog!
May was all about returns; the return of the Mauritian Labour Party to power, planes returning to the skies over Ireland after the Icelandic volcanic explosion, the Chinese man who was returned to freedom after the man he was accused of killing was found alive, supermodel Naomi Campbell returning to court, this time to discuss her possible receipt of a blood diamond, and of course, the return of the lizards to Monte Bello!
How were we feeling in June? I think we were unsure about what the future held; we didn’t know what lay ahead, where we were going, what was to come. When Ireland “officially” left recession in June of 2010, how could they be imagining the UN bailout awaiting them by year’s end? Did Manuel Noriega know that, come July, he’d be looking at another 7 years? When Dick Cheney went into the hospital yet again, did he know whether this would be the last time? And when we selected our very special vine for VineWatch 2010, did we know the harvest outcome?
In July, we experienced the rarefied glory of unexpected discoveries, unprecedented pairings, and unparalleled glimpses into worlds we could only imagine; Scientists confirmed the first ever picture of an extrasolar planet orbiting its star, Chelsea Clinton married Mark Mezvisnky, and with our very own Paul Draper as guide, we received an invitation to Dinner at Julia Child’s house …
You may as well have called August 2010 National Change-Of-Heart Month. Not only did the Netherlands pull out of Afghanistan, not only did Raul Castro decide to loosen state control of the Cuban economy, not only did Ivan Lendl decide to end a 16-year hiatus and return to professional tennis, not only did Bristol Palin call off her engagement, but I personally rediscovered the 1993 Monte Bello, and discovered that I love it!
September was just plain ol’ WTF month (“what-the-heck-is-goin’-on-month” if you’re at work and someone asks you what you’re reading!). A scientific journal discovers that the mammalian cerebral cortex (mind you, humans are mammals!) shares an evolutionary origin with something called a “mushroom body,” and I decide to grow a beard to help harvest. What ‘evs …
Back in October, we had our minds focused on the ends of very long journeys; voters in Ivory Coast were finally able to go to the polls in a presidential election, YouTube was finally able to air again in Turkey, George W. Bush finally released his memoir, Google finally secured the rights to publish The Dead Sea Scrolls online, and here at Ridge/Monte Bello, our lil’ vine of VineWatch 2010 made its final contribution to the harvest …
We might have been acting locally in November, but we were thinking globally; China was continuing its ascendency to the world stage by inaugurating a domestic census (the first in ten years!); George Clooney was winning the Ripple of Hope award in D.C. for his work in Darfur and Haiti, and winemaker Eric Baugher and I were celebrating Global Zinfandel Day by tasting 2000 Geyerville in his office …
And in December, we celebrated. The end of a year nearly gone, the beginning of a year almost here. And perhaps most importantly, the anniversary of the end of Prohibition!
And that was 2010.
Quite a year indeed. It ended on December 31st. Possibly with some singing.
Inevitably with some toasts, and some half-drunk attempts at eloquence …
And with that …
I thank you all for traveling with us through these twelve months, and I wish you all safe travels for the journeys ahead. Whatever it is you’re called on to face in the New Year, and however joyful or sad you might feel, please know there is always a bottle of wine for you, and someone who is happy to share it. You are never alone, and be you old acquaintance or new, once met, you’ll never be forgot.
Happy New Year!