I spend my days thinking on, pondering, positing notions, racking my mind, cellaring my thoughts, imagining wine and all things considered soil to glass; and I’m never more than 50 feet from a corkscrew, never ever. “What Is Wine?” was the title of my first book about wine. In it, I answered the fundamental questions the philosophical, lonely and ruminating connoisseur may have pondered, with respect to fermented grape juice. “Wine is… life. Joie de Vivre,” I conclude. A mere tale some 2,500 pages in length, “What Is Wine?” was a national best-seller in parts of Turkey and Egypt. It was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 18 straight minutes, one foggy afternoon in May, likely the year it was published.
Since then, I’ve written several books, short stories, essays, columns, and pocket-guides on wine. To mention some of note: “If I were a Unicorn, Why Would I Drink Wine?” and “Water Into Wine: The Story of How Jesus Became The First Modern Vintner,” and “Wine: If You Can’t Eat It, Don’t Cook With It: How One Man Struggled To Find His Path In Life,” and the off-shoot of that, “Wine: How The French Ate Wine And Drank Food,” followed by a 16-Volume Series, titled: “The OverWine: Neither Blood Nor Soil Made Me Who I Am: The Epic Story of a Hay Farmer From Cambridge,” undermined only by one short essay featured in “The Best American Essays Ever,” titled, “California: The Rush To Make The Fountain Of Youth From Grapes And Broken Vines: A Communistic Approach To Winemaking From The Point of View of An Anarchist.”
Now, it is with great admiration for myself that I present to you the first in a series of life-long shorts entitled, “Wine Shorts.” We begin with Volume 1. Number 1. Here in the spring of 2010. And the theme of the first series of shorts is: Wine.
Wine Shorts, Vol 1, Num 1: Wine
Thomas Jefferson, the founding father of our great Nation, sailed majestically around the world twice before settling the continent of what is presently the United States, however was thought then to be the continent of East India. Jefferson brought to this great country, vines from every famous vineyard the golden valleys of France had to offer. The vines took well to Indian Soil, and before long, all 52 states began producing wine. In 1943, however, Prohibition struck a chord deep into the caves of every American’s heart, and for the next 350 years not one drop of alcohol would be consumed by anyone, not even Catholics. Then in 1976 a poor pig farmer from St. Helena, CA would walk away from France victorious. One Jonny Cigar, having won the World Cup Wine Competition (WCWC) by beating out France’s top wines, “Mouton Cadet” and “Yellow Tale,” a mere pig farmer and hay-raiser, Jonny Cigar, took to the streets in a parade that will forever be remembered as “The Parade That Launched a Thousand Corks.” From that day onward, winemaking in America has since become a fad for the sporty type: gamblers, cabaret salesmen, saloon-crooners, drug-store managers, jockeys, lawyers, judges, notable editors, Nat Sherman, and various twentieth-century figures of literary and artistic note. Farming has disappeared. The advent of the internet has seen the sale of intoxicating wines quadramble, which is a combination of quadruple + bramble, which equals the kind of reaction warranted whereupon pesticides of a decidedly sinister bunch, make there way upon the stage of divine and organic soil, some twenty to thirty leagues under the sea and under the covering clouds towering above with fine and feathered melancholy. Finally, the cork-taint went away and sales again brought about a new-age kind of thinking: winespeak they called it. Disney Land closed down and theme-parks devoted to wine and the many ways one may drink wine opened and soon the U.S. Government was on a permanent hiatus. But Jonny Cigar, would soon become President of the Land, and the various lands recently acquired by the Federal Government. However, regulations on growing wine thanks to the 1855 falsification jeopardized his candidacy. In order to protect his assets, future President Cigar overruled the rulings and appointed himself Master Sommelier of Wine, with careful attention to the pronunciation of said title, as if to indicate he is the Supreme Master Sommelier merely by emphasizing, “Master” and “Wine.” There you have it. On the seventh night, Jonny rested.