Wine About It…Thanksgiving and the perfect pairing

turkey wine

We’re doing an early Thanksgiving this year so the boy child can join us. He works in Chicago so this is our best chance for a family meal. We adapt. I’m grateful that he’s only four hours away. I had a print out of an article on wine recommendations for pairing with turkey and I was excited to see that the Russian River was represented with a few selections. I love the area and I’ve found some really great wine that comes from there.

When I got to the wine department at Goodrich’s in East Lansing, I handed it over to John, their buyer, to get his thoughts. I do this, faithfully, each time I need advice. It’s not because the store is close by. It’s because the folks who run it are true experts who do not carry a single speck of pretentious A-Hole attitude so many faux connoisseurs of food and wine seem to think gives them more credibility. Head’s up wine snobs; it does not. But it does put you on the nomination list for Emperor of Douchebagia.

John looks like a farmer and given our mid-Michigan, surrounding by cows and fields, he may well be. He also has such a wealth of information about wine production, appellations and vintages that I’m thinking he had Neo plug him into the matrix and download the WINE program.

He looked at my list and nodded. “These are really great wines. They’re also really expensive wines.” He looked into my shopping cart at the plethora of herbs, veggies and the fresh turkey I’d ordered from their stellar meat department. ‘You serving these with the turkey?’

I confirmed his guess. “Ya know, you can get these if you want but I think it’s a serious waste of money when you buy $50 bottles of wine for Thanksgiving. There’s so much food and other stuff going on that you won’t even really enjoy it. I say, drink what you like. Wanna stay with the Russian River area?”

Yep. He walked me into the jam packed aisles, filled with hundreds of bottles from all over the world and stopped at a shelf and grabbed a bottle. “Here. Try this. It’s a terrific wine. Trust me.”

I do trust him so I took two bottles. I pressed him for a white for cheese, crackers and fruit and he handed me another bottle. The two bottles of Bearboat 2009 Pinot Noir and the bottle of Butter 2012 Chardonnay came to less than one of the snobby wines I had on my original list. Score!

He could have lied and made a three digit sale. He could have bs’d me into tossing a bunch of other stuff in the cart that I didn’t need, but he didn’t. He led me to a better deal, saving me money and solidifying what I already suspected; he’s more interested in customers being happy and coming back again than he is cutting a hole in my proverbial coin purse to drain out every shiny he can get. I like that. A lot.

So this year, I am going to be thankful for John at Goodrich’s. I’m thankful for his wisdom, his honesty and his candor. Happy Thanksgiving, John.



POETRY DAY: Soul Mates


Albert Bierstadt-Storm in the Mountains
Albert Bierstadt-Storm in the Mountains

Soul Mates


If the soul that was created

the same moment that my soul was made

were to walk in the world with me,

to stand beside me,

look into my eyes,

to put his mouth on mine,

we would burst into blue flame

and the light would make the nighttime day

– a wave would tear through the air

shaking the trees,

rattling windows;

people miles away would turn towards the sound

of joy/pain/ecstasy

and they would blush at witnessing

so intimate a moment

of two strangers.

Golden Time-Moments in the Middle

Oak in the yard November 08 2013

While raking leaves this morning, I noticed the big oak’s leaves had turned their final brittle brown. Forty-eight hours ago, I stood underneath it and took pictures of their blazing golden glory. Seventy-two hours ago they were mostly green edged in yellow.

Andy Warhol. That’s who I thought of while taking a break at the picnic table. He said everyone has their five minutes of fame. Apparently, so do trees. They stand around all summer in their green dresses looking all Southern Belle, swaying with the vapors over every sultry summer full moon and we notice them but we don’t stop in our tracks to take in their youthful beauty.

Come fall, they start to warn us that time is running out and if we are lucky enough, we might be there to witness their precious few hours of screaming glory as they morph through a color spectrum with their final breaths. Imagine that. Three hundred and sixty-four days and for less than twenty-four hours, they get to be at the most glorious perfection that they will ever be. Golden Time. I wonder if elves and sprites hear their song as music. Does it sound like this…

Which, of course, made me think of Baryshnikov. Yeah. That’s how my mind works. This man practiced in private for countless hours so that a few times a year, the world got to see how his body could fly across the boards. Just a couple of hours! If we were lucky enough to have been there to see it in person, the minutes he was on that stage burned their way into our memory. If we are still lucky enough to happen upon a recorded performance, we can relive it over and over, but it will not be the same intravenous jolt you would have gotten sitting in the darkness and feeling a drop of his sweat fly off a fingertip to smack you on the forehead.

The Samurai had a beautiful ritual of writing a brief poem on their death bed to tie a bow around their lives when they drew their final breath. Those who remember us will carry some blazing moment they witnessed with us; perhaps only a few seconds long, that occurred somewhere in the thousands of days we were alive.

Maybe it will be the sound of our voice or the touch of our hands, but one singular thing will comprise that glorious memory for them when they invoke our spirit.  I hope that mine are like those leaves caught on my camera the moment their perfect song was sung. I hope that I can blaze like that, at the least a few times a year witnessed by others, or not. Like my beautiful old oak, give me five minutes of golden, glorious splendor and one witness who holds the moment in a loving embrace.

Zen Monk’s Death Poem-

Empty-handed I entered
the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going —
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
Like dew drops
on a lotus leaf
I vanish.

(Shinsui, died September 9, 1769, at 49 years of age)

Mikael Baryshnikov practicing jumps-. Wow. Just wow.

10,000 Ways to Waste time

mimi morpheus cartoon

As if I need to find another way to get distracted when I’m supposed to be doing something productive with my day…
Now we have BitStrips- the App that let’s you star in your own cartoons and make avatars for your friends so they can join the fray.

Did I become enamored of this clever application and immediately start making a cache of ridiculous and obnoxious cartoons to include in posts and text messages?

Perhaps. But does it really exist or is it part of the construct?

There is no cart….I mean, spoon.
Ponder that.

BitStrips App creation
BitStrips App creation