Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pain births Clarity

I just watched a quirky little Independent film (I am an independent film junkie!) called Wilby Wonderful.  For me, these films never have a premeditated agenda.  They're usually just stories about everyday folks, going about their everyday lives. And the only modus operandi:  take what you need.  Painful, they can be (thanks Yoda).

But the thing about Pain--it brings Clarity.  Think about it.  When everything in our lives is happy happy joy joy, fast-paced fun, we don't grow, we don't reinvent, there's no forward motion. Pain births clarity.  Pain reminds us to think, seriously, literally.                                        
Aw crap, it's late, I'm tired and I'm painfully aware I sound crazy.

Anyhell, all of the above reminded me of a wine,  Matteo Correggia Anthos 2008, made with the Brachetto grape, completely dry, smelling and tasting of roses and licorice--a painfully delicate and ethereal bottle.  Makes a person think.

nighty night,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nitty Gritty Scop..."Blow Me..."

...said the cigar to my lips.  Hey, I warned you.  With the title Nitty Gritty Scop, content may be slightly off-kilter.

I woke to the ironic scent of smoke in the air.  I say ironic because in San Diego environs, it's usually the tell-tale signal of California fire season. But here? in the Burg?  and it's not someone burning, erasing all traces of their garbage--yes, here in the South, they do that.  Apparently parts of North Carolina have been burning for months now, and the smoke is turning the area into a hazy, smoggy nightmarish vista. (yes, I just described Los Angeles as well.)

But the smell of smoke, meaning something of a wood origin burning, reminds me of cigars, more than likely because I'm now on the East Coast, and cigars remind me of my youth when my father used to smoke big, fat, "stogies". I've always been intrigued by cigars--no inhaling involved they say.  I refuse to start in on the horrid effects of smoking anything, let the doctors, scientists and people who have nothing else to do discuss.

What is interesting to me is the social aspect of cigar smoking.  I akin it to American Indian pipe smoking:  the good stuff isn't brought out all the time, only at special gatherings and other ecclesiastical happenings.  I can't imagine it's as prevalent as wine drinking, probably for those health reasons and a bit of the possible daunting nature of it all (refer back to my title above.)  I've been to the local cigar shoppe to sit with a friend and smoke a little.  They were very nice, a quick tutorial given, but the clientele were men.  Is it a guy thing? Hmmm.

The Williamsburg Inn holds a "Smoke and Spirits" event, every Saturday night, outside on their beautiful terrace.  For $25 you can imbibe in a Cognac, Scotch or Bourbon (the typical marauders) and a cigar, accompanied by smoked and cured meats, cheeses and breads.  Sounds like a good deal, I think my Saturday evening is set.  I'm mostly curious as to whom will be there--mostly men?  What kind of people smoke cigars?  Do they also drink wine?  How about a 2008 Sonoma Coast?  (bad joke.)  In any case, should be verra interesting--report to follow.

vapors anon,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"...Memory must be the Devil."

I hit the library today--picked up a few really cool books regarding social media and its potential and possible destruction of our humanistic communities.  Way too heavy for a winedown evening of course so I also grabbed one of my favourite writers, Diana Gabaldon.  I've always been struck by her poignant revelations and her prologue was a killer:

"Time is a lot of the things people say that God is.  There's the always preexisting, and having no end.  There's the notion of being all powerful--because nothing can stand against time, can it?  Not mountains, not armies.  And time is, of course, all-healing.  Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of:  all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed.  Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  Remember, man, that thou art dust: and unto dust thou shalt return.  And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil."

So all this talk of time and I got to thinking about wine, hello, so I padded over to the "cellar", which right now is the laundry room, an 8'x8' enclosed space, right off the garage, but because the air conditioner has been running mostly non-stop, is the best location right now.  I chose Domaine de la Morderee, Lirac Reine des Bois 2004, mostly because after reading the above passage, I pretty much said, screw it, I'm popping that cork, although I had an inkling I should wait at least five more years.  But that's the point about wine, "Do you know, Darling..." (Edna Mould), no, we don't know, we can only guess.  And herein the fun.

I was always fascinated by Mordoree, which is the locally used poetic nickname for the migrating woodcock, which flies over the domaine.  I checked out their website after glass one and I'm blown away by it.  They have a maturation page: which I have yet to see on another winery's site.  It's quite nicely done and quite plainly says that the '04 can go another seven years.  And boy, can it ever.  The 14.5% alcohol coats the glass with gorgeously-sculpted, manly, hairy legs.  The nose is full of dark berries, with a slight tarry edge, and cool, antique leather, like my grandmother's muddy-yellow leather handbag which I adore.  Oh wait, the Hubs clearly detects gym socks. Yeah, the alcohol is rough on the palate, and acids are still present, but tannins are in the background, still adding structure, but providing a sweetness now, a creaminess to offset the high alcohol.  The Lirac should be interesting tomorrow--ah, and there it is, time.  Time should be friend here, or not, supposedly only God knows.

Sleep well my lovelies,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Blood is Crack!

Remember Twilight? That Tween-like movie that I think the last book-turned-film will be out soon.  Yes, well I am to a million mosquitos as Bella is to Edward--blood crack!  Frack! (thanks Battlestar Gallactica)

So what I think I have to do is find some wines that repel mosquitos--there has to be some wines that are grown in a particular soil-type, in a particular part of the world that I can start consuming because I'm hurting ya'll. My cute little feet are now swollen and ugly--it's not good. 

Any wine suggestions that may repel mosquitos, pass along.  More to come.

Have a swell night!

Strange Days

From 90 degree hella to 75 and slightly overcast--strange and somewhat eerie weather patterns.  The longer I lived in San Diego the more I never worried about the weather and oddly enough I'm positive I suffered for it.  No distinct weather changes meant no marking time by holidays.  Holidays never seemed like true holidays because the weather that was usually associated with them was not held accountable.

Years slipped by, the only tell-tale sign a slight whitening at the temple, sleep patterns changing and the sudden repelling of loud music.  Get off the lawn!  Ugh.

Anyhell, an opportunity arose Sunday for some nuch-needed professional picture-taking.  One of my favourite shops, Blink--Focused Design, held a photo shoot with Monica Sigmon Photography to benefit one of the local area outreach centers.  I loathe taking pictures of myself; it's so not comfortable for me, however, so very necessary.  So of course the first thought in my head:  have to have glass in hand, but what wine in said glass?  I only have a few cases of a variety of bottles that I've collected, some from friends as well, but there was one I had purchased when I was wine buyer for The WineSellar in SD, from Kermit Lynch:  Dupere Barrera Nowat 2006, Cotes de Provence. 

I was drawn to this husband and wife wine-making team because they chose a different path in their lives:  to study wine.  They use all organic practices, I think they're adhering to biodynamic, although not certified yet, and as Kermit says:  "These eco-conscious artisans could never be accused of not walking their talk."  They let the natural characters of the grape lead them into what the finished wine will be:  sweet, rich fruit, with that characteristic garrigue:  dried brush and Mediterranean herbs.  Alcohol is a bit high at 14%, but because I liked everything else about this wine, I dismissed it--good call Tina.

And strangely enough, I felt more at ease with that wine in my glass as the photographer's camera kept clicking.  I even smiled.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Hella Hot

Staying close to the homestead today.  Helping out at my friend Anne's new shoe store that is opening very soon:  She's reconfiguring the site with pictures of the new store (sooo cute!) and the new merchandise I can't wait to make some purchases of quality, handmade shoes, bags and clothing.  I'll post pictures as they come live.

Then it's off to World of Wine for a free wine tasting: Great people at the small shop, super friendly and love wine and beer.  Their beer selection is killer.

Next is picking up our berry CSA--very nice!  I have jam up the wazoo.  Tonight I'll make a Linzertorte to use up all that finger-licking raspberry / strawberry jalapeno goodness.

Have a wonderful Friday!  Do something special.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hand over Heart

As we go about our daily lives, it is so so easy to forget where and how we live.
The "funny" thing about a recession it forces us to wake up. When life goes well, don't you think we tend to live more coldly?  We lose ourselves, we lose our humanity, we lose community.

I came across an article in Natural Home & Garden mag this month titled "Building a Better Block a community group transforms a rundown city block into a vibrant spot for walking, biking, dining and shopping".  Most cities were built around the car, meaning we get out of a building, go to our car, and drive to someplace else.  But nowadays, with the economy in the drain, a car is somewhat of a luxury--now what?  You've got folks like Jason Roberts, "who dreamed of a walkable, bikeable community where business would flourish and outdoor spaces would encourage meaningful interactions..."  Check out 

The Hubs and I were out last weekend and we wanted something a little more upscale than the family-oriented establishments (sorry people with kids).  We had just finished listening to a fantastic band called Butter (schmear opened for them) out at the community-developed New Town Williamsburg (nice, but a little vanilla) and we stopped at one of our favourite spots Art Cafe 26 for just a wind down espresso and no one was there, empty.  So we sat down outside, enjoyed our liquid, and within moments, there was walk-by activity, another couple sat down, other folks asked questions regarding the cafe and before we knew it, it was a little busier.  People attract people.  It takes only one person to dream a little dream for a better way.

Go out tonight, order a refreshing beverage, maybe a hefinwizon (yeah, we can thank a waiter last night for that--I corrected him, poor kid) at your local spot, take your time, converse with other poeple, enjoy the right now, let's bring ourselves back to life.

lata gatas,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sister Adalbert

Alright I'm commenting my own post. (awkward.) Anyhoo, for me, alcohol has become a must, not because I'm an alcoholic (I shot the clerk) but because it loosens the muscles.  I remember being called "demure" my freshmen year in high school and obviously most (some) of my issues stemmed from that one word.  The craziest crap finds its way into my head.  I only say a fraction of it.  When we loosen up with the chemical howdy-do of alcohol, we open ourselves to new adventures, we move in directions that we may not have without the liquid.  Damn you Sister Adalbert or, thank you.

Nitty Gritty Scop

What we drink has been explained, expounded, exploited and beaten down our throats for as long as I can remember.  I do agree a little beating now and again builds character but I'm a little sick of the daily prattle about how a garlic-soaked piece of tripe would pair awesomely with a young Macallan.  Whatever.  I seriously have to be in a particular mood for tripe.  For me, it's not enough.  I think it's time to explore who what when where and why we drink.  The Hubs recently gifted me Drink, A Cultural History of Alcohol, by Iain Gately and it is fascinating. Go ahead and google Abu Nuwas--not for the timid.

Open bar, Where's the bar? Bloody Mary time, peanut butter jelly time, Mad Men Martinis, Cocktail parties, the resurgence of American Whiskies and Ryes.  Have you ever been to a function where there wasn't any alcohol?  Living hell, right?  So, this particular part of The Burg Chronicles will be named Nitty Gritty Scop, so that when you see that I've posted this, you'll have a choice:  read on and be inspired, cracked open if you will, or you can turn away, decide not today, sit quietly with glass in hand.  Only one requirement to reading NGS--you must comment.  Regale us with your liquid exploits, always keeping in mind the 5Ws:  who what when where why.  It may get dark...light a candle.

Absinthe, cut with a little cold water, at bedtime, to hold off the insomnia, at least for a little while.

Chin Chin!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Food Currency discussion will have to wait one more day.  I forgot to post the below event happenning tonight in Newport News.  Should be an interesting event, and I'm all about promoting the local flavours and the event supports a local charity as well. 

And, I will try and disprove the myth that, for some inexplicable reason, I tend to discourse about mass murderers when I drink martinis.  Report to follow.

ARTini Soiree at Pfac
An Affair of the Arts event
Saturday, June 4, 8-12 Midnight
Location: Pfac 101 Museum Drive, Newport News
Ticket Price: $35 per person
Hosts: Stephen Abbitt, Christine Boykin, Andrew Hyatt
You won’t want to miss the swankiest party of the year! Walk the red carpet and have the moment captured
by photographer Tera Farrell as you make your way into the “Premiere Party.”
Groove to cool jazz and lounge music by Matt Lockhart, as you sample hand-crafted martinis by the finest “mixologists” in the area, complemented by fine food from some of Hampton Roads most celebrated chefs.
For those of you who prefer beer,Beach Brewing is bringing a selection of their original creations.
Sponsors: Terra Restaurant and Bar, Circa 1918 of Hilton Village, Al Fresco Italian Restaurant, Red Star Tavern and Thaijindesu Thai Sushi and Bar, Beach Brewing Company of Virginia Beach, Tara Ferrell Photography, Big Top Entertainment,Seven Cities Media and Breeger Media Group.
Purchase your tickets now—call 596-8175, ext. 200, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Friday, June 3, 2011


The oppressive heat has finally bid us adieu and for the first time in over a week, I flung open the windows to let in the cool, sweet air and I was immediately hit with the cacaphony of bird song--I had truly missed each distinct bird's sounds and I'm trying to identify who's who--crazy!

Anyhoo, Dudley's Farmhouse Grille...I had spoken to Jim, Chef and owner, let him know we were coming in to dine and of course he greeted us at the door.  Who does that anymore?  Not many.  It's that type of warm invite that makes any dining experience superb.  Granted, the dining room is small, but he conversed with everyone in the room.  Our food was lovely, the last of the season's soft shell crab, that literally tasted as if it were still in the water, an ethereal lobster bisque--the perfect texture, dry pack scallops, sweet and firm...I could go on, but honestly, for me, it's not necessarily about the's about the wine!!!!

Jim has a seemingly bottomless cellar, and he loves to share his wine--again I ask, who does that anymore? Especially nowadays.  But he did and besides the 2008 DuMol Isobel Chardonnay and the 2008 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay the showstopper was--wait for it--a Virginia Sauvignon Blanc.  Only 20 cases made (again, super generous to share with us).  Linden Vineyard vines are located in Linden, Va, which is in the Northern VA vine-growing region.  Apparently they're known for their Chardonnay and reds, but the Sauv Blanc was killer.  (hippie--no out of state, bummer.)

Seriously, it's not even about the wine for me anymore.  What I'm finding ever more important is establishing meaningful relationships with folks, and sharing moments together.  Trust me, I cherish my alone time, we all do, but having friends, family to just be with, my friends, that's priceless.  Thank you Jim, as always, a wonderful evening. And special thanks to "The Terrible Three" who make life ridiculously interesting.


next post:  food currency

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dudley do right

So we're going to Dudley's Farmhouse Grille later this evening--can't wait!!  It's just a micro-restaurant in a 1905 farmhouse--more than likely ghosts as well!  I had met Chef Jim Kennedy a few months back at another restaurant and he was so lively and just a fun conversationalist that we immediately hit it off.  He periodically hosts private wine pairing dinners with friends and he gratiously invited my husband and I to the next.  Score!!!  It was out of this world, of course, but I'm running out of time, I need to get myself ready.

More later...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1 June 2011

Good Morning!
I thought it particularly fitting to begin the Chronicles today.  Why? you ask.  Well, it's because I've been sitting on my ass way too long out here in the country and it's just time I do something about it.  Hell, everyone I speak with has been saying I should start a blog.  Honestly, I really didn't think I had much to say, and for that matter, who cares, but then I realized this doesn't have to be about what I have to say, per se, but about my being part of something else, something altogether new, and my simple reactions.

So here we go, I'll visit some eateries, parks, local joints, favourite hangouts, and other neat or not so neat establishments in the general Williamsburg (the Burg) area, and I'll let you know what I find.  San Diego had become an interesting mecca of good food and good people (for the last twenty years,) so let's see if I can find even better experiences in the Burg, especially for those who are too young to do "old" things, but too old to do "young" things.  We good?