Notes from the Cellar: On a mission

Sound Consumer June 2010 | by Jeff Cox, Beer and Wine Merchandiser

“Au revoir … à Septembre” … and just like that, she’s gone. Agent MC shoulders her purse, turns and strides purposefully, bags in tow, toward the Air France counter. Mission accomplished. Turn the page. Next.

I close the trunk, slide behind the wheel, crank up the tunes and head back to Ballard. My mental wheels spin vertiginously, fired up, enervated, a renewed sense of purpose tempered with a big, fat dose of sadness. The lump in my throat mounts a steady crescendo as I punch the accelerator and merge onto 518, reaching fortissimo just as the wall of weather that’s been lurking over the Sound finds me. A torrent of rain lashes the windshield, percussion to Patty Griffin’s voice on the player. Together, they’re the perfect cocktail for my state of mind.

Onward. There’s work to be done. I’m energized and the bittersweet note of melancholy just adds depth, balance and purpose to volition. Sometimes, in the day-to-day, the mere act of locomotion makes me forget where I’m going. The simple mechanics of doing obscures the what and the why of the thing I’m trying to do. Checking boxes, or Working for the Man, as Throckmorton calls it.

But I get to drink great wine and hang with the likes of Agent MC, Throckmorton or Wilson — and bam! Epiphany. Satori. Back in the saddle, baby.

It’s not just about wine — not in any general, wine-as-a-product sense. It’s about wine as an idea and the looking glass to ideas, much as a novel is a window to worlds well beyond the reach of mere facts or “content.”

It’s about wine that, like most good things in life, comes wrapped around a paradox — part simple, sensual pleasure, part portal to contemplation and inspiration. Wine that’s as simple and as complex as the people, the dirt and the time it expresses.

We’re on a mission, an alliance of quixotic conspirators, a hedonist resistance, fighting the good fight against the tyranny of global “style,” Parkerization, brand concepts and numeric ratings. We’re bent on slaying the corporate dragon (it’s not a person, no matter how many political appointees say it is), one adjective, one bottle … nay, one glass at a time.

À bientôt, Agent MC. En avant.

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