Paddling Upstream


Now that harvest is over; now that the last pushes on wine events are over; now that the holiday season is over, it is time to hibernate and write some tasting notes for wines that will be released in the next 4 months.


Some days this comes naturally, while other days it seems like the wrath of higher powers has descended in windy, fiery fury, to prevent- at all costs, one’s ability to do something as simple as… smell.  As instinctive as this sense may be, it can be just as elusive.

I like working on tasting notes really early in the morning before my palate has been shot for the day or people have texted, emailed, facebooked, called or appeared with distractions.  I also like writing them not in the cellar because the cellar is cold and I feel like the aromatics come to life more in room temperature settings.  So last week I sat at our dining room table to do what is often one of the most pleasurable parts of my job.


Then my 1 year old son woke up.

I brought him downstairs, prepared for a lovely mommy/son/wine-breakfast session.  If you haven’t already caught onto my naivete, then maybe you aren’t reading closely enough.


He did what 1 year olds do best.  In my best attempts at being proper here, I will just mention that this act didn’t help.   Strike one.  Just as this began to subside, my husband came down and in one of his many and appreciated attempts at being a helpful, modern man, he began to cook breakfast.  Strike two.  At this point, you really don’t need any other strikes, but come they did.

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The coffee began to brew.  Toothpaste smell wafted.  Dogs arrived en masse.  And it rapidly began to dawn on me why most people don’t write tasting notes in the morning.

The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions…


My New Year’s resolution might just be to practice the habit of driving to a childless friend’s house at 6 am to write tasting notes.

Happy 2015 to everyone, Ashley

For more New Year/wine-reading fulfillment, go to The Girl and the Grape: