08 January 2011

07Jan- oof. busy night.
but finally one of those nice busy nights when you work your ass off and everything comes out, more or less, okay. from this end, at least. it's been so long since i've walked the tables proper as a server but as a bartender, gm, a beverage director or whatever i am it was a good night.
i put, i feel, a good bit of energy into the wine and beer program so that it plays well with our menu and i think i take a few chances here and there. so it's always incredibly gratifying when you reach and someone takes your hand.
we sold some lovely things tonight that, frankly, i was afraid would sit around for ages but are at least of the kind of solid quality that they can linger about without detriment. we sold one of my pet bordeaux, the 1999 chateau carbonnieux rouge (to the same couple who bought my pretty, opulent pichon-longueville 2004 the other week.) like many people who learn wine on their own, i was weaned on bordeaux so some of these things sit around the house. on a whim i put them on the menu and, to my surprise and pleasure, they sold. ah, columbia! my growing town with its flashes of vinous perspicacity.
there are a couple of movies that mean a good deal to me. movies that speak so cleanly to my soul that i hesitate to show them to people lest their persistent and inspired flicker fall upon indifferent to bored eyes. these movies become markers, of sorts, and when i find myself enjoying someone's company i might eventually ask if they've seen so-and-so movie. when that happens and, extraordinarily, someone has and enjoyed it there's a warm moment of understanding. a moment of meaningfullness that assuages that underlying fear of solitude that many of us carry with us like a badge that we've read enough to teach us that we are, in so many ways, quite alone.
that moment, however brief, of completion is what i feel when i see someone order a bottle of wine that i have put on the menu because its bouquet and its weight and it flavors and its finish and whatever i was thinking and feeling when i first drank it moved me enough to want to try obtain another bottle so that, if conditions were right, that same magic could be captured again.
maybe the customer understands it, maybe they don't. i like to think that drinking one of these bottles on a night like tonight plants the seeds of nostalgia and appreciation. that they might think, "oh... the eyrie pinot gris! i remember drinking that at baan sawan and so and so was there and this was on the radio and they had the seared scallops with green curry and everything just fell into place that night."
hopeful, perhaps. optimistic, perhaps. (my therapist in college would be proud, at least, that my leisure time fabricating scenarios has, at least, the tinge of optimism. i wonder what she's doing now...)
and, as i sit here in an empty restaurant drinking old vine semillon, i try to try to hold on to that satisfaction before the hyenas of everyday reality close in and i'm reminded of the numbers and the margins and the insurance and how the damn philodendron is cringing like someone whose grammar is corrected .

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