Life. It’s starting to get to me. Somewhere between yesterday being a 17 hour day, today kicking me hard in the rear, and three meetings scheduled to take place prior to or at 8am tomorrow in addition to everything else I have going on, I just about lost my sh*t by the time I got home tonight. I unloaded the dishwasher, then re-loaded it with the same dishes, then unloaded it again. I barked at my wife. I started to tremble involuntarily. I’m stressed about work, about money, and about the coming of our second child, which is set to occur in six weeks or less and counting. I’ve got several contracts and grants out, a mountain of paperwork on both of my desks, and I’m launching a new web page later in the month which looks very pretty, but is decidedly not ready. People ask where I find the time to do everything I do, and the truth is that sometimes I feel like I start to run out. Tonight was a tough one, and I knew leaving my last meeting of the day having sworn at people and arguably having been too hard on several of our applicants that it wasn’t nearly over yet. Fortunately, I also had an inkling as to what might make the conclusion to a rough day go more smoothly.
I often end my days with a glass of wine, ideally Cabernet, typically but not always from Napa. Tonight, thanks to my trusty Coravin, I was able to end the day with three, pairing each wine with a different stage of my evening as I tried desperately to get myself into the right mental state that would allow me to get out of bed again tomorrow.
Stage one was the “I-just-got-home-and-I’m-borderline-homicidal-so-I-think-I’ll-make-dinner” portion of the evening. I was stressing over the budget as my son was fussing about being hungry. I was tired, a bit grumpy, and feeling overwhelmed by life. I paired this less than ideal moment with an ideal wine: Alpha Omega Era, which reminded me of the time I’ve spent relaxing with Jean Hoefliger, whom I utterly adore. Jean one spoke to me about how “wine is a mood,” and I knew that one of his incredible wines would put me in a better one. I drank this wine as I whipped up some bratwurst and some cauliflower on the stovetop while my son watched me rip through emails on my iPhone. Imperfect? Certainly. But better because I was drinking a really nice wine.
Read more about the amazing Jean Hoefliger and why I love him here: https://itheewine.com/2016/09/07/behind-the-wine-jean-hoefliger-and-the-debate/
Stage two was dinner, followed by playing with Titus downstairs. Titus loves ball or “bah!” and so I scooped him up in my arms and held him up to the Lakers rim that hangs over the door of my man-cave repeatedly, assisting in his dunk, as some conference I’ve all but never heard of held their championship game in the background. Later Sonja came down and read a book to him before we took him upstairs to bed. I paired this portion of the evening with a John Anthony Cabernet, which I also love, if not as much as I love Titus. For part of my day earlier today, I read a book with students by a late friend of mine who passed away this summer. That friend had died the same day I visited John Anthony, and for that and other reasons these wines always bring back wonderful memories for me.
Read a bit more about my experience at John Anthony this past summer here: https://itheewine.com/2017/02/10/john-anthony-vineyards-review/
Stage three came only after Titus had gone to bed. I had a dozen or so emails to respond to, as many text messages to return, and I figured I’d write a blog post while I was at it. (You’re welcome.) In addition, I wanted to start considering our finances, and trying to figure them out, so I sat down at the kitchen island with my laptop and got to work. I am currently pairing this work with a Cabernet from Pride Mountain Vineyards, which I visited this summer. The blend of Napa and Sonoma counties takes me back to Sonja and my honeymoon in those places years ago, and a seemingly carefree time in our lives.
While I’ve never reviewed their Cab on our web page (I probably should), you are welcome to read what I’ve written about their infamous Merlot, and you can do that right here: https://itheewine.com/2016/07/14/pride-merlot-2013-93-pts/
All of the wines that got me through tonight are featured in “The Great American Cabernet Review” that I wrote for Food & Spirits last year, and which I plan to write again annually. You can read that one here: http://fsmomaha.com/the-great-american-cab-review-2016/ Ultimately, Cabernet Sauvignon did its job beautifully yet again tonight, guiding me through a tough evening to a place where I could finally put my feet up and relax… if only for a bit. Tomorrow is another day, without a doubt, packed with seven meetings, four classes to teach, two hours of commute, a business dinner, and so much more. But just as certain as all of that, tomorrow, I’ll have another Cab.