Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring in the South

Besides my current technological difficulties, I now have to contend with another sinister force working to prevent me from blogging—gardening.

Every year about this time, I am faced with the uncontrollable urge to dig, plant, water and generally spend as much time as possible mucking around my yard. However, this year, I’ll need to balance my horticultural urges with my writing—which I have sworn not to neglect.

You might ask, what the hell does this have to do with wine?

Well, my gardening addiction and my wine obsession afflicted me at roughly the same period in my life. And, like many other wine zealots, I harbor fantasies of grape-growing and winemaking.

I suspect that there is some sort of correlation between an affinity for gardening and an appreciation of wine. After all, wine is (ideally) a very simple concoction comprised almost entirely of grape juice. What determines much of the difference between one wine and another is the type of grape (or grapes) used, where they are grown and how they are tended.

I’m certain this has led many a gardener to an interest in wine and vice versa. Of course, before the advent of supermarkets, interstate commerce and Yellow Tail, if you wanted wine, you planted some vines and made your own. Or, you traded with your neighbor who made wine.

Around ten years ago, when I was living in North Carolina, I became fixated on the idea of buying land, planting grapes and going into the winemaking business. (Incidentally, this would have been an excellent time to get into the blossoming N.C. wine industry.) All I was lacking was any experience growing grapes or making wine, and I was completely broke.

Inexperience and incompetence have never stopped me before, but the lack of funds was a bit of a roadblock. So, my field of dreams went unplanted, but every spring the dream of vineyard-ownership returns.

However, unless I happen to win the Powerball jackpot, I think I’ll be sticking to tomatoes. At least I’m getting better with those.

One step at a time.

On a side note—I have to thank Dr. Debs at Good Wine Under $20 for informing me about Bacchanalia. While I enjoy hoisting a pint of Guinness to honor St. Patrick as much as the next person, in Columbia S.C., this holiday is celebrated by guzzling Bud Light out of 32 oz. cups while wearing green plastic beads. So, I spent the weekend honoring the spirit of Bacchus instead.

Of course, I do that most weekends anyway. At least this weekend I had a reason.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Communication Breakdown

Technology can be a blessing or curse.

At any rate, lack of technology is currently making me want to curse. I’ve been virtually without e-mail and subject to very limited Internet access as of late, which has brought my blogging to a screeching halt.

The situation will remedied very soon, just as soon as I decide between two equally unappealing options for high-speed Internet access. Choosing between the local cable monopoly and the local DSL provider is the equivalent of choosing whether to be shot or stabbed. Either way it’s not going to be pleasant.

The really unfortunate part of this frustrating process is that it caught me right in the midst of a burst of enthusiasm for making some upgrades to Brim. Look for some serious improvements when I finally get reconnected with the world.

Until then, eat, drink and be merry.