What's really real

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hello February, you short month out of the year but one that can cause so much drama in the lives of men.  I welcome you for what you have to offer this month as I release an ebook version of my first book, which I have added more material to.

Today is the third, and it is a very interesting day as there have been a confluence of events and feelings that have come and given me something interesting to write about.

As I was in the process of cooking two porterhouse steaks and sautéing some asparagus, which will be consumed with a bottle of Hess Collection 19 Block Cuvee, I started looking at all of which I am trying to accomplish and/or kick off this year and some of the past dialogues that I have had within the past thirty days.  Now, I must mention first that yesterday I listened to the new album by Teena Marie, which took me back to the innocence of my youth in the seventies.  I just watched a re-airing of the show Unsung in which the episode focused on Kool Moe Dee; "Wild Wild West," anyone?  And as I sit down to eat, I am playing Emile Sande’s album, which is a masterpiece in it’s lyrical depths; another good one to look for is Kendrick Lamar’s album as well.

Last Monday, I attended the VinItaly US Tour in New York and as usual, it was great. I got to meet new people in the industry, reconnect with some others, and taste some varietals, such as Pigato, that I probably have never experienced before.  And while it was great, I even cut short my time tasting, which is virtually unheard of for me.  One of the things for me to do was to make some other connections in Italy so that when I make it back there, I can do some tapings at some of the different wine producers [and also stay at some of the wineries].

You see, one of the things that I want to do is to produce and co-host several television shows focused on wine or where wine is part of the themes.  And with them, I also bring in my personality, my love of wine, my talents in creative writing and music, and the underlying central theme of my existence; I was born on the day of the human portrait.  It’s interesting that in the last six months, I have become more in the groove of merging that which I am with my passions, which has been noticed by several people who know me well.  And while my books and writings are mostly based upon aspects and dynamics of love and relationships from the man’s vantage point, it also relates to wine as well. 

Wine is a romance in itself, whether it is good or bad, a tryst, and affair, a marriage or a lifelong commitment.  And just like the world of love, sex and romance, there are a lot of crackpots and people out there who have done little who want to tell you how to do something that they have never known or never might anyway.  My attitude towards getting the shows done is like that of a man who doesn’t giving up on wooing the woman of his dreams; persistence beats resistance!  And the longer that you have your romance with wine, the more that you will come to appreciate the beauty and depths of older partners, as well as like young spring chickens for exactly what they are.

In these past thirty days, I had conversations with two totally different people, but each one spouting ideas which showed their youth and ignorance.  In one case, one person who has never done a television show and is at the tender age of twenty-five suggested that I should focus on American wineries and start there.  His whole ignorance in both the American wine trade and in broadcast television were both the things that would have a drill instructor running you crazy for weeks on end because you still hadn’t learned how to properly put your uniform on, or couldn’t learn your ranks. What he didn’t realize is that you cheapen your brand and your name championing wines that you wouldn’t drink yourself.  He also didn’t realize the three-tier system in the American marketplace and that you can’t get an affiliate fee for wines that people purchased through your website; guess what, you can’t see wine through your website without being either a wine retailer or a winery with a retail permit.  Oh, this is not to say that American wine is crappy, but there are shows out there that focus on American wines [usually those from the west coast] and most but not all of the wineries on the east coast produce some fruity or musky crap.

The second involved another person whose career is in finance which has taken them to several continents, but whose knowledge about the wine industry, wine and what it takes to produce a show or get it on the air are less than what I knew about these things when I was twenty.  Oh, I really knew nothing about either one of these when I was twenty.  And they continually asked me about numbers, because numbers are what people in the corporate world look at all of the time.  The funny thing, which I had to remind them, was that in many cases there are no numbers in uncharted territories and also that there are a ton of people with similar backgrounds as them who had tons of numbers yet still wound up failing, not just because of their own myopia but the fact that they couldn’t see how things changed.

Oh, I forgot that the first person wanted to own a wine label like Two Buck Chuck which he thought was owned by Trader Joe’s.  In fact, he insisted on it, but I had to deflate him on that since it is owned by Bronco Wines and I once talked to Fred Franzia on a Saturday afternoon after consuming maybe four glasses of wine and calling to the headquarters and asking to speak with him.  I got through and spoke for about forty minutes with him.

In essence, I would refer to both of these people as assholes, because they spoke vehemently on things that they know very little about.  And yes, we all do this so we in fact all have our asshole moments, just some people’s last from the time that they get up to the time that they go to sleep.  Hmmm, that makes me think of a boss I had back in 1997.

Now, to do this show, I have to be an asshole, because that’s what it takes to get it done.  In spite of all of the people looking for either the easy way out, or the people who look at the traditional way that shows once made it to the air, I still slog on.  Didn’t anyone learn anything from the independent music industry revolution and also things like iTunes?  And with what I do, I intend to do it my way and with knowledge of having studied and understand both the nuances of video production and that of the broadcast television industry as well. 

So, over the next two months, I will be doing a number of things to ensure that I make it to Italy; that place where just about everyone can pronounce my second middle name correctly (Cesare) and they make the largest range of wine in the world.  I’ve got some open invites to a number of places and hope to revisit both of the wineries that I saw when I first was there; Santa Sofia in Valpolicella and Villa Mattielli in Soave.

Oh, and I am also looking at raising about 100K and launching my own label featuring wines made in Italy.  They’ve got some stuff there that will blow your mind but that many importers have yet to either bring to the American market or bring it and promote it well.

 I almost forgot, raise a great glass and shout out to Eavesdrop radio on WKDU (Drexel University) - http://wkdu.org/program/eavesdrop-radio

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Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

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