Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jon Stewart/ Stephen Colbert Return To Sanity &/Or Fear Rally On The Mall 10/30/2010 : We Are More Than Lobbyists, Washington D.C. 12- 3 PM

Or Should Be More Than Lobbyists Big & Small, Paid & Unpaid ..." headline should finish ...

Love that this was live! Here I was at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in Northwest Washington D.C. watching this on my Apple computer screen in the store and getting all excited and pumped up by this rally on the Mall with both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert with their Restore Sanity &/Or Fear and loving it. Music by Cat Stevens, the O'Jays, Ozzie Osborne and more, and Stephen Colbert saying to John Colbert that to everyone of his " points " that their is a " counterpoint ". I loved that.

It was great, it was uplifting and inspirational for me. All the customers that came here after the rally ALL said that the mood was a really positive one and that everyone seemed happy and that there were no problems and no dissension. I also heard that the feeling that everyone that was there was intelligent and that there were people of all ages there, too including families with their children.

I also heard that the posters were great and had people bringing me their i-pods and cameras and showing me the posters that they took pictures of. I liked the customers that came through here. I got lots of pictures of them to add and will do that next week. In the meantime enjoy these pictures.

Many of our customers came here dressed-up as if they were getting ready for Halloween tomorrow.

There is also the Marine Marathon tomorrow and the midterm elections on Tuesday. Busy times here in Washington D.C. And the Uptown movie house across the street is already selling tickets for the next Harry Potter two-part movie in another couple of weeks.

Cheers and stay-tuned for more soon. TONY

This was a great rally to watch " live " while at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in Washington D.C. when there were very few customers in our store as many of them were down at the rally.

I took these pictures from my Apple computer as the show was broadcast live and I am thrilled to have them as they often have my reflections in them, too : almost as if I was really there " and with good seats as well. Not bad.

Driving to work I got into the spirit of the event as there were enough people walking across the Teddy Roosevelt bridge on a drop-dead gorgeous day to really make me with that my destination was the Washington D.C. Mall and not Cleveland Park Wines and Spirits. They would not really miss or need me until 3 PM when people started to come by after the rally.

People were walking across the Potomac River in small groups, along the route 50 highway in Virginia, and all along Rock Creek Parkway and up through Cathedral Avenue N.W. and Connecticut Avenue N.W. It was bustling, it was vibrant, you could feel the excitement of the morning and what the day held as you drove or walked along. That's where the " buzz " was that Stephen Colbert talked about later : the " buzz " of the people and not of the bees covered in honey! People were organized, on a mission, ready to have a great show, too.

I loved Stephen Colbert coming up from his " Fear cave " 2 miles deep in the ground, reminiscent of the 33 Chilean miners coming up a couple of weeks prior. How exciting and invigorating and rejuvenating that was : just like this rally. We all need some " good news " in this period of political upheaval and turmoil and uncertainty.

I mean, what have we become here in the United States : nothing but a bunch of paid and unpaid lobbyists from small towns to large cities fighting for " special interests " and forgetting the " general-greater good and addenda " of our once great nation that seems to be slipping all the time and very reminiscent now of the Roman Empire of long ago?!? I don't think that I have ever been more in turmoil with knotted gut and I guess a gnawing fear that things will certainly get worse and perhaps never better?!? I'm scared, not running scared, but terrified and scared. And I am not running from my responsibilities, either. I'm prepared to be counted and heard and to do more ...

I'm an optimist and certainly not a politician and I loathe all of this and the fact that it is beginning to absorb more of my time and thoughts. My stress level has certainly gone up as a result of all of this working for so many special interests that by definition exclude the working for any greater good for one and for all. All we have is the " one " or the " few " or the " select " and we have forgotten the " all " that are our rich fabric of peoples and cultures, races, beliefs, sexual persuasions that should all be considered and included when making decisions that affect us all ultimately as shown so clearly today as a result of so many having relentlessly pushed for only their interests and their desire for growth, gain, power and more money.

Hell, I shouldn't be writing any of this here. This is a wine column! I meant for this to have gone into my personal blog that I call " qynothna " and I forgot. Sorry! But I am not sorry for speaking out as I am really concerned and alarmed and in doubt, not much in denial any more about what the outcomes of these current efforts all around the country by the smallest of groups to the very largest will result in : a weakening of our country at large and with results that will further reduce us to nothing more than lobbyists whether paid or not.

The fact alone that we have been willing to spend the ludicrously ridiculous amount of money to get " our men and women politicians " elected and not having used this money instead to fix many of the blaring/obvious/crucial/fundamental/simple problems all around the country from the inner cities and way into the large expanses of our great countrysides in our great country is shocking and beyond sad.

Let's spend the money fixing things and not getting people elected!

I'm not a politician : it's obvious to me and glaringly obvious to you. I don't want to be a politician, no way. But I do have a voice and I do have the ability to voice it and raise it and let it be known where I stand. It may hurt me but so be it. I'd rather be heard than be silent.

I would have been at the rally alongside my son and others if I could have been there. I was " there " in spirit as I watched the images broadcast live.

Today it is Halloween and my family and I will be home passing out candy for the " trick-or-treaters " and that will be fun. Because Halloween falls on a Sunday for the very first time in a long time I believe that there will be more especially because tomorrow is a holiday for many.

I watched again last night the taped rally that we had here at home in northern Virginia with my wife and daughter. That was good because what I saw at work was split up by selling wine and liquor and beer in between. Many of our regulars that did not go to the rally came through. Some had had medical appointments and trouble getting to and from them either on the metro on by taxi as the ranks of the rally-goers I believe soared from sixty thousand that they had expected to over two hundred and fifty thousand. Is that possible? That's pretty grand when you realize that it was two people on two different t.v. shows ( Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert ) that working on a comedy channel had achieved all of this? Do you think that any two politicians trying to do this could have achieved the same turn-out? I don't think so.

Thanks Jon and Stephen. You guys did good, really good. I've been a fan for years now ever since my daughter got me into watching your shows with her.

We even went to hear you " live " Jon at the John Paul Jones auditorium/stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia where you asked parents to leave with their children as you were not going " to tone down any of your profanity " ( they chose to stay ) and as you bashed everyone and everything imaginable from your roommate who peed in your closet to our closet/attic Canadian friends to the Jews, computers that " freeze " and become nothing more than large screen clocks until you turn them off in abject frustration and defeat and on and on and on and on and on ... I loved it, really I did. I wrote you a letter, too and will have to send or include it here sometime on my where much of this deserves to be or at

What I loved about your show in Charlottesville Jon was that you were " open " and that we did discover that you have children and a wife that is a veterinarian ( we learned a lot about that and animals-pets at the show in graphic detail ) and that you must be laughing all the way to the bank every time that people pay and show up to hear you. I mean Jon, you have to do this, you have to get it all out or it would literally kill you by imploding inside of you if you did not release at least some of it. It continues to build-up inside of you and without releasing it you would simply not make it : it's simply " too much " even for someone like you with you intelligence and stature to keep bottled up all inside. And you are thinking as you make money : " And I'm being paid boatloads for all of this?!? " I can see you dastardly little smile/grin/lips pursed/raining of your cheeks/eyes open wide one second. scroll-dart down the next split second.your lips purse to make an " O " shape ... Glad to be here I am sure, all of us for you Jon as you are plainly here for all of us : we've got each other's back. Thanks.

Who is that man to the right of Stephen Colbert in the picture above just to his back? He's in a lot of these pictures. Should I know him? Secret Service? Body guard? I simply do not know.

I loved the images of the four -to-one-lane-car-gridlock that you showed as you spoke about all of this Jon and how everyone in the cars with various bumper-stickers and beliefs and political points-of-views-, etcetera had to be patient and work together to get through and on with their lives in a certain amount of civility and order and reasonableness. There was little problem as I watched the images of the cars as they gradually got into the one line that got them through to wherever they were going. That was a good image / a good demonstration of what we face daily and must deal with with a certain patience and reasonableness to get through and onto other pursuits and projects to make our daily deadlines,etcetera.

Stephen, I loved when you came up from your " Fear Cave " and I loved your patriotic outfit and how you grabbed the American flag and ran up and down the stage with such glee and excitement and apparent joy. We all needed that : it was the moment, the relief, the epiphany and release of emotion and validation of joy and togetherness that we all had to have : gathered there so many strong and united to agree and disagree and be there together for the purpose of working together and being heard and seen as one large group of intelligent and concerned individuals ... it made the moment for me - it drew me in like any other moment to time-and-place and rally-and-event-and-making-of-really-important-history-that-this-rally-will-be-seen-( what a great scene ! )- as-shortly-and-certainly-in-the-years-to-come ...

I will watch the end of the rally broadcast that we still have taped tonight with my wife, daughter and son after the trick-or-treaters go home tonight. I want to listen to what you said again tonight and then perhaps finish this blog then. I will wait-and-see and if the time arises or the inspiration and energy affords me I will write more.

I do have a college to go off and see with my son tomorrow and I am looking forward to that a lot. I also have real wine blogs to finish and add text to if I get the chance tomorrow.

It's a beautiful day now and the sun is out and it's bright, clear-skied and a bit breezy in a good way and I'm going to go outside in a few minutes after unloading the groceries that my wife just brought home and sit I hope outside with her and look all around but especially at our Sasafras tree with leaves that are golden and rich and with highlights of reds and that glow positively as the sunshine hits them, even when not ... stunning, catches and locks one's eyes, fixing them as if they were feeding in their glow and sustenance that is both real and imagined yet completely positive in almost every way : much like this rally was, I believe to many of us : a way to get warm and healthy once a gain, to get rivitalized and enthusiastic and to restore, restore, restore or sanity and humanity and lose our fears that are real but so often fabricated and used against us for harm and destruction and negative, NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE ...

Cheers and stay-tuned for more.

I have more pictures that I took at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in N.W. Washington D.C. as our customers returned from walking back from the Washington Mall. I have pictures of them and their stickers and pins and other colorful Halloween outfits. I will post a separate blog on that.

Nolan that sells us wine came to taste wines of California like the excellent HUSCH Chenin Blanc and a lovely smooth German Dornfelder red in a light red-colored wine bottle. There was a Napa Sauvignon Blanc and a new Spanish red Rhone-style dry wine, and more - oh, an excellent Alexander Vallet Pinot Noir, too. Thanks Nolan. You had been at the rally, too earlier I believe Nolan? Glad you could come and taste wines with our customers : they appreciated that.

I will include all of that detail when I post the next blog shortly.

I also opened a bottle of the TOAD HOLLOW French sparkling dry Blanquette De Limoux to celebrate with many of our customers including John and Maggie and Dakota, just to name a few. It's incredible and everyone loved it and appreciated the gesture of celebration.

Take care, be sure and vote on Tuesday and enjoy this glorious weekend in the meantime. Also, thanks for shopping with us here at Cleveland Park & Spirits. Cheers, TONY

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jennifer S. Petschek National Sales Rep Of CA. Napa HONIG Vineyard & Winery Tastes Current Releases @ Cleveland Park Wines On 10/28/2010

It was really nice to see Jennifer S. Petschek again from the HONIG Vineyard and Winery ( P.O. Box No. 406 850 Rutherford Rd. Rutherford, CA. 94573 Tel: 800-929-2217 Fax : 212-686-8353 ). It's good to revisit all these excellent Napa wines, especially the delightful Sauvignon Blanc that they are so very famous for. And the 2009 Napa Sauvignon Blanc from HONIG was every bit as excellent as all the rest. Thanks Jenny for calling and setting up an appointment to come and see me. Later when Chris Barker that works with me tasted the wines that we poured for him and he remembered you well from his two years at Dean & DeLuca's in Georgetown, Washington D.C.

You brought thw hole arsenal out or so it seems : five wines in all : 1) HONIG Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ( also available in half bottles ); 2) HONIG 2009 Rutherford Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ; the 3) 2007 HOHIG Cabernet Sauvignon ; the 4) HONIG Bartolucci Cabernet Sauvignon and the 5) 2006 HONIG Late-Harvest Sauvignon Blanc that I found to be " fab " as I noted quickly on the sheet of paper that Jenny brought with her including prices and everything else that one might want to know quickly. Thanks for that Jenny, only a handful of sales people and reps do this and I find it invaluable at times to remember and to be able to jot some quick notes down for anytime I need to refer back to the tasting and what was tasted exactly.

I was lazy on this tasting with you Jenny. It might have been that I was also distracted with the many pictures that I was taking of you and of your wines , bottle, labels, wines poured into the Reidel Austrian glasses that we use, etcetera.

Being an artist I am especially sensitive to all of these things and I love to present to the world here in cyberspace and wherever else a visual reason for them to go in search of the wines pictured. I hope the colors and the textures, the viscosity and clarity and depth and richness, not to mention brightness or toastiness or even the profound opaqueness and reflectiveness of the wines don't get to you all somehow ... I sure do hope so : I'm counting on it as a matter of fact. Anyone following me?

I love the mention, too of the fact that these wines are : as it says on the sheet of paper I have, neatly boxed and off to the bottom left-hand side : Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. Thanks for including that on the sheet Jenny : it helps to remind me of things like that that I personally find very important and wish to share with my customers.

I was lazy with my notes and used the " start " system to indicate my favorites on this tasting.
I, in fact gave two stars to the following : 1) the 2009 Napa HONIG Sauvignon Blanc ; and three stars to the 2) HONIG Bartolucci Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. It was probably my favorite followed by the 2006 Late Harvest HONIG Sauvignon Blanc in half-bottles which I have already said I wrote simple : " fab ".

I spoke to Arielle already my rep for the Country Vintners portfolio as well as the excellent HONIG wines. I will keep the 2009 HONIG Napa Sauvignon Blanc on our shelves and try and include some of these others when we can.

Jenny, next time you come to Washington D.C. let's organize a tasting of your wines here in the store with our customers. That's what we do best. You should also contact Arielle Monaco of the Country Vintners and tell her to remind me to include a HONIG the next time that she tastes in the store. As a matter of fact one tasting with her is coming up this weekend. I will see about having her taste the Napa HONIG Sauvignon Blanc then - this Saturday. Glad I thought of this. Better late than never.

Thanks again Jenny and see you soon. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out in California : it's right around the corner.

It's now Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 at 8:48 PM here at home in northern Virginia and I'm getting ready to go up and say " hello " to my wife that's just returned and keep her company as she eats her meal and then we will with our son watch the next episode of the popular show : " Glee".

I have more pictures to download here and given the time I will do so.
Cheers, TONY

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reading Food & Wine's Article On The B.V. George De Latour 2009 Vintage & Remembering My Visits There : With My Father, With Forman Bros. 1995-1996

Fine article, well-written, rekindled my flame, my time, the antique cars, the stars, the Tapestry Room, my father, the tasting room - just me, my father and the tasting-lady that gave me a copy of her book, and much, much, much more with the playing pool table, smoking cigars and drinking cognac on the balcony-porch outside : George Foote's fabulous component tasting with notes and the best stemware and everything else that anyone could want, making breakfast - omelets for the Forman Brother's wine crew, running on shear willpower with Tracy and John early one morning, sketching from the balcony of the Tapestry room, leaving artwork to thank those for taking care of us: doing watercolors from the gates at the grand entrance and looking out at the view and mountains ... and much more ... and , of course, drinking great wines from B.V. - all the flavors and all the grapes and all the excellent wines that anybody could hope to drink as we also grilled out back for one another - it was heaven as we may be fortunate , some of us, to know it on earth.

We got to mingle with the wine-makers and those visiting the night we arrived with the antique car show there in the circular courtyard of the B.V. Ranch House where we stayed. That was grand, that was our first evening there and there was splendid food and splendid wine and visiting wine-makers from other vineyards as well as live music and so much that was stimulating to all of our senses. It was a whole lot to take in that night. I loved it. I loved going outside later after the end and laying between the vines on my back and looking up at the clouds, skies and heavens and thinking that I could hardly believe my good fortune being witness to so many stars that the whole sky seemed to be on fire and studded with fantastic diamonds in all shapes and hues of gold and brightness. I did this while the others continued to play pool in the small room out back that was like a tiny guest house - a remnant from the past, from the days when things were so much more believable-manageable-not-like-big-business...

And we were being thanked by B.V. for having sold so well their wines back in Washington D.C. for Forman Brothers distributing company. Thank you Beaulieu Vineyards. By the way, your vineyards are beautiful and you have a beautiful place and I felt very special indeed being able to stay in the Tapestry Room. As a result of these two visits I will always sell the B.V. wines and be happy to recommend them to my customers, family and friends.

The wines were in my division : the Estates Division that I shared with fellow sales rep Jeff Adamson. I had taken the coveted place of Chris and I cannot remember for the life of me now his last name. John Linette helped me get the job. Thanks John, you believed in me then and for that I appreciate that more than you will ever know. It will return. I will include it soon.

I have much more to say but will post this now. Thanks Dad for such a great visit to B.V. with you when we were there in the late morning I believe and had an excellent tour and tasting and experience just the two of us. Stay-tuned for more, TONY

Such Fucking Mediocrity : So Many Wines All Taste Today The International Crappy, Lousy, Boring Same: What A Deplorable Shame! 10/28/2010 WE CAN & SH

OULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT While We Still Can ! the headline should finish ...
I'm so bloody well over all of this sameness/shameness of bloody shameful wine that's pleasant and vaguely pleasing but tasting all the rotten, god-damn shame! What a scam, what a bunch of lousy, susceptible and fools are we to buy so easily into all this marketing of sameness/we all be to blame!

I wrote this paragraph awhile ago and would love to have the opportunity to discuss it sometime as the scope of what I am talking about is vast and pervasive and already much in place and yet we are all choosing - us in the business - to turn the other way and to ignore it and it's implications and the consequences now and ever-increasing. That saddens me. There should be more public debate. There should be more people examining and discussing where we have been in the wine world, where we are now and were we most certainly will go if we do not publicly discuss more of this and make more people aware of what our choices are now and what they may be as a result of our actions later.

It's now Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 9:12AM here at home in northern Virginia on a beautiful spring day I might add and I am off to work now and have a store email to write as well as a dinner to sell some more tonight with three French wine-makers at Lavandou restaurant down at the end of our block in Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits.

I would love to have anyone say anything here in the comment section below this blog entry. TONY

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Response To Dave McIntyre's Wash. Post " Food " Section Article : " For Dessert, Go To VA " , 10/27/10 : Jim Law's Comment Of LINDEN : " They Are

Amazing ", the headline should finish. Dessert wines are amazing, I agree.

I just responded on the " comment " section to Dave McIntyre's response to my blog entry here on his last article on Virginia wines last Wednesday in the " Food " section of the Washington Post newspaper's edition. So go to that to read a more full accounting.

However, here I want to repeat what I said in that comment : I lifted from Dave's article today the following :

" These are the most under-appreciated wines , " says Jim Law, owner and winemaker of LINDEN Vineyards near Front Royal. " They are amazing. But they demand your attention and they come at a point in the meal when no one wants to pay attention."

I agree completely with this and am as guilty of this as anyone. I have so many great dessert wines but do not often serve them knowing this to be true. Why bother when no one is going to appreciate them or pay attention to them? Fortunately they age beautifully and one can hold onto them for quite some time. That's the saving grace for them, really : otherwise they would spoil well before being served and that would be a real crime!

My recommendation: serve a small taste before the meal gets started. Make it a time before you sit down to the table and give everyone a very small taste of these wonderful dessert wines to get their palates thinking, hopefully craving for more so that they both make time and save a place for them at the end of the meal either on their own or with something else to add to the pleasure and the moment.

I like these articles on Virginia wines and am a " wee bit " jealous of all the time that you are able to spend at the vineyards and tasting and talking with owners and wine-makers alike. I wish I were there by your side. Tell them to come visit me at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 on Facebook at : clevelandparkwines&spirits ) : their visits will be greatly appreciated. Not many of the 180 vineyards come to visit me and I do like selling them, especially from those that do make the effort to stay in touch, put me on their email lists and that visit from time-to-time. Strike while the iron is still hot, keep plugging away here in Washington D.C.!!!!

Today, for example, Mark Congdon of Seig Selections will stop by with the " Fletcher " Chardonnay of LA GRANGE and I can hardly wait! I have known Fletcher now for years and got to know him really well when he worked with David Bryant's portfolio of excellent Italian and Spanish wines that are still sold through Country Vintners Imports in Ashland, Virginia ,home of my fond alma mater Randolph-Macon College.

Cheers and I look forward to more of your Virginia and local wine articles. TONY

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Miss Leopard & Mr. Zebra Visit Cleveland Park Wines To Promote The National Geographic's Blog Page Pop Omnivore W/ Sam Pepple-Cartographer : Wow!

This was as serendipitous a visit as ever before here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 , on Facebook at : clevelandparkwine&spirits ) as I was getting ready to leave one of the recent past Thursday nights at 6:30 PM and go an have dinner home with my family in northern Virginia. It was in October 2010 and I have already blogged about it at : Check that blog out for more of the information.

In walked Sam Pepple a cartographer for the National Geographic magazine with his nice camera and suit and immediately behind him walked in both Miss Leopard and Mr Zebra. I was all prepared to go home but I was entranced by this sight and simply had to check it out before leaving to go home. I am glad I did, too. These three were charming and what follows are lots of pictures that I took of the three of them. I did have to offer them some wine as they explained their story to me.

I also had to introduce them to our customers and so I have many pictures here with them and our customers, like the one below with Matt, one with Jeff and one with Justine, too I believe.

Scroll down and enjoy these pictures and do visit the blog called Pop Omnivore on the National Geographic Magazine's web page.

What an unexpected threat and so much fun! Cheers to one and to all. TONY

Miss Leop Leo Leo Sam
Mr Ze Zeb Eop Eopa
Pa Pa Bra Rah Ra Pard
Miss Pep Pepp Ep Ep Epple

Cart Off Later Cam
Came Hands Amera
In Suit Black Follo
Did Ollow I Had Stay

Not Home Go Till Me Meet
Did 3 Miss Leopard
Zebra Mr. Pepple Sam, Too
All Three From Blog

From Nation Geo Be
They Graph Skins Tight
Cloth Skin Graphs
So Graphic So Bold

So Young Youth Yet
So Old So Bold So Brash
Fash A State A Mind A
Place Cleve

Store In Land Of
National Of Wine
Of Geographic
Borrowed Pop Pop

Pop Pop Pop Of
Omni Vroom
Vores ...

#3 Le 10 Novembre, 2010 Mercredi matin en voiture en Virginie a 11:36 AM on a beautiful, clear, sunny, bright brr blue skies clear autumn's morn ... that's when I wrote these two Morning Poems thinking of Miss Leopard and Mr Zebra and Sam Pepple. I will include the last poem later today time-permitting. Cheers, TONY

To Not Have Secs By Now
Missed Leopard 'N Zeb
Bra Bra Hurrah Two
Peops Dressed Full
To Like Not Kill In
City Not Wilds Times
This Store Wines Cleve
A Land In Building
In Park To Me Catch So
Spell Slap Me Ohhhh
So Off Guard In
Splash Quite! Spell
I Did Fall 'N Had
Stay To Meet Un
So Uncover To Know
To Speak To Photos
Make Of Miss Leopard
Of Mr Zebra To Wel So
Them Welcome Soyez
Bienvenus Chers Amis
Nouveau De Moi De
Magasin Des Vins ...

#4 Le 10 Novembre, 2010 Mercredi matin en voiture en Virginie a 11:41 AM , comme il fait beau aujoud'hui, nice, clear, breezy crisp blue skies autumn's morn - so nice! TONY