Sunday, March 29, 2015

L'Anima del Vi, delivering truth in wine

T: 2007 Coll de Sabater | DO Conca de Barberà
B: 2012 Lapierre Morgon

It's been a rough week.

There was a wine trade show last week in Düsseldorf called Prowein. I really wanted to go. And if I went, I would have most likely taken a Germanwings flight. I've flown with them before. It's a good airline, and although we are very used to these types of carriers here in Europe, I think it needs to be made clear for my fellow N. Americans that low cost carriers are in fact extremely safe, and (generally) very pleasant to fly with. As more details come out, this whole event becomes more and more unspeakably horrific. It hits close to home, and not because of me - because of the many German classmates I have, who I know have been affected by what happened. 

Monday's news hit like a thunderbolt. On Thursday I was hit by an earthquake. My neighbour (from back home) of nearly 20 years, has been given 6 months to live. He beat cancer once. It came back last summer, and now the doctors have stopped treatment. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to say. He is a good and kind man and doesn't deserve this.

With so much death and suffering around ... I can't handle it. I'd like nothing more than to get out of Barcelona for a few days, go to the beach, get some food, some good drinks ... but that doesn't make this past week make any more sense to me. No enlightenment possible, why these things happen. So I suppose we keep going, keep putting our heads down and charging forward. The only way to go.

L'Anima del Vi is one of my favourite wine places in the world. Yes. Todo el mundo. It's not particularly cozy, it's not totally comfortable, but it's totally honest, and totally unique. The man in the middle of it all? One of the greatest people in wine I've ever met, and someone I'm proud to consider a friend - even if we don't sometimes understand each other. The homie, Benoît, a Frenchman in Spain, bringing in some of the shining lights of biodynamic and natural wine, from his homeland and his adopted country. A while back, when my brother was visiting me over the summer, I took him here, for one boozy evening. We started with a Spanish wine, the Coll de Sabater, a Bordeaux style blend that was at once concentrated and rich, yet harmonious and pure. And then I had to show him the Lapierre Morgon (and share a few glasses with Benoît). Such grace and precision, reminding me why my life will be devoted to this magical, ethereal, mysterious nectar.

It's been a rough week. None of it makes sense. There are no words of comfort, no solace we can find. So for me, I go back and find inspiration in the things that mean the world to me. There is still good in this world, I'm sure of it. Just a little hard to see at this moment.


Monday, March 9, 2015

being a cowboy in Barna

I've been away. 

It's hard to spend time on LCF when I feel like there's a million other more pressing things to apply myself to, but as we heard from the head of marketing of Haribo, there is time to do everything. Ok. Let's give it a shot.

He's right, you know. We do have time - maybe not to do everything, but at least enough time to do things we really care about. Do I really care about LCF? Perhaps not as much as I once did, but it's important to spend some time, in regular intervals, to do a bit of writing. Just for myself. 

So shit, what's been going on? Plenty of cool things, actually. Man, I will miss IESE - in a flash, it's been 18 months and suddenly, we have graduation rehearsals coming up Thursday. Having just wrapped our best party of the year in #MultiCulti2015, I'm not ready yet. I know it's time to go, time to move on and do other things, but I'm not ready yet.

Bourbon. We take it for granted in North America ... the selection, the availability. And then you come here to Spain, land of gin and terrible beer, and everything else becomes an afterthought. Will you ever reach the level of desperation needed to go for JD? I never imagined I'd be so happy to see Bulleit. Tears weren't necessarily shed, but I did stand in the middle of El Corte Inglés with the biggest shit-eating grin. Embarrassing, but when you deprive a man of bourbon, well, all bets are off, as they say.

What is it about bourbon? For the moment, forget about the actual drink. It could be that most cowboy of drinks, the mighty Old-Fashioned, a mint julep, or even a whiskey sour, but in whatever iteration, the character of that sweet, sweet nectar comes through. Siempre. Bulleit has that spice, that touch of honey, that big boom of alcohol. The bee's knees. This wino is grateful for a little taste of home, that reminder that while gin is dope, bourbon is the one and only for the throwback's soul.

At the Haribo session, our guest speaker continued. Did you know they managed to create a whole market for soft candy in Spain? That they not only built a brand here, but in fact changed consumer behaviour? Proving that people are endlessly malleable, despite protestations to the contrary - you just have to know which buttons to press. 9½ weeks left before I graduate as an MBA.