My Pinot Year WEEK 0: New Year’s Resolution, PT.1

Posted: January 5, 2010 in Pinot

I did something very stupid.

Somewhere around mid-October, while most people were putting their Michael Jackson and Bea Arthur costumes together for Halloween, I met with my editor and told her I was going to spend 2010 only drinking Pinot Noir.

No beer.

No gin.

No other varietals. Just Pinot.

And I was going to write about it. And it was going to be brilliant.

“I’m not sure Pinot has enough interest to warrant a book,” she said. We were tossing back martinis somewhere offering a happy hour. She’d just finished telling me about the time her uncle sent her a twenty page memoir full of inappropriate sex acts, and how she chose to let him down gently by saying the same thing she was now saying to me. “It’s not a big enough subject.”

“Well, what I’m going for is really more of a niche market,” I said. This, of course, was what the creepy uncle also told her in response.

“Suit yourself.”

As time went on I realized maybe the publishing world wasn’t quite ready for my literary brilliance. Instead I decided on a place that was somewhere closer to my intellectual equal: The Blog-o-sphere.

Newly inspired I decided to forge ahead, and as the last holidays of the year began to melt away my excitement grew and grew.

But really, why Pinot?

Rex Pickett had a lot to do with it. You’ve never heard of him. But you have heard of his 2004 book Sideways and Alexander Payne’s film starring Paul Giamatti as Miles Raymond, the sad-sack schlub with a hopeless addiction to excellent Pinot.

Sideways had sat on my bookshelf for over five years.

I got it soon after the film came out but had no real interest in picking it up until recently. I realized—like many hopeful wine drinkers out there—I stayed away from it for so long because I was INTIMIDATED. Yes, I was worried the book knew more about wine than I did and that I’d feel stupid reading it. It might reference unknown places, or worse, make one of those inside jokes that I’d be very outside of.

Instead, when I finally manned up in October and read it, I found it to be WAY enjoyable and more than a few times laugh-out-loud funny. And that’s having already seen the film!

Stupid idiot, I thought to myself, good thing no one knows you were scared of a book.

However something struck me about the story: it was less about Pinot Noir so much as it was about a man who uses Pinot to hide from his real issues. The book could have been about two men going to check out beer breweries before one of them gets hitched. Or ballparks. Or presidential tombs.

In any case, it made for excellent literature. But could it make for real life?

Could I live like Miles always wanted to? Would surrounding myself with the best and worst Pinot had to offer satisfy my appetite for all things bacchanal? Would I live to tell about it? Or would I snap and lose my cool, becoming so lonely for a martini that search crews would find me roaming half-naked through the Angeles National Forest, gnawing on a juniper bush?

It sounded fun, so now I’m determined to find out.

Hence the New Year’s Resolution and this blog. Welcome to My Pinot Year.

  1. kdubyaheard says:

    Fuck Merlots!
    Unlike Rex I don't see you disappearing in a waft of tangy cherry or sensuous, fleshy currant. But rather reveal fermented vexations as you orally traverse the supple, giving lands of Burgundy and Willemette. I applaud you in your efforts! Now I must determine whether or not to aid you or test you in your yearlong quest. A tip of the hat to you sir!

  2. The Bin End says:

    I must add the Phalz and Sancerre regions to your travels. As well as Northern Italy. Are you allowed to drink Pinot Nero. I mean its the same grape, but you are required by law to drink more of it at one sitting. Or I could have just made that up. I guess we will just have to find out. You better save me a glass of Grand Cru.

  3. Chris says:

    if you had any kind of “ko-jo-nez” you would've chosen Merlot Cobb. Then I might have truly been engaged. But I'll keep reading. Maybe something good will come of all this…

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