One of my favorite movies, Bottle Shock, is about the then-nascent California wine industry and its victory over the French in a blind taste test celebrating the 1976 bicentennial. The film is based on the true story of a man who ditched his legal career to pursue a dream of making the best wine possible. Jim Barrett put his life into Chateau Montelena; to do so was a huge risk, and he had to have unwavering faith in himself and trust in the process of such a delicate, complex and time-consuming task, whose results were not necessarily guaranteed.

As with any such journey, there were many twist and turns and ups and downs along the way, but in the end he triumphed not only because he beat the French at their proudest export, but also because in doing so, blew the field wide open for quality wine to be produced in countries around the globe, and the world has never been the same.

Orson Welles, in his famous commercials would say, “We will sell no wine before its time.” It takes time for lasting success to develop, and there is no better activity than viticulture to demonstrate that. There are cycles of planting, pruning, harvesting, fermenting and numerous other magical, alchemical things that need to happen for that perfect glass to arrive at your table. As I always say in my seminars, “Remember that grapes do not turn into wine overnight!”

With the start of every Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall, we are reminded that to Every Thing There is a Season. The historic vote to legalize same-sex marriage in NY three days [after the solstice of June 2011] was decades in the making; several societal changes and generations of progress had to occur in order to have the majority of the population now be “ripe” for its acceptance, and we are all stronger and better for having gone through the process.

Since we are just about a quarter through the year, be sure you check in and are working internally and externally towards whatever goals you set for yourself; know that as long as you consistently do things that you love and care about, you are fertilizing your life, making it as rich as possible. Focus your thoughts, words and deeds in the direction you want to be going, knowing that all will come to fruition with a perfect union of patience, persistence and perseverance – in time and on time.

You can’t put the cart before the horse, so if you’re feeling a little frustrated and impatient in pursuit of your passions, give me a buzz and I’ll be a future sommelier explaining the uniqueness and quality of your vintage, or the judge that casts the deciding vote to make your dream a reality!

(Today’s PGG was originally published on June 28, 2011.)


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