I must apologize for my utter lack of posting this past month and a half. What I haven’t mentioned before now is that I am expecting a baby! He has been consuming my thoughts, and is now due in less than a week. I fully plan to resume posting in a couple of months.In the meantime, I’ll leave my thoughts on the parallels of natural wine-making and natural childbirth.

Both are making a resurgence after decades of medical/agricultural interventions. I once read a blog post by a fellow local blogger about his efforts to make wine. After admitting that he added acid to his very alcoholic wine, he said, “What? You mean I add things to my wine? You bet. And anyone who doesn’t is either very, very lucky, or very, very stupid.” 

As I attempt to go through childbirth naturally, please wish me luck, because I know I’m not stupid!

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There is a great opinion piece in the LA Times today, written by wine writer and champion of natural wines, Alice Feiring.  I love the opening line, because it pins down exactly my frustration with the conflict between California’s food and and wine. We have a bounty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and properly raised meat at our fingertips, and it is near impossible to find a local wine that won’t drown out the flavor of our tomatoes and fava beans and asparagi. This is largely due to the high levels of alcohol and lack of elegance in most California wine, a byproduct of bad decisions made in the vineyard and the cellar.  She mentions Clos Roche Blanche from the Loire Valley of France as an example of a producer of real, natural wine; I think that both their Pineau d’Aunis and Sauvignon Blanc would be ideal companions for most of our California cuisine. I’m glad she also pointed out a couple California winemakers who are doing something different — Cathy Corison and Mike Dashe. Sacramento’s own Darrell Corti is a champion of Corison’s wines. He recently hosted an event pairing past vintages of her Cabernet Sauvignon with various types of beef. I’ll add another winemaker to the list: Gideon Beinstock of Clos Saron. He’s making wines as natural as you can get right here in the Sierra Foothills.