A blog devoted to exploring wines made from unusual grape varieties and/or grown in unfamiliar regions all over the world. All wines are purchased by me from shops in the Boston metro area or directly from wineries that I have visited. If a reviewed bottle is a free sample, that fact is acknowledged prior to the bottle's review. I do not receive any compensation from any of the wineries, wine shops or companies that I mention on the blog.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Update on the Lack of Updates


A few months ago, I took a trip up to Montreal with the Taste Camp crew to sample the wines of south-eastern Canada.  It was a fun trip, and I came back from it with a few dozen new grapes and a case and a half of wine to write about.  I was excited, and started working my way through the bottles as soon as I got home.

I got through a few of them over the course of a week or so, and some of them were good and some weren't, but all of them were interesting in some way.

And then one night I went into the kitchen, and reached for a liquor bottle instead of a wine bottle.  I had had a rough day and just didn't feel like I had it in me to give a bottle of wine the attention and focus that it deserved.  My days had been getting rougher with more frequency over the period of a few weeks, and I thought maybe unwinding with some brandy would help me recharge my batteries a little bit and I could come at the wine fresh the next day.

The next day was worse.  It wasn't that bad things were happening to me during the day, it's just that I felt kind of awful for a higher and higher percentage of each day.  That night I bypassed the wine again and went back into the liquor cabinet.  Tomorrow's another day.

But it wasn't, or at least it wasn't in any positive sense.  And neither were any of the ones that followed it.  Every day the amount of time I felt OK versus the amount of time I felt awful shifted a little bit more to the awful side.  The bad stretches got longer and longer until at some point that's all there was.

My appetite was gone.  I was sleeping poorly when I slept.  None of the things I had previously enjoyed doing seemed worth doing anymore.  I felt terrible about everything all the time.  All I wanted to do was kill time as quickly as possible until I could go to sleep again.

I'm not a stranger to depression.  I've lived with it off and on for as long as I can remember.  Most of the time, the downs are just a little down and don't last very long.  This was a big one.  Is a big one.

It fills up everything.  It gets into your senses and changes how everything looks and feels and tastes.  It gets inside you and spreads out until it's covering everything, and it somehow continues to grow until it feels like it must start to leak out of your pores any day now.

It takes away the things you love and your drive by removing your capacity to love and your capacity for action.  It's a grief with no cause and a pain with no source or location.  Nothing makes it better.  Nothing makes it go away.  You wake up in the morning and it's waiting for you at the foot of your bed.  And somehow it's gotten bigger in the night, and it grabs you a little harder every day.

So, this project, and many others, have gone on the back burner.  I can't think about anything but this right now.  I'm using all my energy to get from one day to the next.  Right now, I believe that it will eventually get tired of me and move along.  That's the only thing I know I have to hold onto no matter what.

I started this project a few years ago in an attempt to occupy myself during another particularly nasty time in my life.  It was interesting and it engaged me and I learned a lot of really cool things in the process.  Those wines and this site helped me get back on balance at a time when I was in danger of losing control.  Wine has helped stabilize me at several different times in my life.

I don't know if it's eventually going to be the answer this time, but it's not the answer right now.

So that's why there hasn't been anything new here.  And why there may not be for awhile.  I really hope it's temporary and I'll have the energy and ability to continue with this very soon.  I don't know how soon.  I don't know if ever.

Thanks to everyone for reading.  I hope you'll hear from me before too long.

12 comments:

Kevin said...

Hey Rob-

Sorry to hear about the down spell. I don't know what you're going through, of course, but know that I've had my share of equally down spells as well. (One of which I may be in currently, as I write this while working at home with an open bottle of Scotch in front of me.)

Take a break, hang in there, have a beer (since they're lower in proof than the liquor... for the most part, at least) and hang out with the people that you care about and that care about you. I know that can be hard at times, but in the end, everything else is stuff we do to keep busy, since we don't all have to be out hunting buffalo for dinner.

I look forward to the next post, whenever that might be.

Bibulous said...

Here's hoping for the best for you, Rob. A lot of people out here have gotten a lot of pleasure and knowledge from your posts, and we're all rooting for the clouds to lift.

AJP said...

I truly hope that everything turns out well for you. Hang in there. We'll be waiting if/when you decide to come back to this blog. :)

Emily H. said...

Glad to hear that Fringe Wine is still alive and kicking. Hope you get back to posting soon. I know that I am not alone in this sentiment, but I feel that your posts have delivered the highest quality of content of the many (too many) wine-related blogs out there. I hope that your inspiration comes back to you soon.

Thanks for the update, even as uncomfortable as I'm sure that it was to write!

Peter F May for The Pinotage Club said...

Best wishes Rob -- Looking forward to your return to us.

Pietro Buttitta said...

You are one of the few blogs I look forward to reading.

-Rosa d'Oro Vineyards, Trigrammaton Cellars

Fabio said...

Hi Rob,
Hang on in there, it'll pass. Looking forward to your next post on some obscure variety that no-one's ever heard of :)

Ben said...

I hope life is sunnier for you soon. Your latest wine writing is something I always look forward to.

christoph said...

it might sound a bit presumptious, but I believe it could be very well the right medicine for your depression: Forget about the US,come to Italy and set up a "small scale top class winery" her in Maremma, Tocana. That's exactly what I am been doing, it's a lot of work but also a lot of fun. My project is 3ha vineyards (obviuosly organic), 15.000 bottles, Ciliegiolo, Alicante, Ansonica, Procanico and some strange autoctonous varieties. I have an excellent enologist, Enrico Bachechi (www.ampelis.it) who meanwhile became a good friend of mine.Hhave alook at the view from the hill www.ranchelle.it For somebody who loves wine a vinery is the best thing to do. Good luck and all best wishes!

Frank Cipparone said...

Hang in there, the wine world needs people with your focus, passion and lack of pretense. I've been looking back on tasting notes compiled over decades of drinking and have some Italian obscurities I look forward to sharing with you...such as the elusive Burson,i.e. Longanesi. Tanti cosi!

Murriarty said...

Only came across this site the other day,while researching an unusual grape,and I'm so excited to read the rest. This is what wine,and life,is all about,variety. I often find just reading about wine relaxes me and cheers me up. And then I look forward to tasting them and enjoy them more. Good music helps too! It may not be that simple,but just some friendly advice and best wishes. Life is more complex than the world of wine, but usually what ends up in your glass is all that matters. Hope your back soon, but meanwhile I have a lot of catching up to do...

Sean Stewart said...
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