Catch-Up Concentrate: Just Add Wine!

Been postponing my departure for Argentina during all of this month, which makes for a hard time 'keeping it in the moment'. I'm a nervous flyer at best, & have never been in the air longer than the seven hours or so across the pond to London, Madrid, Paris or Frankfurt-- after which I've always been a jet-lagged wreck for about a week.
Getting to Buenos Aires will take a few more teeth-jarring tick-tocks.

Today I've had my first cup of coffee after a week of some self-prescribed, cold-turkey anxiety management withdrawal, so I may actually finish this post...

There is so much I've been meaning to share, since I got back from my NY-VA-NC sojourn: about the three wine négociant dinners attended-- (I may have been the closest thing to a winemaker around, not really a source of any comfort or pride: media, marketers & other biz people, gourmets, hangers-on-- nice folk, too, but...) --long-rehearsed, half-composed writeups on the characterful wines of Villa Appalaccia & Chateau Morrisette in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Floyd, Virginia...on my continuing exploration of white wine-- recently veering away from Rhone blends to focus on Torrontés & Arneis...
I've also been rehearsing some sort of disclosure as to the family circumstances that make writing about wine a somewhat contradictory, emotional & sometimes difficult chore for me:
(deeeep breath)

My younger brother was a charming womanizer of an alcoholic who was gunned down by police in Orlando, Florida two years ago last May 21. Use of deadly force by law-enforcement officers was ruled 'Justifiable Homicide' which seems a stretch (--three armed law-enforcement officers facing a lone drunk, even with a knife of some sort in each hand?) --but of course I cannot responsibly speculate on the attendant circumstances in public.
(Don't you just love a mystery??)
Look up 'raging, anxious codependent' in your Self-help Psychology dictionary & you should find a snapshot of yours truly, grinning stiffly.

I sleep in his old room in the leaky, modernist flying saucer-hut that is the family home, as my own has become the mini-warehouse/studio-library glimpsed behind the funky Mac 'PhotoBooth' self-portraits seen here...and here:

At least there's our backyard...

--and our funky patio ready for alfresco wine tasting!

So, I got issues. And my experience with psychoactive meds has been very negative, so I work hard on self-care mostly by running, eating healthy & keeping my wine intake very, very moderate. Oh, & for some emotional connection to counter my tendency to isolated hermitry, I watch over two cats: Negrita, (stay-away-don't-touch-me!) who belonged to Alberto, my late brother, & receives no end of tearful projection on my Dad's part...

--& 'Lucho Gatica', who, in retrospect, would seem to have played a crucial part in the long (...reluctant?) courtship between my Dad & my new Stepmother. (Dr. D. Rodríguez-Pérez, after mourning my mother for a dozen years, remarried one month before his 90th birthday, three years ago next January. Stepmom Jeannette may still be shy of the big six-oh...? Don't ask, don't tell...)

Lucho was a gift of Jeannette's-- a young, black Angora half-breed, prettyboy tom with eyes that looked like a kohl-rimmed Egyptian prince's. After years of prowling and some violence on the part of humans, though, he's deaf, blind in one eye and miraculously alive while endlessly nursing (read, scratching & scraping) a running sore behind his left ear worthy of Philoktetes... his craggy brawler countenance & carriage are worthy of a Bukowski character, if not old 'Harry Chinaski' himself...

But to get back on-topic:
The bigger issues-- & anxieties-- with this trip to Argentina arise from the pressure I've put on myself to achieve a well-loaded agenda. Long story short, I'm looking to finalize an arrangement where I can make a test barrel or three using traditional Old World methods (co-fermentation of reds with a percentage of aromatic white grapes-- in open-top wood puncheons, say, using indigenous yeasts...) to economically improve the perceived quality & marketability of wines made from grape varieties considered secondary & less than 'Noble': hopefully Barbera, possibly Bonarda, which is starting to garner some attention & respect; maybe Tannat, maybe fruit from the small plantings of Graciano & Mondeuse-- Refosco?-- I hear survive scattered away from the burgeoning mainstream.
All of this so that I can use the (hopefully) fat profit margins to fund a long-cherished community entrepreneurship project: a network of web-linked Culture Cafés focusing on improving relations between émigré communities & their hosts...
(to be continued...)