This is why wine blogging is so cool…

From the “it’s Friday” department (more on Sir Robert’s blogging to come next week)…

Above: Friend John Rikkers brought me and Tracie B this bottle of 1996 Fleury to celebrate our engagement. He knew that I liked it so much because he had read my post on drinking it with BrooklynGuy, who had turned me on to this killer wine. We opened it last month at Jaynes.

Today is a special day. Money is tight, times are tough, and I’m struggling, just like a lot of friends of mine in the food and wine biz. But today is a special day. I woke up today and was reminded of all the good things and goodness I have to be thankful for.

Thinking about the events of the summer, I remembered that a friend I made through blogging brought me and Tracie B a bottle of 1996 Champagne by Fleury to celebrate our engagement when she and I visited San Diego last month. I had first tasted that wine when another friend I made through blogging brought a bottle of it to our first (and only) in-person meeting a year ago last August. (The wine was fantastic both times, btw, toasty and nutty, with white fruit and caramel flavors, a great vintage and a great value from a great producer, a “grower producer” of Champagne, or so I’ve been told; but don’t quote me to the Grower Champagne police!)

Above: Me and Tracie B earlier this year at one of our favorite spots to watch the sunset in Austin. We both have a lot to be thankful for: the love and support of our family and friends and a good, happy, and healthy life here in Texas. And who would have ever dreamed that a beauty like her would fall for a schlub like me? We met through wine blogging, too!

Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. The Jewish calendar follows a lunar cycle and the new year begins at the time of harvest. Just as in the cycle of life, this is a time for new beginnings and starting anew. May your names be inscribed in the tablets of heaven and may your new year taste as sweet as apples and honey.

L’shanah tovah ya’ll!

Check out this really cool story I read this morning with my coffee about a soldier turned cantor on the battlefield in WWII.

Brooklyn Guy in da house at Bahia

Jon and Jayne brought 2006 Sinskey Vin Gris for our dinner with Brooklyn Guy and Brooklyn Lady in La Jolla.

When Brooklyn Guy and Brooklyn Lady sat down with me over ceviche tostadas, camaronillas (deep-fried corn tortillas stuffed with shrimp), grilled mahi mahi and battered and fried pollock tacos the other night at Bahia Don Bravo the other night in Bird Rock (La Jolla), we mused about the fact that even though we’d never met, we feel like we know each other well from reading each other’s blogs and getting to know each other’s palates. As it turns out, Brooklyn Lady is from San Diego and went to high school in La Jolla like me (she at Bishops, me at La Jolla High). I was geeked to meet Brooklyn Guy (the masked man of our bloggy blog world), as were Jon and Jayne, Robin, and my wino buddy John Yelenosky. We’re all fans of his blog and we had gathered a pretty cool collection of wines for the occasion.

The Rully was showing exceedingly well and its lightness was great with the fish tacos.

Highlights were the 2006 Sinskey Vin Gris (brought by Jon and Jayne), a killer 2005 Rully Premier Cru Les Cloux by Jacqueson (Yelenosky), a smoking 2000 Dessilani Ghemme Riserva (my contribution, drank so friggin’ well, if I do say so myself), and not to be outdone, Brooklyn Guy showed up with a bottle of 1996 Fleury, one of his favorite grower champagnes — simply off-the-charts good.

I ventured back into the kitchen and poured Dora a glass of the 96 Fleury.

Brooklyn Guy, Brooklyn Lady, and I actually had a pretty heavy talk about life, relationships, and marriage. He and I had never met in person but he’s been a very generous friend, often sending me notes of encouragement and moral support when he could sense unease in my life through reading my blog. It’s one of the most amazing things about blogging: by sharing our thoughts and palates, we somehow form meaningful bonds, woven (thanks to the dynamic medium) into the human fabric of experience in an entirely new way. You might think that friendships born of blogging would be superficial, but as it turns out those ties often reveal themselves to be more significant than those forged in other spheres of our lives.

It’s a small world after all…

Lifeguards and tattoos, classic beachtown culture at Bahia Don Bravo in sleepy La Jolla. Roberto and Salvador have been really cool about me bringing my own wine to Bahia but we really outdid ourselves this time: I mean, come on, 1996 Fleury at Bahia???!!! Awesome… They both tasted with us, as did Dora.