That's me, this summer in Tain Hermitage. I was roasting in the Rhone, looking upward, wondering just how hot it was going to get in an hour. Or maybe I was thinking about the beautiful blushed apricots that grew all over the region, plump and firm at the same time, utterly sweet with just a dash of luscious tart. I'd come to France to work on several wine stories. The one in the Northern Rhone was about syrah. Later on that day, I would have lunch smack in the vineyard of Hermitage. Later I'd discuss native yeast fermentation with winemakers whom I deeply respected. I'd taste some remarkable older Hermitage and Cornas (which just doesn't get enough respect), get a huge crush on wine maker deity, Thierry Allemand, I'd walk across the river at sunset. I would end up across the street from my dive hotel- until the wee hours of the night with some friends at "George the Greek's" wine store/ wine bar. a makeshift affair set up gutterside. This, a nightly summer soire, with a rotating crew of cronies; winemakers and their wives. George was very accommodating; he kicked off the evening with Jacques Selosse champagne. At 3 in the morning, I crawled across the street and tucked myself in between into the bad sheets. It was too late to read any of the Philip Roth I was rereading. Tomorrow, I said. In the morning, we show up at George’s for breakfast and are forced to drink a bit of the Vin de Paille Jean Louis Chave had given us to give to George. We try it before the espresso. It is nectar with razor edge acidity. All good. George's nephew had secured a whole crate of apricots from one of best winemaker's property. Such sweet hospitality is so touching. Apricots installed in the back of the car, I was headed south, to the giant white stones of Chateauneuf. The cicada cacophony was fierce, I thought there something wrong with my engine. This has become my life. What the hell was I thinking, coming to the Rhone to drink big reds in July. Crazy.