Mr. Roth in his Letting Go era. In February, on the outskirts of Barcelona, as I foraged into the Penedes and Priorat the scotch broom was fluorescent and the almond trees uncommonly early in flower and the ros cava uncommonly drinkable. And it was a good thing too! Most of the wines, white or red in the still category were fairly undrinkable. I never thought I would say, thank God for cava because I never could tolerate them or the sulfur headaches the next days. However..... Agusti Torello Mata Brut Rosat from the Trepat grape. Though my notes on it were predictably poor, I was too busy drinking; I remember it as being quite dry with hints of raspberry, refreshing and great to wash away the mega Priorat wine's density. Next up for best was the Bodegas Naveran Rose Brut Cava. This was a 2004, very onion skin in color, happily austere. I was going to go on to tell you that the best red I had, greedily guzzled after a trip to wine challenged gorgeous mountainous (if ravaged by the rich wanting to plant grapes) was a 1999 Todonia at the tapas place reliant on canned goods, Quimet Quimet, after being scammed by a taxi driver yet still made it to the place and the wine before closing time for lunch... but I was distracted by yet another event I wasn't invited to. No, it wasn't yet another barolo extravaganza but the celebration of Philip Roth at Columbia. The New York Times had a bit of a write up end graph struck me:. +++Between the discussions, a recording of an interview with Mr. Roth played, in which he remembered being concerned about how his parents would react to the bitter controversy that he knew was going to envelop “Portnoy’s Complaint.” “I felt I had to prepare them,” he said. So he met with them at a restaurant, where he told them that it “appears it’s going to cause a sensation,” and that they would be besieged by journalists. Only after his mother’s death did his father reveal that after leaving the restaurant, his mother burst into tears and said, “He has delusions of grandeur.” Only after his mother’s death did his father reveal that after leaving the restaurant, his mother burst into tears and said, “He has delusions of grandeur.” +++ I realize that Mr. Roth, one of my literary Gods, the go-to writer when I need to remind myself (often) that I need to write has been sorely neglected as a topic in these pages. Not only do we now have the same publisher (because Houghton Mifflin bough Harcourt we are under the same roof, a thought which thrills me.) but our mother's seemed to have read the same Jewish Mother phrase book.