Besides the me, me, me, of all of this I came away touched by those out there who love books and paper. On Monday I traveled to Healdsburg for the reading sponsored by Copperfield's. I was doing my thing at the local library, Bo Simmons the librarian, gave me a brief tour of the wine books. Now, that's a place I could see losing several weeks over to blissful research. He pulled out a few 15c books written in Latin. The pages were in perfect condition. �Parchment,� he said, �the real stuff holds up forever. He then pulled out a new book, modern, crappy paper, yellowed long before his time with disdain. When I told him of my interest in fermentation, he showed me a book from the late 1880�s written by Pasteur. The illustrations of saccharomyces cerevisiae were like etchings. I had never seen yeasts illustrated so tenderly. I went in to the room, which made me remember the painful days of high school, assembly and all of that. A few locals looking for thrills were waiting. The story my friend, Jeff Garigliano told me flashed through my eyes. His novel, is a fine one, Dogface, (story of a boy's experience in a hucksters bootcamp for difficult children--includes loving a tough-minded vegan girl and a lot of pain with great flashes of humor). In February, Jeff showed up to a reading. There was one lone person waiting for him. At another reading the publicist had forgotten to get the books there on time. Maybe, I thought, this would be a like-disaster. But by the time I got started 20 or so had gathered. Not bad. Not bad. The only thing is that I couldn�t get the feel of who they were, except for one, Patrick & Genevieve Llerena of Iridesse wines whom I met in Oregon. Friendly faces made me happy. The best part was the Q&A. It was then I realized that most of the attendees were either winemakers or growers. I was expecting more reactions like the Napa sneer. I got a little of it from Josh (pinotblogger) asked me if I regretted writing the op ed piece in the LA Times. Answer: Hell no. I got your attention with it, didn�t I? It got people talking, didn�t it? But that answer didn't seem good enough. Somehow cracking open a dialogue was just a bad thing. Not in my training. In Yeshiva raising the question was just as important as having the answer, even more important. And then I was accused of shameless marketing. How, I wondered. By reading from my book and taking Q&A? Am I a brand? (according to Josh, it seems that I am.) Am I accused of wanting people know about my book and read it. True. Guilty as charged. It occurred to me there are those like Josh who only want one answer from me; I deeply regret writing my piece. Which I don�t. They seem to want me to say my piece was nothing except crass marketing instead of my unlady-likeopinion. No John Proctor, I just can�t make false confessions. Now, I don't want to play the sex card, but is it avoidable? if I were a man, would some vent this level of hostility towards me? The question must be asked. I am coming to think, no. There are far fewer rules of decorum for outspoken men then women. Villains are needed just as much as heroes. I really never thought I'd be either but here I am, wearing both hats. Some eager to make me whipping girl don't seem to notice that I mention winemakers I do like, and I say that just not too long ago, California made more honest wines I really did enjoy. But, people like war. Oddly enough, I really do like peace. Anyway, it's all a little silly. I like a good argument but it would be great if more people were into argument and debate and ideas instead of, extracting confessions. Genevieve of Iridesse bemoaned that when she makes a wine more suited to her own palate it is difficult to sell. This is a problem. This is a problem that I would like to help solve. This is something I really can help with. I just need to raise the $ because I have the venue. Off to stage left, a tall, lanky man with thoughtful oval glasses and a slightly mirthful smile wondered if the modern taste for sweet wine was linked to love of soda. Even more interesting was to hear him, a California winemaker wonder in front of his peers�without getting lynched---that whether or not California had any terroir to express, has yet to be determined. �Better you say it than me,� I thought. I was touched by his bravery. One woman, who I thought was against me at first turned out to be for me. She talked about her father's wine. Some years it�s transcendent and others less so, but because of her feelings about her father it is always her favorite wine. She talked with such passion, I wanted to know more about her, but she didn�t stay. I did love the story, and now I too want to taste the wine her father makes. At the book signing there was a weathered looking man who earned his weathering by working as a winemaker at Gallo. He had me sign his book. I didn't know what to write. Here's to the wine revolution? As I was signing he said, �You know, the Gallo�s really care about the environment.� Patrick and I were going in search for a nibble and wine post event. We were joined by the lanky man with the kind face, opinions and oval glasses. Monday night presents challenges in that town. Everything locked up. We went to Cyrus. Sat at the bar. Ordered their last bottle of 1999 Leroy Bourgogne. Gorgeous. Made me very happy. Leaving the restaurant at 1am, Jupiter was chasing the moon into the solstice. In the morning, Flying Goat coffee, bumped into a cheery looking Wells Guthrie of Copain. I hear the wines lately are great as Wells pulled back on concentration for elegance, took more risks and supposedly went back to the kind of wine he set out to make in the first place. Can't wait to taste.