(picture courtesy of Amy Lillard) Terroir Natural Wine Merchant 1116 Folsom Street (at 7th) San Francisco, CA 94103 Iím used to some of the rough and tumble wine bars in Paris, and this was familiar. I never met this Alder of Vinography but his sharp, snarky review made me realize why I feel so alienated on this planet. But if his review keeps the wrong people away from this gem, terrific. Gosh, I loved that place. Its comfort strips away some of the alienation. The feel for me,was familiar like the mossy green leather shoes I bought in the Florence's main piazza eight years ago that I should have bought five of. The kind of old shoes an old beau used to threaten to pitch out the window, comfortable and special, the kind of shoes that are the most form and function you could possibly stick your toes into. They have a certain charge of electricity about them. A buzz. Those kind of old shoes, the ones that strike the harmonic seventh. I digress. Unlike the other events, Terroir turned into a book party. Hi, Iím Alice Feiring. So, last night I was at Book Passage at the Ferry Building and I was reading the part of the book about starting off with Manishewitz when I was in diapers but by the time my father left for the neighborís wife I was drinking Mateus? Pretty accessible. No one laughs. In fact they look as if theyíre at a funeral. Except one lovely woman in the back who I later met--Ceri Smith of the wine boutique, Biondivino Who owns a great Italian wine shop in town? But everyone else is taking poison. So after three minutes and I still couldnít get them to laugh I stopped and said, ďHey, just trying to get the feel about whatís going on. Did you guys happen to see the LA Times editorial when I said I canít drink Californian wine? No answer. Because if thatís the problem, we can talk about it. No laughter. Some guy with a good spray of hoary eyebrow told me to shut up and read. And after he wanted Burgundy recommendations. He three books, so we love him. Right? At Terroir, though they got it. They got me. They laughed. This is why people become actors. I get it. They reacted. They had questions. There was dialogue. A woman with searing blue eyes sat at the bar, who was there because she perceived me as a strong woman doing strong things and that she wanted to support me. She likes no sulfur wines. Sheís a pagan and likes no sulfur wines. Interesting. She knew about Morris Dancing. A miracle. Now those growers from Sonoma. Why did they drive down Highway 101? Good question. Turns out they were curious. Curious. Curious is good. Curious about what? I heard that some people expected me to be quite the assertive kerala melon kind of woman and was surprised that turned out to be, me. Short. For once in my life I was glad to be a shrimp. I was curious too. I was extremely intrigued to hear that one farmer was ripping out his Sauvignon Blanc and grafting on a mess of Rhone varietals. The thought stunned me. Iím sure that was a great idea but why sauvignon blanc in the first place. In the old world would anyone who grew grenache decide to plant sauvignon? Who could possibly think that those two grapes with very different needs at different speeds could share the plot of earth? Thereís a New World belief that it matters not where they lay down their roots. Mobile society? Sure but mobile roots? No. Place matters, even if as was raised in Healdsburg, that whether or not terroir in California is debatable. I lived in Boston for ten years. Not far from Harvard Square. After six years I was desperate to get out. It took four years to find the door back to New York City. One of the reasons Cambridte became so was the influx of youth that always needed to reinvent the same idea. Time changed but they didn't. They were forever repeating the same four years but wore different clothing. Youth needs to assert independence and often negates the wisdom that came before it. I needed to the same thing. But even looking back, I canít say that my parents had any wisdom for me. I wanted those parents and I guess it was a good thing I didn't have them because I'd have never had any material to write about. On the other hand, maybe that would have been an interesting way to live a life, without being a slave to expression. I am writing the kind of post I like the least. Iím getting on the horse, on the soapbox, rambling and ambling because Iím getting anxious about not having written, so it goes with the blog. Sometimes you're on, sometimes you're off. On Thursday night I'm on a panel at Bryant Park. Secrets of Publishing. I promise to reveal all. Check previous post for the details.