When I sold that first book in '06 I did the normal drill. I made the round of editors, had conversations, had the jitters, obsessed about what to wear and say, and then waited for an offer. Hands folded. Patiently. Not so patiently. The second time was this past February. I was in Corbieres, staying with the Terrier's of Domaine Deux Anes. I checked home messages. Magali makes a leek tart while I'm getting my messages 'Alice, it's Jane. Call me right away.' I was so far away and my thoughts were so in the donkeys and the wines that I was tasting that I just couldn't compute. I couldn't feel. The heart/mind connection was disconnected. Nothing was real. I was not going to spend the next 14 months obsessing about arc and fact. In fact, I felt like I was reenacting my great, great grandmother's scenario. She was seventeen. Her father, an extremely religious man, came home after a day of struggling with talmud and said, "Mazel tov." Great, Great bubby was not happy. I imagine she very firmly, totally in control, with limited emotion, as if she were reading a headline, promised her father if he made her marry 'that man,' she would never speak to him again. She had two kids, Pop included. Divorced in 1890. Went on to find true love with a man not so religious and never spoke to her father again. I just had to tell you that story because, it's not that 'm stretching for some drama, but that the similarity of the situation seemed overbearing; I was a mail order author. An editor/author relationship is, well, a relationship, it is an engagement, an entwinement. But, but, but, who was my editor? We finally met yesterday over lunch @ Gramercy Tavern. I am a lot luckier than my great- grandmother was! Not only did we break bread (and soup and sandwich and fish croquettes) but we toasted over 1) Donati Malvasia, 2008 (Ms. Juliette Pope, the fabulous wine directress serves this by the glass!) 2) Anne & Philippe Bornard Savagnin Les Chassagnes-Ouille, 2006 (Ms. Juliette Pope, the fine wine directress serves this by the glass!) 3) Herve Souhaut syrah, 2007 (by the bottle) It was a leaf day. It had to have been. To me, everything seemed a little off, or perhaps the problem was one of expectation; wanting to wow him with Alice wines. Have you noticed? It's like showing of dog tricks and the damned dog does not roll over. Or howl. They did, however, give their paws. The Donati was resplendent in its malavasia spring, touch of nail polish and great brush of tannin, but it seemed less lively, the Bornard seemed as if had been open for too long, and its acrobatic nature seemed a little stiff. The syrah was perfumed but it didn't dance. Perhaps it was my Sudafed. Was he being polite? Disappointed in my choices? Was my failing confidence showing? After too much wine in the middle of the afternoon, I suggested, 'Come to the Kermit Lynch tasting with me!' He looked at his watch, he was meeting another author of his, who just published Kaboom for a celebratory beer at 4. 'You have plenty of time.' That was all the encouragement he needed. We passed on coffee and zipped over to the packed, energetic tasting. First stop the 2006 Domaine Maumes. A Maume G-V from a fall tasting. First words from his mouth, "Wow." But it was the Maume Mazis-Charmes that really did him in. Oh, and then the 2004 Tempier Classique. By that time I already knew, that this mail order bride lucked out.