Thinking out loud over here

I’ll start by saying this… 2020 has been wild and is shaping up to get even more sideways. Being a parent in a COVID world is nuts but throw in your revenue stream being bars and restaurants and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a mental breakdown. We’re fine. I’m fine. Staying positive gets harder everyday but we’ll make it through.

The beverage industry is in a really odd spot. You’ve got imported spirits and wines stuck on boats waiting to be checked in at borders, outages, and shortages. More so than normal and not just because some spirit category is hot right now. But amazingly, new trends are developing everywhere with bartenders, mixologist, and restauranteurs getting extremely creative with to go cocktail programs. Not to mention all the spirit companies jumping in with ready to drink cocktails in cans. The creativity of this industry is really flourishing under unprecedented times. And there’s another thing happening.

Seeing an industry band together to lift each other up is epic. Companies are donating to out of work hospitality works which gives me hope. I’ve see restaurants offering family meal to furloughed servers and bartenders a couple of times a week. I’ve seen local companies donate money to funds specifically for said workers in our local communities.

With that, I’ll say this… the bartenders and servers that are out there working right now are risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones to provide service to their customers. A lot of them have to because that’s just the way it is. They have to work. They rely on tips to make a living. That being said, people should respect that. Respect that sacrifice. Wear a damn mask and comply with the ordinances that are imposed on the business to safely operate. It’s our new normal as my wife tells me all the time. I wish I had all the money to tip every server and bartender just for clocking in but I don’t. As Glassjaw titled one of my favorite tracks from the Worship and Tribute record, “Tip Your Bartender.” ….and wear a mask.


2013 Can Blau Red Blend, Montsant, Spain


 Something I’ve come to understand in the wine business is that people have their go-to’s and certain wines from certain areas that they are willing to try out. Personally? I have no barriers when it comes to wine. Most of the time when I try new things I like, it’s because I wasn’t shopping for a Paso Robles red or a French white. All I had in my mind was the flavor and style I was craving at the time. 

Being that wine drinker that rarely buys the same wine twice, I’m exposed to so much. As Anthony Bourdain has said a million time “Explore, explore” and “Be open to happy accidents.” That mindset has found me some beautiful juice I would have never thought twice about. And that’s how I got to love Spanish wines. One of the best and best bang for your buck is Can Blau.

The 2013 Can Blau is part of the Juan Gil Winery(gangster Spanish makers) and is 40% Cariñena, 40% Syrah and 20% Garnacha. Cariñena is basically Mazuelo(a distant cousin to Carignan) which a widely planted grape in Spain and is used for it’s deep color as well as it’s acidity and tannins to help balance blends.

With 12 months in French oak, a mere 7 more months than its younger counter part Blau, it hits like a velvet hammer. Rich red and blue fruit explode the minute you uncork the bottle. Vanilla and incense from the oak will start wafting around your glass as you taste every flavor you smelled with pristine balance of fruit, acidity and dryness. 

Grab a bottle of this if your into Sonoma Cabs, Paso Robles or Washington red blends under $20. Throw a steak on the grill with this or drink it because you want to dammit.