Space and Grapes!!

Space and Grapes

As humans we are always searching!!

The wine and movie pairing for this weekend is Satellite Sauvignon Blanc with Apollo 13.

This delicious Sauvignon Blanc comes from a producer named Spy Valley in New Zealand. They consider themselves to be a bit of a clandestine (secret) operation. The spy base down the road is perhaps what makes the valley of their location so bewitching.

And what’s more bewitching than the dark abyss that is Outer Space?  I’d say (for good reason) that NASA can be a bit secretive from time to time. And there quite possibly could be some spy stuff going on out there as well.

Apollo 13 passing the dark side of the moon marked the farthest humans had every ventured away from the soils of our planet. A monumental moment in our history of discovery.

Human beings’ thirst for discovery is truly one of our best qualities. Some choose to dig into the Earth with their bare hands in their search while others blast off from it into Space! We need both types.

Spy Valley wineries focus is on sustainability and the nurturing of soil and vine to preserve it for future generations. Whether those future generations want to explore our world’s  beauty by sticking their hands into the earth or by blasting-off from it into Outer Space , it’s our job to make sure they have those options.

So let’s continue to explore soil and space, but do it in a way that keeps our wondrous planet around for future astronauts, winemakers, filmmakers, and everyone in between to do the same.

Unaware and Enlightened

“The hours fly. The sculptress and the tree-climbing tyke both look up blinking when Mom calls, ‘Suppertime!'” –Steven Pressfield, The War of Art.

My sculpture or tree to climb was my first screenplay, Blue Monk.  Now it’s this endeavor!

What the tyke and the sculptress have in common is unaware enlightenment. So lost in that tree or work of art that they are totally oblivious to anything else… even supper.

That lady yelling “Suppertime’ is now my fiancée. But I’m lucky; she actually waits for me to finish, and quite patiently at that… THANK YOU, KENNY!

Now we aren’t all lucky enough to be a sculptress for a living. Nor can we be tree-climbing tykes forever, at least not literally..

But I bet there is something we all do that makes us feel enlightened enough to become totally oblivious. As if we are climbing the tallest tree that God has sculpted for us.

For me, you’re looking at it!!


THANK YOU for hanging with me in my TREE!

P.S. This is one of many great quotes from The War of Art. Artists (or anyone) needs to read this book.

Seize the Cab!!

This weekend’s paring is Liberty School Cabernet with Dead Poets Society.

Much like Welton Preparatory Academy depicted in this film, Liberty School wines in Paso Robles have a long history of honest work and tradition.

By no means, however, would I describe Welton Prep as a “Liberty School”. Quite the opposite! In this film, it’s a place where young men are sent by their doctor, lawyer, and banker fathers to become their carbon copies…

That’s until Prof. Keating arrives and teaches the boys what free-thinking and LIBERTY are all about! And he does so with great gusto!!

The winemakers at Liberty School are a couple of childhood buddies that bonded after a series of outrageous adventures. Inspired by their teacher, I’d say the Dead Poets vowed friendship in a very similar way.

Liberty School comes from Hope Family Wine, a name that reflects the unquestioned theme of this classic. Even at an academic factory, pumping out it’s boxed-in future Ivy leaguers, someone like Keating can bring them Freedom and Hope.

This wine is intended to elevate the everyday, which prompts me to cite the most monumental quote in this most quotable of movies…….


Greatest Hits – Seth Godin

Is Popular Important?

Greatest hits are exhausting – Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a very popular and insightful philosopher / marketer, and he is often a very profound one as well.

I’ve enjoyed his work for years and this one particular blog struck me the other day. It just might better describe the motivation within RitA than anything we could write ourselves:

“If all you consume is the most-read list, if all you listen to are the hits, if all you eat is the most popular item on the menu—you’re missing out.

The web has pushed us to read what everyone else is reading, the hit of the day. But popular isn’t the same as important. Popular isn’t the same as profound. Popular isn’t even the same as useful.

To make something popular, the creator leaves out the hard parts and amps up the crowd-pleasing riffs. To make something popular, the creator knows that she’s dumbing things down in exchange for attention.

The songs you love the most, the soundtrack of your life–almost none of them were #1 on the Billboard charts. And the same goes for the books that changed the way you see the world or the lessons that have transformed your life.

Popularity doesn’t mean ‘best’. It merely means popular.”

So, the core message for RitA is: Can our goal be “profound” and not an over-concern for “popular”? It is our  hope that this can and will be true.

Can You Receive Life?

Can You Receive Life?

Can you (or I) receive life? 

It’s an honest question that I ask myself. It was a question that had an easy answer: “Of course I can!”

These days this question is met with another question: “What does that mean? Are you an alt-right, pro-life agendist?!”  or “Are you a leftist, tree-hugging, climate change type?”

I would rather get back to the first question for a moment, way back to the original word “life”, which in Latin and all Romantic languages is “vita”. This is also the root of vital, vitality, vigor.

Can you or I receive life? In a time that every bit of news we seem to get is about death or strife, this is not as easy as it seems. It makes me recall these words attributed to Christ: “I came that you might have life and have it abundantly.”

Where is this abundant life, and is it there for our taking, or might we be better off receiving it? I think all people of all faiths or beliefs might agree to begin to share AND receive life. It’s a simple thought, really.

On this day of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit and also the Jewish day of Shavuot, the feast of weeks and the ancient grain festival, there is a celebration of creation, redemption and “life”. 

If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth   -Psalm 104

May this be our daily focus, to receive life and make new life possible.

If you’d like to hear and see one insight on renewing the face of the earth, click here. And while listening, turn to these amazing pictures of Iceland, taken by Pamela Metivier! If you are unfortunately not a Facebook friend of Pam’s, please try here.



A Pinot Grigio to Desire!

A Streetcar Named Desire

One of the most memorable names to be belted out in cinematic history…. “STELLA!!”

This week’s film and wine pairing is Stella Pinot Grigio with A Streetcar Named Desire.

To be honest, I’d never seen Tennessee Williams’ play turned motion picture. But that’s the terrific thing that this post does for me. It gives me a reason to watch classics like this. And when I saw a bottle of wine called “Stella”, well I had my reason.

Luckily for me, there were more links…

Marlon Brando is said to have brought realism to film. He actually studied his craft under the tutelage of the great acting teacher, Stella Adler.

In this picture he depicts an angry, everyday factory husband who is all too REAL. I guess he was like the Pinot Grigio grape in a way, a hard-working and mass-producing factory worker.

Isn’t that where some of the  greatest stories come from though, everyday hard-working life??

The Stella winery’s goal is to take you on a tour of Italy on a Vespa and live like a local.  I guarantee on a tour of Italy you will find many hard-working folks that get the job done in a beautiful way, like this Pinot does.

Brando’s character, Stanley, isn’t exactly a gentleman. He’s a bad grape that truly just needs to be tossed.

But there is beauty in everyday life and it takes someone like Tennessee Williams and a wine like this to help us realize it.

So let’s do that from time to time, stop everyday and realize the beauty….