Thank you, God.
I didn't expect you to get involved in the hangtime, concentrated-wine debate. You have so much else on your plate, including your unexpected intervention in the National League Championship Series, for which I am extremely grateful.
But I forgot you were both omnipotent and omniscient. Which means I don't really need to finish this post. But I'll spell it out for the humans who have made me one of the world's 10-most-read wine bloggers (thanks for that too, God, as it is another of your mysteries).
The 2010 northern California vintage might be the most compelling of the century so far, but only for vintners who picked their grapes before last weekend. They benefited from your long, cool summer, as their grapes had months to develop flavors without building up the huge amounts of sugar that lead to high alcohol. I simply cannot wait to start tasting these wines.
But not everybody recognized your grace. Some worshiped the false idol of super-ripeness.
On Saturday, you sent them a warning, with a little less than an inch of rain. Then on Sunday you poured nearly 6 inches of rain on Mt. St. Helena. It wasn't exactly Noah's worst storm in the rest of our Wine Country, but it might have been one of his lesser 40 days.
Winemakers who were waiting to harvest, hoping to make inky, concentrated fruit bombs, are today wondering what to do. If they harvest now, their wine might be surprisingly decent; the water absorbed by the grapes might cut their concentration enough to produce food friendliness. They might not get 98 points, but they'll be able to enjoy these wines at the dinner table with your other gifts of beast and fowl and root. It's almost like a miracle your son performed.
Or they can wait another fortnight, into November, to see if they can make a Dark Monolith Wine. But you have their attention, and they know you might again express your displeasure with this style.
God, you are tremendous. You created vitis vinifera grapevines and you didn't intend its fruit to be left out in the fields in the last week of October, with nets and fences to prevent your other creatures (birds, deer) from harvesting it when it's ready.
You created the annual cycle of generation and rest in these vines that arguably reaches perfection in northern California, where you bless us with dry summers and all the water we need in winter. You have planned a schedule that works, and all we have to do is have faith in it.
I never really thought about whether or not you actually drink wine, which is one of your greatest gifts to us. I know many believe that you do, which is why they offer it to you as a blessing.
After last weekend, I agree with them. I think you do drink wine, and you prefer balance and elegance.
Having already received so many blessings from you, I am loath to ask for too much. But I would be grateful if you would speak to the hearts of the winemakers who left their fruit out too long, and to the tiny number of influential critics who pushed them into it. Nothing dramatic like a plague on my account, please! However, I will not presume to know your methods. Sometimes a grand slam is needed, but other times only a sacrifice fly. Speak to them, and show them how they might show respect for your gift of grapevines by making the type of wine you intended.
Thanks again, God. You have spoken, and the wise will listen. Amen.