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In Search of El Duende

Spring 2022 Letter

Wine is a solace. Wine is a pause. Wine is a vast field under the sun and a soft spot of grass under the shade. Wine is rain on parched land and sunlight after the storm. Wine is a truce and a herald of light that speaks of better places. Wine is the invisible hand that directs the gaze to the other and the sky. Wine is a resting place for the weary and the opening of silence in a continuum on noise. Wine is the underserving gift from nature and the divine that says “all is well.”

Winter 2022 Letter

This compilation of letters have come to be my favorite corner of our website, which we have titled “In Search of el Duende.” The title is, of course, a nod to Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, who worked, perhaps more than anyone, to communicate the meaning of duende, a term that has...

Fall 2021 Letter

The table is one of the most familiar and intimate objects of our life. But familiarity often hides meaning, as we don’t really ask questions about familiar things in the way that we ask questions about strange ones. We are used to them and therefore we don’t wonder what they...

Summer 2021 Letter

“Vamos de vermuteo,” (let’s go vermouthing) is one of the sweetest things one can hear another say after a long day of work, or on warm Saturday night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The good people of Southern Europe, but especially Madrid and Barcelona, have turned this sun-soaked activity into...

Spring 2021 Letter

To say something is “drinkable” often sounds as if one is saying that it is barely palatable. Instead, winemakers and critics often favor adjectives like nuanced, complex, subtle, sublime, layered, deep, unique, etc. And there is nothing inherently wrong with these adjectives. The problem is that they oftenreflect a preference for...

Winter 2021 Letter

It is said that when travelers arrived to visit the great philosopher Heraclitus in his home, they were astounded at finding him sitting in his kitchen. They stood on the doorway, perplexed at seeing him in such a humble place. But he invited them in saying, “here too the gods are...

Fall 2020 Letter

Beauty always persists. And despite the chaos, we can never forget Leonard Cohen’s reminder that “Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows.” In fact, it is the darkest darkness that makes light shine ever brighter. This is why the simple things, from a passing interaction with another to a morning view...

Summer 2020 Letter

Citizenship, Wendell Berry wrote in 1968, “requires devotion and dedication, and a certain inescapable bewilderment and suffering… But it begins at home.” For him, this meant, quite literally, the care of one’s home and family, one’s relationship to nature and community. Polarization is, in fact, the result of a perversion...

Spring 2020 Letter

The past few weeks have been a cacophony of emotions. From uncertainty and fear to comradery and hope, we have been forced—as a town, as a state, as a country, and as a world—to reevaluate our most fundamental assumptions about the edifice that we have built and to adjust to...

Winter 2020 Letter

Wine reminds us that we are more than what our time would have us think. Wine reminds us of what lies beyond social and political pressures. Wine is not “fancy.” It is not the result of high culture. But it produces culture, in the most fundamental way. It binds people...

Fall 2019 Letter

A house doesn’t completely become a home until its doors are open to its community. This is the most significant moment in the life of a home, because it is its true culmination. It is the moment in which its inhabitants don’t just live in it, but bring it to...

Summer 2019 Letter

It is said that ancient inhabitants of the Roman province of Hispania were known for their uncanny mispronunciation of the word vivere (to live) as bibere (to drink). This is why Julius Caesar used to say “Beati hispani quibus vivere est bibere” (Lucky the ‘Hispanians’, for whom living is drinking)....