Food – Restaurant

How To Handle “Wine” Properly


I was going to take a nap on this long bus ride but did not feel that tired. How is the state of things? I have another blog for keeping my insights on what is going on but sometimes things cross over and this may be one incident. I am getting started again and a lot of things are unclear. I am in a way so glad I have come across so many phony and fake people also known as professionals in my lifetime. Wine field especially. A young field hence so many fakes? I really don’t know. I really don’t care. Nobody does. Nobody takes things seriously enough to think beyond basics. Fake is all there is? And what is wrong with that? These industries besides chain and fast food don’t believe in depth in a timeless manner. A short or long period of time and what it takes to make money during this time are all most in these businesses especially restaurants are interested in. Wine retail is a lot better and as I said the more organized folk like chain and fast food are most interested in depth. Short term operations could care less about what is “really” going on so they can stay in business a decade or multiple decades from now. They like money. They like the lifestyle. They like the pace and then find something else to do. More than a handful also are in it because is a great front for handling dirty money, etc but we pretend they don’t exist. The current industry has a lot of money invested in what they do but also are in development heavily hence very speculative. Napa as heaven of California wine? The damn place is so HOT since previous decades one wonders what is the future? These guys don’t care. Their experiments have done well and everything “looks good” so can sell and move on anytime unlike the more organized folk like those chain people that have reached the frontiers and cannot expand more but can do better by doing a better job and depth means a lot to them. That is the reason why I am not enthusiastic about returning to wine “business.” I am excited about wine and wine as an industry but not wine “business.” A few are legitimate people but the rest are short timers who see things that “look good” for now and are in them. I think that is where my interest will be. Once I finish my reviews and start banging my head against bottles, I like to be where the bottles disappear. They come from places near and far and eventually are used somewhere. That is where I like to be. That is the destination. I find it more interesting to be where wine is tasted and drank than where it is sold as food or luxury to guests. The latter is not about wine and its culture. And I like to spend time bottle by bottle not same bottles over and over again or a line of bottles with no end in sight as the main event. I like to get to know wine even if is 4 oz from a bottle on an individual basis and leave thinking I have pondered as much as I cared over something of value not just passed by it or surveyed it. That sounds best for me. I don’t know about others. Wine means different things to different people. Worship it so can sell it more and at higher costs is the culture of wine “business.” I don’t think so. 13 Jan 2014 6:19 pm Hayward, California

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January 1st 2014


I am going to concentrate on a backward approach. Wine Advice (that means the person who advised me and talks to others who discuss blah blah) says I write plenty to get back in. They do have a valid point. I learned about wine through specific wine bottles then ended up in studies which are hard and general in nature. The next step is same again and I need to make friends with many wine bottles to cover the whole spectrum. That is a difficult approach but necessary and what is meant by wine writing first. Wine experts are now identified differently. As one progresses through this field one comes across many. They all speak the same language and more or less same things but careful systems make us deal with them properly. It is like living in a community. We come across many people and all of them pass as “people” but we know by cultural learning who is who and what is what. We avoid. We approach and so on. Culture teaches us how to choose. Wine people are similar. Everyone talks of wine and has their angle on wine. Most need to be banned from discussing wine. Culture teaches us that. Dealing with them leads to losses. Many sell wine. Many write on wine. Most drink or serve wine. They need care in handling. Their angles on wine and industry are very incomplete if not destructive. Avoiding them is the rule. A few and a very few of those few know what they talk about. They naturally avoid you and all the rest. That is not a bad thing. The time has come once again to go through the field and one comes across so many “people” who are known collectively as “wine people” and most have this introductory line of “I have been in wine business for X number of years and….” and “I have been in restaurant business for X number of years and ….” These are the people to avoid the most. They think they are authorities. They have the worst and most biased and possibly most erroneous ideas of the field and don’t you dare have an alternate view as they told X number of years right in their opinions. We need avoid them. And personally, I have to deal with another group in my quest. The so-called knowledge people who have some education or a lot, have some name or drag a celebrity of the field as being part in their work and are equally a problem. The higher folks have a good name for them. They are called “professional wine drinkers.” These folks have had enough background to be in the field at a higher than casual or tenure point and cannot be pushed off their step but their primary knowledge and ability lies in “drinking” a lot of wines and throwing labels, names, vintages, tastes and stories out at audience as their “knowledge” you cannot argue with unless you also drink their same and then can battle them. It sounds like there are not many left in the field. I guess that is why most “wine people” fit the nickname “doushbags” so aptly. We don’t have an industry in spite of what we are told. I have told people and I have been told by higher folks what the hell I am talking about. Experience will prove they are right. Food, wine, liquor, hospitality and the rest at least on the West Coast are just businesses. They market themselves and persons as many things but all in all are just that. They don’t have a deeper foundation of common principles and organization making them an industry. That means some level of regulation which fights easy dollars and let’s face it at least the restaurant part of this great “industry” (don’t forget great! That is a needed adjective in wine and food writing or upset some) many illegal activities are housed inside “restaurant biz” fronts and the existence of an industry structure would create serious conflicts with their “business” activities hence we promote “industry” but lack one. That is still the state of a lot of things on the West Coast. Who cares? We do so we avoid them. We need to look for and spend time with “good” parts of the food, wine, liquor and hospitality industry. That does not mean promoting them blindly but there are many “good” and “notable” things out there. The bads outnumber the “goods” by too many hence waste of time unless we are criminologists. The future needs more of “good” of this whatever we call “the industry.” Let’s stick to that in our path of visits, exploration and findings. 1 Jan 2013 12:05 pm San Leandro, California

Resurrected Finally…..


It is 2014 and Wine by Cush is definitely resurrected. It was not dead but was returned from being under lock and key of passworded blogs that get filed just in case. The trouble that followed was how hard it is for one to write stuff and post while on the move most of the time. Months passed until I tried one day and what do you know Windows Mobile WordPress App does allow multiple log ins. That was a victory for wine writing right there! A non-diluted app unlike Android and think iOS (was so long ago) enabled me to dump content in here as I pleased. I regret my most recent posts express the lack of appreciation by professional writers or artists in general with editors or censors in general. They are not the enemy but get on your nerves hence if somebody shoots one of them, it may be much less of a loss than generally believed. That is a joke and I am glad we are all on good terms. I shall have editors and am sure in exchange for not paying my editor or editors they will run a tight and rigid blog that will be hard to breath in for any non-paying and rebellious writer. The result may be good. Content that has value but lacks deliberate typos and insistence on insulting the reader. That is the state of this blog. Editor or not, it will keep publishing and publishing in 2014 or as long as Windows Mobile shall live on. I will be very busy but between here and my My Week in Wine blog I shall do my damage and will be praised as done contributing to the industry! This is a tough year. I have to blog write on wine which requires physical events. That means I have to be places which is not my favorite thing to do. Writing is the less troublesome part. I have a full proof system to avoid a few things not appreciated hence making the prediction “You will make many enemies this year” not come true. I don’t have bad things to say or I mix them up real good with other stuff and good luck getting me on them. I deny I did it and you get it. I shall mark good not bad. Too many bads out there and San Francisco Chronicle writers will whitewash them or be on the run for pointing them out. Independent writers need not worry about anything but good. I read 13% into a generic wine book and feel like vomiting already. I cannot read any more. This happens everytime and the trouble is I know these contents so well I want to cry and say SO WHAT? I know all this shit and why do I have to hear it again and again. Wine writing seems to be stuck in a foundation loop majority can never rise above. Same stupid questions and same stupid answers and they call it wine writing. I cannot do that. I have a huge load of writing ahead and after hearing the command to blah blah write first blah blah kick everyones ass blah blah then wine business again I felt like I am in graduate school. Comprehensive and fair writing to cover enough of an industry to actually matter is a lot of activity and writing. One cannot get anything valuable out of incidental writing done to record events and experiences in time and space unless rarely or if a huge quantity is made available. I am called to do that. So be it. I am confused and lost and can care less. That is 2014 for now. I rip anything wine related apart limb by limb and detail the events in writing making the folks at top of wine education field very happy while a new format of writing will shield me from accusation that I have said bad things about somebody or somebody’s wine! Uncle Cush does not do that. We tried to return to wine business and sort of worked out. Wine industry cares little for another employee even us. They have business standards. Wine power folk are not that easy. I have been gone for a while when they had to hold fort against doushbags that roam and rob and destroy as industry folk. They demand I match their workload likewise before we are all on good terms and everyone say them, them and oh there is that asshole Cush again and he is one of them for sure. I shall write again. Everyone better be nice to me or my editor may be in danger. You just behave out there so nothing bad happens. 1 January 2013 11:34 am San Leandro, California

Tuesday the 31st


Happy New Year! I should call my readers idiots or morons as I do in my other blogs but I am a professional wine person so I CAN be polite. Just don’t forget the CAN part. It can change. I am upset. Everything is fine but I am getting pushed. My ostracized art adviser says I should begin by Googling finding an editor. I did. It was too easy. As Monk put it in Barton Fink restaurant scene all Fink had to do was throw a rock in the room and would hit another writer to help him with his problem. Apparently editors are in large supply and I even found out why! Half upfront and half after? Are they talking about money? I can get any question I have answered by the top of the top people in any industry locally and turn around and insult them in writing the next day AND they still insist to answer future questions! Pay? Uncle Cush does not like that! In better or worse feedback I am told to find a school teacher to correct my typos and grammar before posting AND they tell me the life of the teacher is not in danger regardless what I write about wine business. “Who would target a school teacher for correcting my grammar?” I get a lot of help. I ask Department of State to find me an editor and if gets hit will be remembered as lost in action while serving the country! They really like to help. I will find a brave soul to edit my wine blog and threats are real hence editorial help is a must. Some of us have all kinds of protection but is not fair to the injured party to have such a hard time getting back for their loss so editorial help is recruited. They fear nothing. Humble writers eat and drink and write obscene criticisms. That is not a balanced equation. When the editor goes down it becomes fair and square. I am just kidding but I am famous. I need a strong editor who can handle a famous person. 31 Dec 2013 5:09 pm Hayward, California

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Monday the 30th


I miss working in restaurants. About midnight tomorrow there would be a riot. Fireworks as part of work is another thing. I am glad I am Unavailable. New Year’s Eve expenditure? Zero! It is good to be Unavailable. I am officially too busy to care about life on this planet. I am back in wine business. What bothers me is everyone praising this field of wine and pumping me up how good I am too AND knocking the electronics and wireless field in being no good and not having a future. That is new and won’t stop. I believe in the idea of being in multiple fields and always thought high tech was good! I guess I agree I was in retail not high tech. That is another story but we are doing same old stuff again AND I get a lot of notices now when I am to do what! My business adviser will notify me of my decision regarding wireless on Tuesday! He has been saying for a few days. And I was to wait a week before wine advice will follow on my next big step! Apparently I am where I am to be and don’t have to wait. Before I continue with anything else in wine I ought to do as much wine writing as possible. I got confused over the talk about kicking everyone’s ass by writing about wine, etc. I think I get it now. I forgot we are in the realm of Master Sommeliers now AND we are back on the old topic that the industry does not need legions of new Master Sommeliers manufactured annually so restaurants and hotels look good. The top echelon like to be the keepers of standards for industry NOT issuers of certificates including Master Sommelier papers. That is where kicking ass part is from. Majority of people in this shady but very glamorous industry know shit about the industry. Their asses can be kicked if they come across the wrong person from the industry whom knows what he or she is doing. That is my destiny in wine business before I am in wine business again? I don’t know and I hate the part that we listen to what we are told by only a handful of people. I can do. The only problem is how? I am a nice guy now. I should have a PR person and an editor to fix my typos and deliberate abuses of language so I can be a legitimate writer not a destroyer of language on purpose! That I can find but having two mediums as my old Wine by Cush blog for informal stuff and a decent business blog is so difficult as I was told by third party. The wine advice was to please write all in Wine by Cush blog because wine people like that. I don’t mind and will probably serve right than having an honest blog and a censored one! The only problem is I have said a lot of bad things about a lot of people in that blog and some people read the past stuff and will get mad! I think the solution is to find some fool editor who thinks editing the Wine by Cush is a legitimate literary activity. I just forward all the hate emails for the blog to him or her. “It is for you!” That way we should have no trouble authoring wine stuff and kicking ass while any hostility coming our way we direct to the editor person who is a professional journalistic person. They get trained to handle this stuff like cops do crime. Gotta give editors credit for jobs none of us can do! If that becomes reality I can even do the better advice I was given which is to travel! I was told why just scare San Francisco businesses? I agree. As the cliche goes I can do more damage that way except Unavailable folks have travel limitations. We have begun. How far and where we go is in the works. 30 Dec 2013 5:52 pm Fruitvale, California

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All In Good Time (Short Piece)


It is Saturday morning and weather is nice. I tried playing tennis. It was half successful. I have found good location and realized I need tennis shoes. It is a minor problem and we are in business. The exercise part works. I noticed my arms have gotten bigger which is just water inflating the muscles. Nevertheless we are getting there. I just renewed subscription to a restaurant magazine and then flipping through the photos I remembered something. I have been around to feel I know everyone of them. Not personally but as scumbags they are! That is when one remembers what some who work in the industry have said about THEM and how more and more seek professional refuge in Wine Country jobs or even East Bay. San Francisco sucks. The SF ATTITUDE is so bad, the whole City goes under water a lot of people who have worked there wouldn’t care. A few weeks ago I hear the talk that as soon as the upheaval begins here, some locals want to hang this oldtime restaurateur and his wife from the poles in their restaurant as payback. Old people cross generations and once it was customary when workers complained, they would soon be found hung from the poles and the cops would take the body and bury. People still don’t have rights in this country. That was the era of mighty white of you and today is keep America safe era. It is the same shit. What really stayed with me after looking at the photos of all the phonies posing to sell something direct or indirect was I got it! I know why some hold so dearly to my error-laden blog posts with all the typos and insults. They are such a breath of fresh air compared to a culture dominated by these motherfuckers. Oh well. The future has arrived and many would have to make changes. Some won’t be allowed. They just would have to go. Go where? Ha. Ha. Ha. We will build quite a few monuments by the City waters with names of once local citizens who were murdered by local business for “complaining.” Their names will stay as a testament.

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The Making of A Great Retail Store: Will Discouraging Stealing Become Fashionable Someday? (Case Study Great Store or Restaurant – Part 14)


Today’s San Francisco Chronicle was good reading. The article I liked most was about shoplifting in Holiday season and it being a crime of “opportunity.” And why don’t we design our spaces around that? Corporate stores are the ones that do because they have resources. Hard core retail does as always and make up the losses back in higher markups. The problem is American society has taken a recent change not noticed until enough history is accumulated. The Generation Y are here. When I got my first retail store to manage about the year 2000, FBI tried to teach me the proper loss prevention was every single American coming in the door is a thief. This was not a rule to work by percentages and that is where we disagreed. They literally meant 100 of 100 people walking in the door were intended on stealing if they could. I disagreed but they NEVER backed down on their opinion. That was another generation. Were they right or wrong? Who cares? Today they are absolutely right. Generation Thief is here and intends to stay. Nike has released a retro Air Jordan and violence has flared up all over. Will this get better next year? I think worse and worse. The generation have-not is here and those who have really like it this way. I wrote once before and ask again why not redesign all sales floors? Why not assume every shopper is a thief (though wrong) since Generation Y is shopping and robbing? Why is it so hard in the case of where I work to line up glass displays as in a traditional retail store and keep valuables behind the counter and junk on the floor? Why is it so hard? Someone told me most retailers steal from their own stores in guise of secret shoppers testing the store and so on. And some use this as a means of revenue with proper book keeping. The idea makes sense in high fashion stores. One single item can be worth a fortune for an over-the-counter junk. Whatever the reason, violence is an indispensable part of the new retail trends of our era and has to be prevented. Even if open floors bring more sales in general, the likeliness of increased violence by encouraging theft as part of marketing should be a factor in designing better interiors. Since the business puts profit before safety, it is duty of authorities to ensure retail stores are designed to discourage theft, violence and what else many follow on a regular basis. Sad as it is, we have to take into account some retailers may want a sales floor that encourages stealing. 100 million Generation Y will descend upon and live in America eventually. Whether or not, that is 100 million dedicated thieves is a big argument but enough will be to justify workspaces designed with safety against unusual dangers in mind. There will be hundreds of millions of shoplifting attempts every year now and prevention is necessary. America will turn into a huge ghetto over a few years if something is not done.

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