I title this post - my first after quite an extended absence - in part because of the New Order songs that's burbling through my headphones as I write this, but also because it's appropriate for my current living situation and what's on my mind as a result.
So... I haven't posted in far too long because I've moved from the Bay Area (my home for more than eleven years) to Texas. When asked, it's easiest to say that I've moved to Austin, but for the time being the truth is that I find myself in the hill country south of Austin outside of my other half's home town of Wimberley. Here I am in the village.
Wimberley's a funny place. I imagine that most people have an image in their mind when I mention living in "rural" Texas, but Wimberley's got fancy restaurants, a cafe shop that sells Hawaiian coffee, and a handful of wineries within spittin' distance. Basically, it's an old ranch town that was originally co-opted by agrarian hippies, and is now being bought out by wealthy retirees from the big city.
Wealthy retirees have a weird thing for wine. I don't mean that they like wine or know anything about it (certainly many do, but that has nothing to do with their being wealthy retirees), but more there's this idea amongst folks with some expendable income and free time that owning a winery is the perfect pass-time that combines agrarian gentility and urban sophistication. As a result, there are wineries springing up all over the Texas hill country - as well as just about every state in the union.
I think it's funny, because historically in Europe folks planted grapes where they couldn't really grow much else, and most wine was produced for the consumption of locals. Nowadays, wineries are becoming status symbols.
I don't want to make any statements about the quality of Texas wine - it's an infant wine region, and has the potential to really do something interesting (the soil here is certainly far more suited to growing fine wine than California, if not the climate). I've even referred to Dickson wine in an earlier post (he's a wealthy lawyer from Houston...)
What's cool is that folks out here in the country are drinking wine. There can't be anything wrong with that.