My Sordid Love Affair – I must make a confession: I have been engaged in a sordid love affair for quite some time. Like all affairs, thoughts about my paramour consume my mind, and I find myself rushing from work like a young schoolboy so that we can be together. Once together, we connect in the most intimate of ways, causing my mind to wander to scenes of the most exotic places on earth.
My lover, of course, is wine.
For some, wine is simply something they drink to further enjoy a meal or give them a buzz to alleviate the stress of the day. I support them and wish that I could have such a simple relationship with it. But like most things, I have overly complicated my relationship with wine, resulting in extreme jealousy between the grapes who compete for my affection.
For me, wine is alive, and the more I allow myself to embrace it, the more alive it makes me. When I am with it, I am transported to different parts of the world, from the foothills of Italy as I spend time with Nebbiolo, to a trip down the Garonne River as we explore Bordeaux, to Rioja where I am teased by Tempranillo, or Oregon where Pinot lures me back home. All this adventure without ever leaving my cellar.
My affair has also helped me develop a relationship with some of the most interesting people in history. I have been able to experience the intimate feelings of Thomas Jefferson through Chateaux Lafite Rothschild, and understand what a welcome guest Pol Roger Champagne was to Winston Churchill in his darkest hours. My lover has also introduced me to past Roman emperors (Rhone) and to grapes that only popes in the 14th century were permitted to consume (Chateauneuf-du-Pape). Not bad for a $20 date.
Each romantic encounter also unlocks a spiritual awakening within me, as with each sip I can picture the serene setting in which each grape was conceived. As I rummage through my cellar, my spirit soars to these magical places, and I can feel the soil under my feet, smell the coolness in the air and, for a moment, feel completely at peace. To be able to taste and feel all that (known as terroir) from one simple sip is glorious.
Like most relationships, this one consumes a fair amount of time and certainly a few dollars. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. While the rest of the world is busy yelling at each other on social media or binge watching the latest that Netflix has to offer, more and more I can be found in my quiet cellar, surrounded by many great loves. To me, the meaning of life is to live, and I hope all of us can find some things to love along the way.
In vino veritas.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Juan Gil, Jumilla Blue Label, 2016 ($26.99) – This Spanish wine, which is produced from the lesser known Monastrell grape, is a delicious and unique gem. It pairs perfectly between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir. We shared a bottle with my partner Patrick McCormick and his wife, Elaine, at Vintage Steak House in St. James, accompanied by some delicious steaks. Highly recommended all around.
You Can Call Me Al – I kicked off February with a delicious lunch with two of my favorite Al(ans) at Mario’s – my friends Alan Sasserath of Sasserath & Zoraian and Al Giaimis of Signature Bank. Over pasta and Pellegrino, we discussed ways to partner this year.
Gone to the Dogs – An Energeia Partnership alum myself, I enjoyed this year’s graduation ceremony, followed by dinner with my good friend John Miller. John is the President and CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, which CMM proudly supports. John is an incredible leader and I’m excited to get more involved with these organizations this year.
Never Eat Alone – What a pleasure to get to know the men and women of the Sayville Rotary Club last week at Land’s End when I presented “Never Eat Alone,” my personal take on Keith Ferrazzi’s bestseller about meaningful networking. Thank you to Michael Dawidziak, Pam Greene, and Nancy Rocker for the invitation and hospitality.
For Whom the Bell Tolls – CMM and Citrin Cooperman have been developing a wonderful relationship since connecting through HIA-LI, and it was great to have some one-on-one time with Citrin partner Corey Bell at Jewel last week. I look forward to continuing to grow our relationship.
Welcome to Paradise – I started the week off right with breakfast at the Paradise Diner in Hauppauge with my good friends Gregg Schor of Protegrity Advisors and Steve Tambone and Glenn Mahnken of Morgan Stanley. Their M&A and wealth management focus make them a great match to service mutual clients – I love making win-win introductions.
Winning – I had an absolutely fantastic time yesterday morning at our CMM Academy breakfast, where I presented “Winning: Incorporating the Leadership Lessons of Jack Welch into Your Business.” Our brand-new training room has really taken off, so we had a full house. Over 50 attendees enjoyed hot breakfast from The Sexy Salad, networking, and the presentation. Thanks very much to our sponsors Teachers Federal Credit Union, Protegrity Advisors, Sasserath & Zoraian, and Schoolman Inventory Method. I’m humbled that we had a waiting list for this event, so stay tuned for details of another date if you’d like to join us!
Spreading Our Wings – Finally, I’m thrilled that CMM has expanded across the spine of Long Island, with our newest office opening today in Westbury, Nassau County! Thanks to all our clients and friends for your support. Together we can keep Long Island growing and prospering.