Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Wine Time O Clock!
I had the pleasure of spending the weekend up in Sonoma for my dear (and I mean fucking dearest) friend Evie's 30th bday. Living in Northern California, wine country is a quintessential weekend jaunt that spans every demographic: rich mofos, rowdy bachelorettes, prim and proper couples and even the party bus beer drinkers. It got me thinking how much wine country (Napa, Sonoma, Calistoga, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa) is really the jaguar's newsboy cap. Sorry, I hate the cats pajamas - cant we think of a better one? How about the honey badgers ascot? The cheetah's Toms ballet flats? At least we're getting some branding in there.
And here are 10 reasons why:
10. Rose Tastes Better In The Rain. You can get your buzz on even in the shittiest of conditions. Your friends are in town visiting and your Dolores Park picnic at Gay Beach got canceled due to droplets. The options are a museum or day drinking? I would hope an albino allegator at the Academy Of Science would pale in comparison to the perfect zin blend for the low low price of $5 a sip. On a nice day its even a better choice than the museum, lets be real.
9. Spelunking For The Drunk. Please name the last 3 times you've been in a cave. Go! Okay, once in middle school on a stalactite field trip (check). Okay, you were in the cast of The Descent (sorry you're dead) --- and wine tasting in Sonoma in a cave. It's damn cold but there's nothing else like it. Did you hear me? IN A FUCKING CAVE. Done.
8. The Day Drinker's Prom. No beer pong germ-ey cups, no tailgating foot long subs - just a great excuse to get your daylight buzz on from the hours of 1-4 (5pm if you're lucky!) in a sophisticated way. It's like eating breakfast for dinner or camping in your backyard - break the rules in the name of noir,
7. Convenience Is Key. If you live in San Fran there's really no reason NOT to go - it's less than an hour and a half away. What else can you accomplish in 90 minutes? You could take your sniveling kid to Mars Needs Moms? *kill me*, you could listen to 1 Phish song (next) or you can listen to the best 90s mix of your life with all your friends in a car until you arrive at St Francis and keep the party going.
6. Pennies For The Pour. I mean YES wine country gets a bad wrap for being expensive because wine isnt traditionally as cheap as beer but it takes 3 beers to get tipsy and 1 glass of wine to blush. However, if you hit the right places you can really take advantage of some cost effective afternoon plans. Some places in CA are free, the average is $10 a tasting but if you split the tastings you can get away with a whole day under $40 for 4 hours of entertainment.
5. Snobbery As A Sixth Sense. People are afraid of wine because they dont get it! What's a tannin?How do you pronounce sommelier? Jeebus, these reds all taste the same. Well, all you need to do during your wine tasting day is listen to 1 single fact and you already know more than most people! Repeat that fact at length and you win the conversation everytime. "The grapes are sweeter when they freeze overnight". The secret is: almost no one knows what they are talking about either. (right?)
4. Fortified For Your Pleasure. I cant stress this enough = always order port. always. You never order it at home - it's a vacation! It's like a dessert in the form of wine and makes you feel very Jane Austen/Downton Abbey in the modern age. Give yourself the gift of this vintage tradition and take your tastes to the next level.
3. Spit Or Swallow. It's unheard of! Never have I ever wasted one sip of this blessed beast we call alcohol! But here - if you dont dig it, spit it. You dont have to finish your tasting because there's plenty more to go around and it's considered a SIN to chug and run. You can play it your own way without feeling guilty you ordered the wrong thing at the dive bar. Just pour that sucker out! This place is wild.
2. The Rivalry Rules. Dont talk about Napa in Sonoma and dont you DARE talk about Sonoma in Santa Rosa. You just came from 5 miles away but to them you've just come from space. I sort of adore the rivalry amongst vine communities. Proud of their brethren but ultimately the dad (Napa) let's the mom do her thing (Sonoma) but it's all just as secretive as their affair and love child (Calistoga) and ugly uncle (Petaluma).
1. Gilmore Girls Town Square. Ever wonder what it was like to live in Stars Hollow? Welcome to the wine country oblligatory town square. Always a gazebo, always an old timey theatre and adorable shopping and Oprah approved salves. Walk aroud like you own the place for an hour and then remember you live somewhere else where the dinner wait isnt an hour and 45 minutes.