Friday, September 24, 2010

Napa Snobbery

Wine tastings on The Rock are jovial beasts. Those that I have attended have ended in a stuffed belly, a solid buzz and the careless acquisition of bottles upon bottles of relatively pricey wine that may or may not be necessary to my survival. Obviously, any time I hear about one of The Rock's many wine shops opening its doors and uncorking its noteworthy supplies for its patrons, I jump into my station wagon (What? You guys really thought I drove a Porsche?) and speed in the opposite direction of sobriety. The Wife, Ph.D., is (more often than not) with me as the designated driver. She also reassures random customers that I am a decent guy despite my (sometimes) loud/foul mouth and (always) sloppy sense of style.

So two days ago, I landed at a local wine shop for a tasting of Beringer (California), Wolf Blass (Australia), Penfolds (Australia) and Matua Valley (New Zealand) wines. The Wife, Ph.D., was busy with a baby shower (no, not ours) so, instead of braving the event with my usual companion, I met up with Cousin #2, Tbilisi Is My Capital and [drum roll] The Wine Snob. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, one of my many fancy friends is a veritable wine snob: she adamantly refuses to drink The Rock's wines. When she found out that Tbilisi Is My Capital and I wanted to stage and invite her to a blind tasting of Shiraz including some of Cyprus's best, she reacted as if we had just used her last bottle of 1976 Penfolds Grange to make bolognese sauce. The woman likes her wines and she lets it be known.

Going into the event, I had decided to focus all of my tasting efforts on the 2008 Matua Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the 2008 Matua Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir, the only two island wines on display. The plan was to get to know these two inside and out so that when time came for me to sit in front of this scary glaring screen and write a new post I wouldn't need to digress and rely on visits to the bakery or Scandinavian misadventures or fantasies involving Eva Mendes and The Wife, Ph.D., to fill up the bloody page. By the way, if my wife'd ever cheat on me with a girl, it'd only be with Eva. How hot is that?

But then The Wine Snob threw a giant wrench in my well-oiled tasting machinery and gave me a sip of a lovely 2004 Beringer Private Reserve, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, a pricey bottle that was hidden behind the counter for VIP customers who spend thousands of Euros on wine and deserve (once in a while) a small token of appreciation for their business from the store's owner. From thereon out, The Wine Snob hooked me up with tastings of behind-the-counter wines (it all sounds so illicit!) including a 2005 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2004 Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. And then she treated us to a bottle of 2004 Marques de Murrieta Dalmau Reserva (Spain), the second best wine of the evening only beaten by the sumptuous yet fleeting sip of the Beringer Private Reserve that vanquished my original plan. In our drunken stupor, The Wine Snob began to refer to me as the tick or the lice or the mooch or the gnat or the leech or the flea (take your pick) and, to be honest with you, she's absolutely right. Addicts will do anything for a fix.

By the end of the night, we were in a dark tavern somewhere in the city, eating kebab, smoking, drinking a Ripassa Valpolicella, talking absurdities and improprieties. My belly was full, the buzz was doing the funky chicken north of my neck, and my sorry excuse for a wine cellar was three bottles richer. Two Sauvignon Blanc, one Pinot Noir. Both from New Zealand. My plan might have been temporarily derailed but like Iakovos Bauer I will not be contained.

1 comment:

Top Wines in Australia said...

Napa Valley has great Sauvignon vintages!

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