Sure, I enjoy drinking wine. That’s pretty obvious.
But the best experiences always involve more than just wine.
Best of all are romantic dinners with my wife.
But next are those times when wine serves as a great accompaniment to the people you’re with, the food you are eating, and the conversations and camaraderie that result. Plus, as an added bonus, when there are more people in attendance, it is an opportunity to try more than just one wine.
Last Saturday night we were at All Corked Up. Not a big surprise as you’ll usually find us there on either Friday or Saturday evening. But, when wine buyer Vic Herstein has his band Vic Rocks playing, you can almost guarantee that we will be there, usually with a group of friends.
This time there were nine of us, and over the next five-plus hours we enjoyed the band, the food, the conversation and, of course, the wine. Some of the wine highlights:
2005 Turley Hayne Zinfandel
2005 Haywood Los Chamizal Vineyard Zinfandel
2005 Carlisle Pietro’s Ranch Zinfandel
2005 Marquis Philips Grail of Lisa Shiraz
2005 Schubert Goose Yard Shiraz
For the white-wine drinkers, we had a Spatlase [sorry, I did not get the name] and a bottle of Four Vines Naked Chardonnay.
Later in the week, we met some dear friends of ours at Malbec, an Argentinean restaurant in Pasadena. We had not gotten together in several months and we had a lot to talk about — 4 hours worth actually! The food was great, and after empanadas, some grilled seafood, and possibly the best skirt steak I had ever had, we wondered where the time went. To accompany the meal we had two Carlisle Zinfandels, both from the 2006 vintage — one from the Carlo’s Ranch vineyard and the other from Rossi Ranch, as well as a Trapiche Malbec.
Finally, Thursday night was the barbecue at All Corked Up. Sponsored by Barbecues Galore, there were enough propane-burning machines there to make Hank Hill swoon. This time, we went by ourselves. The response had been so great that seats had to be assigned, so we entrusted our evening to Jennifer Russell, who, as always, did a fabulous job putting this event together. And, Jennifer could not have done a better job in selecting our table-mates and, now, new friends. Another long evening with wonderful conversation, terrific food, and the great music of the band Acoustic Soul. [Unfortunately, we didn’t stay for the final set, when Vic sat in for “White Room” and “Mustang Sally”.] Before we got to know our dining companions, we had started with a bottle of 2006 Outpost Zinfandel, which we gladly offered a pour of to our new friends. We also tried their Nickel & Nickel Zinfandel. Then, I pulled a bottle of 2006 Shane Syrah out of the locker. More wine was being shared as well. At some point during the evening, my new friend Chuck commented to me that wine always tastes better when you are drinking it with the right people, which is what I’ve been trying to say in this article.