Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Bubbles Deserve Better
I woke this morning after another night of not enough sleep, oh don’t think of feeling any pangs of, “Awe poor Sam” I do this to myself. It’s not that I can’t sleep most of the time, it’s that I can’t sleep in, so if I say….went to bed before 2 am I might get more sleep, just another flaw in my silly design. I woke this morning both excited and already annoyed, the reason….going to a trade tasting.
I avoid these events like Sarah Palin avoids reality, just wont or don’t go to the sixty or so I am invited to each year, tastings, panels, winemaker dinners..nope, nope, no thanks. I know that people outside of the trade think this is just crazy talk, hell…some of my peers think it’s crazy talk too, two members of my staff seem to spend just as much time at these events as they do at the shop. Sure there are some good parts, first of all it shortens your work day, (which is my guess as to why those fellow Wine Country staffers leap all over these events) when we have a trade event to attend we never schedule that person to close the store, maybe open, work a couple of hours, then shoot up to LA for the tasting, then you are free for the rest of the day…drunkards not so much good with the counting of change required for end of the day duties. The other upside is of course the wines, but sometimes that can reason enough not to go too, “Jadot and Duboeuf tasting? Nah, think I’m good thanks”.
I go to about 3 or 4, usually two of those are for Beaune Imports, dig Michael Sullivan and think he has the best French book in our area, (yes there are others I like too, Kermit, Martines, Veritas…people like that) so I never miss one of those events. I have been known to attend a North Berkeley tasting or two and I used to make it a point to go to the annual Terry Theise Champagne tastings but after the west coast distributor and I had a beef a couple of years ago, (Long story but I had a conflict on the date of his SoCal tasting, thought it was important that I attend so I came up with what I thought was brilliant plan, spend the weekend with the hubby in San Francisco and hit up the NoCal tasting on Monday. Bought the tickets, got the time off, made hotel reservations and then was told, “Don’t you think you could focus better without your husband peering over your shoulder?”…um, okay. They would rather I had him wandering around outside waiting for me to finish tasting like 75 Champagnes…guess they don’t really think it all that important for me to come to their tasting, so now I don’t. Still support those wines, hell I love them…anyone that has seen my tattoo knows my love for Pierre Peters, but I simply wont go to the tasting, petty? Maybe but that’s how I roll.) that one has been removed from the, “must go” list. The other one that I try not to miss is the one today, Becky Wasserman Champagnes.
So what could I possibly be annoyed about while drinking, Camille Saves, Godme, and Jose Dhondt? The format for one, cannot tell you how much I hate the swirl, sniff, taste and spit deal when it comes to Champagne. First of all I don’t swish bubbles much…kind of just gets bigger in your mouth and starts to burn the ol’ palate after a bit, spitting is also an issue, the spit buckets at these events look like someone has been whipping egg whites in them…gag much?! But the worst, well aside from those other idiot attendees, the ones that wear perfume/cologne, park in front of the wines and have the nerve to glare at you when you try and squeeze your glass past them….argh….the whole scene just kind of makes me sad, sad for the Champagnes.
Everyone standing around, sip, scribble and spit, no love…no inspiration, no letting those flavors move you, no marveling in the way those tiny spheres dance across your palate and deliver that warm hum that starts in your head then rolls down your spine. No appreciation for the way the flavors stain your palate, relishing in the caramel, apples, flowers, oyster shell…no, just spit and, “Next”…so not how they were intended. I for one will NOT be a table hog, I will get my pour and move as far away from the herd as I can, let myself love them, let them make me hum and I will let them do what they were meant to….inspire me.
Picked my outfit, going a little saucy today…and I have a bottle of 2000 Camille Saves in the fridge awaiting my return, that bottle will get the respect and love it deserves, shit…day is already better knowing that is at the end of it.