After Bottlerocket, after I did my Carrie Bradshaw routine (in rehearsal, California watch out!) and read a bit of the book, I had plans to go out. Went to the wine bar above Punch on Broadway in the Flat Iron district? Walked up the stairs and I swear it felt like cellar temperature. Froze immediately. We looked at the list. I'm sick over prices. Damn, that disastrous dollar. A heretofore $18 bottle of the Antano Montefalco Rosso (retail) was on the list at $50. I could not really find anything else I could drink. And it was cold. I mean I was cold. And I suggested to my friend, "Shall we try Gramercy Tavern? At least there I know there's a $23 Gamay I love. "(and plenty in the $30-$50 range as well). It was a risky move. The wait could have been an hour or more. We decided it was worth the sprint around the block. We quickly gathered bags and it was then I was stopped. He: Were you here all the time? Me: Uh, no. Just for a bit. He: Don't you want to stay and taste the Argentine's I brought back? Me: Not really. He; Vines planted in 1922! Me: And they oak the crap out of it? (not going into the other stuff. but I used to really love some Argentine wines.) He: Well, kind of. Me: (weak smile) He: (grabs a bottle off of the rack) What about this? It was a bottle of 2004 Winesmith Roman Syrah Me: No! (I lost it. I felt like pulling out a cross to flash at the vampire.The well-meaning wine director could see my distaste, even though I swore I was not going to be so vociferous in public and so having lost it, I continued) It's pickle juice. Pure pickle juice. Actually, let me clarify that, not pure pickle juice. He looked so wounded and let me tell you, I did not feel good about it. He has an earnest, sweet naivet about him and I just felt like the biggest jerk. But the irony of it all, I just came from my event where they saw fit to pour Trinch from Catherine and Pierre Breton and Clos Roche Blanche Sauvignon B. And then I go into the lair of innocence. He who is studying for his WSET believes he is on the hunt for terroir but he just doesn't know. And what's funnier is that he thought I would be lured by 86-year-old Malbec vines, as if vines were the whole story. He was told that Clark's Roman was 'pure,' and who knows what he was told about me. We ran off, me feeling as guilty as someone who accidentally breaks a friends best wine flute, by doing no more than gently placing it on the tablecloth. And we were rewarded by no wait at Gramercy. And miraculously, the blessed Juliette Pope was presiding over the list. She send over a glass of Domaine Ganevat, a gorgeous pinot from the Jura (distributed by Rob Mackin of Artisan Wines). Gosh darn, it was hard to feel guilty AND love that wine at the same time. The wine won.