Three years ago, they said it couldn't happen. But one late summer night in Healdsburgh, I spent it drinking nothing but California wine and never once asked, got any cot.
One starry night, when it barely cooled off, I was in the Sierra Foothills, drinking a vertical of Domaine Tempier , courtesy of Hank Beckmeyer with like-minded friends (Hardy, Amy, Amy, the guys from Hank and Caro's goats bleating in the background. The '93 Cuvée Cabassaou was the wine of the night. Hank's La Clarine Farm 2010s are going to be gorgeous.
People drove to Cerri Smith's Biondivino from as far away as Mill Valley.
Even better they bought lots of books and stayed long after I left at 9:30. That chick knows how to throw a party.
Another party girl, is Jill of Domaine LA. Terrific wine shop. Serious girl, but has some party in her. Trust me. She arranged her fabulous and spacious wine store with a living room-like centerpiece. People stayed, drank wines provided by Amy Atwood's portfolio (Jenny & Francois +Savio Soares). They stayed. Many of hours.
The dinner at José Andres' Bazaar was delicious. Pure food. Clean tastes. We didn't go molecular as José Andres can do, this was just great, clean, spot on and imaginative food. Maxwell Leer, the young sommelier in from Portland to takeover the list was a real star at food & wine pairing. We had some geek stuff. Calek Blonde, LdH Rosé, Mendall l’Abreuradeur, Venier cab franc, for example. Two men who seemed to be lost sat at one table in the private room. All of the sudden after the Mendall, they were gone. I went over to inquire why. I was told they were so horrified by the Mendall, "This isn't wine!" They left. At first I thought perhaps they were MW students, turns out they had wandered in to our strange wine universe away from the almost nude women and perfumed men sitting on the Philippe Stark designed restaurant, and had never been part of the wine dinner.
Right next to them was a couple celebrating a birthday. They're favorite wine is Zaca Mesa. New favorite wine? The Mendall. And the Calek. And the Venier. Let me tell you, life is certainly strange.