Friday, June 30, 2006

no wining

I've had my eye on this tasting room/wine bar in SoHo for a little over a month now. Somehow I convinced myself that I would make the perfect tasting room pourer, and I have targeted this place to be my new employer. They sell and serve only New York state wines. I've driven through North Fork Long Island wine country before; it's beautiful, but has nothing on Sonoma County. I don't know where the Finger Lakes are (just the name makes me want to go), but apparently they grow grapes up there too. This tasting room thing seems like an exciting detour: I'll pour wine for yuppies, sure. I really want to, strangely, and have accrued a strange amount of determination about the fact.... so much so that I bought Wine for Dummies rather impulsively. Some say that the Wine Bible is really the right choice, but that book didn't look exactly like light reading. Now if only I can stroll into the place when an eager manager happens to be on their shift.

I'm not really an expert on wine, and it's not like I've had a lifelong passion for it. I find it tasty most of the time, but I'm not terribly discriminatory.... meaning it's not unlikely to see me holding a glass of Carlo Rossi or Franzia from the box if the event I'm at happens to have it sitting on the refreshment table for all to have. I can appreciate all the wine-talk and searching for varying degrees of flavors (from tropical fruits to woods used for funiture all the way to cat piss.... no joke). That said, I have had wine that tasted like licking a basement. So I don't know.

I always found it funny that if you order a bottle of wine at a restaurant, the server will pour for you a tiny glass to taste to make sure the wine hasn't gone bad or something. Is it some kind of high society thing to taste the wine and send it back because it's lost its luster? Where exactly do you draw the line with sending back wine? Imagine if I sent back the bottle on principle, or just because. How would the restaurant know? That said, I drink Franzia and Two Buck Chuck, so I'm not likely to be sending back any bottles of wine in the near future.

When I was back at home in the Bay Area, she can film it and I went up to Healdsburg where we got a quick tour of this upscale winery that her sister works at. The wine tasting came with food tasting too, little vittles to change the flavor of the wines here and there. The tuna tartar was delicious, and so was this little cornbread cracker with a dollop of some creamy cheese. The duck pâté thing was going a little far though. We weren't a fan of that.

Flash forward a week and I'm camping in Mendocino County just outside of the Anderson Valley wine country (if you haven't been to Boonville, read the book and you'll get a over-the-top-wacky but at the same time somewhat accurate depiction of hippie California mountain towns.... I was assured by one Anderson Valley tasting room employee that most events and characters in the book actually are not fiction, despite the book's insistance that they are). So my friends and I decided wine tasting was in order. Seven or eight wineries later I'm reenacting scenes from Sideways and slurring my words and pretending I know the difference between the ages of oaken barrels and making bourgeois jokes like "what kind of people actually drink wine that comes from stainless steel barrels?" I think I may have said "I'm not drinking any fucking merlot!" with too much vigor at one poor tasting room employee offering up the selection. In the end I had a great time and decided that maybe five wineries would have been plenty, dessert wines are quite tasty, and that I didn't have enough room in my suitcase to pack the four bottles I had purachsed.... so I got my hands on a tote bag to make carry-on #2.

So back to the tasting room job propsect. How does one get a job at a tasting room in the city anyway?


shecanfilmit said...

It was fun, wasn't it? Our trip to Healdsburg. But the pate. Blech! If you recall, it took half a bag of animal crackers to get that rank taste out of my mouth.

Okay - you get the wine tasting job by flirting with one of the current employees. Go in, tell them you're from California, drop some winery names and start tasting. You'll end up with a job (and maybe, a new squeeze!) in no time.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"meaning it's not unlikely to see me holding a glass of Carlo Rossi or Franzia from the box if the event I'm at happens to have it sitting on the refreshment table for all to have."

You've gone Bridge & Tunnel on me, I'll forgive you just this one time ; )

Foie gras is an acquired taste and I don't see how the unique taste of duck could lend itself to pate or compliment wine. They must serve that stuff up when they want to clear the tasting room out.

Long_Division said...

What about your other job? Are you leaving that one, or is this just to fulfill your deep desire to pour for yuppies?

is that so wrong? said...

The other job is still there. I guess I'm looking for something in conjunction to fill up my time that's more.... frivolous? Let's be honest: I just want to bring home bottles of free opened wine after work.

Long_Division said...

I fully encourage this type of employment; just don't work so much that you can get your drink on!

Long_Division said...

"Can't" get your drink on. Sorry, I'm drunk commenting.