No Whining In Wine Country
The Whine and Cheeze Wizard and I just got back from Sonoma– it’s the hipster’s version of Napa. A place where a Snootball like me can feel comfortable letting his pinky down on every other sip… a place where old-school hipsters (Bohemians) have their own highway and their own wine… a place with fine wine, yet close enough to San Francisco that they don’t let the snoot go to their heads.
Below is a compilation of tasting notes and other advice – starting with a few days by the bay with friends. Heed this advice dear reader, lest you head there yourselves in search of culinary and vinyastic wonderment only to encounter Tomfoolery, Jerryfoolery, or most disproper of all: snootfoolery.
Day 1: (Chinatown)
Snootball: Take the time to breathe in deeply through the nose, note the subtle smells wafting down the streets from the various dim sum restaurants. Delicious, sweet doughy sesame-balls attract long lines outside the pastry shops. Surely a pleasure not to be missed.
Whine and Cheeze Wizard: You smelled dim sum?! I smelled dried fish skins, dried whole fish, dried shrimp, and some other unidentifiable dried fishy crap. I did, however, cure my impotence thanks to Dr. Leung’s jam-jar full of the above mentioned fish parts, plus dried seahorse and tiger penis in a pickled brine solution.
Snootball: Dr. Leung’s potion pairs well with spicy dishes, shellfish, and sesame-balls.
WCW: I had some balls in the Tenderloin district, they were kind of salty.
Day2: (Camping/Pacific Coast)
Snootball: A fair warning to those gentle readers – I urge you not to partake in too much wine before this drive; the winding roads find themselves quite unpleasant to the stomach — depending on your chauffeur’s skills. I advise pulling the motor coach over occasionally for fresh ocean breezes and walks around the many local farmers markets en route.
WCW: Better yet, stop for an apple. Take that corkscrew you were saving for the wine. Remove stem, and corkscrew towards the middle. Next, hold the apple holey-side up, and drill from the side to meet the other hole in the middle. Next fill the top of the apple with “organic oregano” …if you ask the hippiest (not hippest, hippiest) guy there for “organic oregano” and wink just right, he’ll hook you up. Next, smoke your apple.
Snootball: Though I ought not condone the common man’s weed, it doth indeed make the scenery sparkle like the eyes of a hallucinating angel.
WCW: Sausages cooked over open flames paired perfectly with the boxed wine, and smoked apple.
Snootball: Everything seems to be enhanced by smoked apple.
Day3: Berkeley en route to Sonoma
Snootball: The locals seem to partake of the local oregano without apples.
WCW: I am traveling with an idiot.
Snootball: Twas with pinky gently extended, grasping the glass between thumb and forefinger, gently swirling, inhaling the luscious scents that I tasted my first Zinfandel in Sonoma county. I never much cared for Zins before, so this was a surprise; the area without doubt produces some fine-arsed Zinfandels.
WCW: I got too drunk from wine from the gas station last night.
Snootball: At least your imbibery was of local varieties.
WCW: Thank the lord for apples.
Final (and dead serious) tasting notes for the Sonoma traveler:
1)Zinfandels are seriously better from Sonoma
2) Zinfandels are definitely taste better with pinky in ¾ to full extension
3) If your friend tells you to go to Napa instead, they are clearly too well-groomed for the likes of you. Though, they are not as hip as you, however, they may out-snoot you with their eyes closed.
4) Gas station wine can be included in your Sonoma tasting experience, however should be limited to 1 bottle, per person, per evening.
5) When tasting wine, it is proper to taste white first and lighter reds before heavier. This is also an acceptable means of finding a date in Ireland.
6) When tasting wine, some tasters prefer to spit. Spitting is a filthy habit unless accompanied by farting. Thus only spit if you can follow with a nice-sounding punctuated gas emission (burping is also acceptable, but of course, must be accompanied with a reach-around – ask Jewster McHip)
7) There is no limit to the amount of wine you are allowed to taste. Most tasting rooms will serve anyone who doesn’t already appear intoxicated – thus if you feel intoxicated, it is best not to show it. I find that yelling “I am not so drunk as you think I might be” upon entering the winery or tasting room does the trick.
8) Best wines tasted: La Crema – Chardonnay; Seghesio — Zinfandel
9) Best wine under $10: Bohemian Highway (also the prettiest bottle)
10) Snootball’s favorite: Preston Vinyards – I like it because it is so damn rare you can’t get it in Colorado. Also, they had bocce ball and cute kitty-cats at their organic vineyard.
Next posting: “Foods I hate, and why you need to hate them too.”