Monday, June 18
Another crazy busy weekend. No rest for the wicked though. I have an industry event over at Wente Vineyards celebrating 100 years of Chardonnay. Since I’m not much of a Chardonnay fan, I bring my friend Meg to be my Chardonnay lover reference. Figure we can compare notes at the end of the tasting and whatever she likes will appeal to Napa Chardonnay fans and whatever I like will be old school Burgundian style Chardonnay. And that tells me a lot that I can then communicate to my readers.
The PR company organized rides for us out to Livermore. I scooped Meg up and we drove downtown to SOMA, parked and jumped in the car heading east. We arrive, grab a seat next to my friend Allison (works for the CA Wine Institute) and settle in, staring at a table filled with bright and colorful Chardonnay. I think there were about 14 of them for us to try in total. All of them were either Wente wines or Wente clones ranging from Livermore, to Napa and even Australia and New Zealand.
The education part of it was interesting, but went on a bit long before someone had the sense to break and let the group taste some wine. It was getting warmer and warmer the more long winded the speakers were. Once we got into the wine, it was fine. A great mix of wine and education. But no joke, it took them an hour to get to the first wine.
As expected, Meg and I had totally different opinions of the wine, which means I was right to bring her. After the tasting portion, we were served lunch and grabbed a glass of our favorite from the tasting.
Then I asked the group if they wanted to head over to Concannon Vineyard…one of my personal faves. The group was game, so Meg and I piled in the car with Darryl and Christine and off we went. Lucky for us, John Concannon was there in the tasting room. I introduced everyone then John took us over to introduce us to the Darcie Kentfolks. They just opened up a new tasting room at Concannon.
We hung out and drank some wine with John, introduced everyone to the great Concannon wines and Darcie Kent wines. Concannon just released this lovely rose. It was perfect for the hot day in Livermore. After a while we were ready to head back. That’s a lot of wine in a day. I spit most of the Chard from the tasting, but afterwards we did some damage.
Darryl and Christine weren’t heading back to the city yet, so they dropped Meg and I off at BART and home we went. Its a nice long BART ride, so by the time we got to our car, it was no problem to drive.
Tuesday, June 19
Not much going on today, except for an Athletica focus group in their store on Fillmore Street. It was interesting to see how the same pair of pants fit all the different body types. And I got $100 bucks and two pair of pants out of it. Not too shabby.
Wednesday, June 20
I started the day off bright an early at 7:45, met Michele M for breakfast at good ole Home Plate. Michele was dropping off my cleanse material for my next cleanse before my big bday. I just have to figure out when I can take 11 days off from eating and drinking everything in sight. After breakfast I got a workout in at the gym and finished the day off with a tennis match at SFTC. I always like playing there. It is always hot in there and my muscles loosen up nicely!
Thursday, June 21More tennis to start out the day, this time at Mt. Lake park with Alejandro, Stacy and Amy. We need to find another dude for practice so we can practice mixed…but I’m happy to play. Later that night I went over to my friend James’s house to help him with a Cook With James event. He had a group of advertising folks in for a paella night. Easy enough. All I have to do is talk, drink wine, pour wine and get to eat a great dinner. Done!
Friday, June 22
Great new wine event I’m heading to tonight called The Purple Boot Competition. It was bidding Livermore Valley wines vs. Santa Cruz Mountain wines. It was in this health club out in the East Bay. A bit of a funky location for a wine event, but I’m game. My friend Esther works a lot of clients out there… and she’s also in the wine biz, so she says she can pick me up from BART. I drive downtown, find a parking spot, jump on BART and head over there. Long BART ride, but finally got there. Esther and I head in and check out the scene.
They have the wines hidden with paper bags. You taste the wine flight of 8 then the red flight of 8. I also tried to guess the varietal, but all they wanted you to do was vote for your favorite. They also kept track of what men voted for vs. women. Food pairings and plenty of room to grab a tall table and taste. There were only two non Chardonnays sadly… those were really easy to pick out. The reds got more interesting. I actually voted for a Merlot! Gasp! There was about as much Cab as you can put in there and still call it a Merlot though… explains a lot.
Livermore’s Darcie Kent Gruner Veltiner won for best white wine. Santa Cruz’s Corralitos Wine Company, 2008 Livermore Valley Merlot (controversy! Livermore grapes!), and the overall winning appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains.
Overall a really fun and interesting event. I’ll do it again next year.
Saturday, June 23
Started off the day with a little mixed doubles practice at Golden Gate Park. Then got cleaned up and met a colleague of my friend Michele S, Stephen, down at Brickhouse Cafe in SOMA. He works part time at UC Berkeley SF as a professor for advertising/marketing. We had a great conversation going and rapport. Hopefully something will come of it one of these days. Stephan said that nothing moves quickly in the university world.
We left Brickhouse and went across the Bay Bridge to visit friends Dan and Roxanne in Berkeley, we haven’t spent any quality time with them in ages! We ended up hanging out, having a few drinks in their house, ordered in Thai food and had a great evening. We need to see them more often!