Last night I attended a celebratory picnic dinner.
If you don’t know, I make my living in entertainment. Yesterday was my last day on a tremendously large project that makes the Bonnarroo Festival look like kindergarten. The picnic was a small gathering of key people involved in the project. Everyone’s eyes exhibited the cold, thousand-yard stare of soldiers who had survived multiple battles but still felt as if the war hadn’t entirely ended. We had gone shoulder-to-shoulder in the trenches, taken bullets for our buddies, and survived. And we needed good food and good drink!
When I was invited to attend, I replied: “I’ll come, but only if I can bring the wine.” They agreed. In the afternoon before the event, I hit the cellar. I grabbed bottles that I like to drink, bottles I knew intimately, and bottles that would fit in at a cookout.
Upon my arrival, I commandeered a table. With my white and sparkling wines chilling in an orange ice bucket, I laid out bottles I had pulled from the cellar for this evening.
Many people stopped by for a glass or three.
The first question was always “Are we doing a tasting?”
My answer: “Nope, NOT a tasting. We’re doing a drinking!”
Bottles from left to right:
Pere Mata L’Origen 2009 Cava, Spain
Hanz Eifel Riesling Spätlese 2011, Mosel, Germany
Dominique Lafon Bourgogne 2011 White Burgundy, Beaune, France
Hild Elbling Sekt Brut Sparkling, NV Upper Mosel, Germany
Substance 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington
Evening Land La Source 2011 Pinot Noir, Seven Springs Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, WA
Chateau Larteau 2006 Bordeaux Superior, Bordeaux France
Chatea Poitevin 2010 Médoc Cru Bourgeois, Bordeaux, France
Domaine Fayat-Thunevin Pomerol, 2006 Bordeaux
Adelante Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina
Bennett Family “The Reserve” 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Modus Operandi Rocca-Collineta Vineyard Cabernet 2011, Coombsville, Napa Valley
Modus Operandi Vicarious Red Blend 2012, Napa Valley
Chateau Saint Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône, 2013, Gigondas, France
Finca La Mata Tinta Del Pais, 2012, Ribera Del Duero, Spain
I really enjoyed the picnic, because as long as the weather held, I was able to relax, suggest and pour wines I know intimately for a lot of people, some of whom I know well, some I barely know and some I didn’t know at all. Most were impressed by the wines, expressing clarity, depth, focus, fruit, strong tannins, or spice. Some people just thought “wows, it tastes really good.” I got some people to taste and drink outside their comfort range, and some people were blown away by wines they didn’t know existed. One person said “This is awful!” and when I insisted they toss the glass and try something else, they admitted to teasing me and said the wine was delicious. (Whew!). And some people swung by the table, drinking their beer or tequila, merely observing, checking out our little ‘NOT a Tasting’
Even before the rain hit and we had to call it a night, it was a very successful evening, and a ton of fun for all!
So. What’s in YOUR glass?
à votre santé!