Here I am again, waiting for a friend. Not sure why I’m the one on time (which is rare, I might add), but earliness affords quality time with a wine list. Surrounding me, the painfully hip bar is packed with want-to-be-seens, need-to-be seens and desperate-to-be-seens. Silicone and muscle reign, and I wallow in my perceived inadequacy. Bloated from my salty Thai lunch, my jeans abet a muffin top, and I’m hoping my underwear isn’t peeking out of my low riders (although it’d be fashionable in this crowd). Sigh … I should be at the gym instead of ingesting more alcohol. I need to remember to verify that rumor about alcohol slowing down fat metabolism. It’s tough to keep up with constantly shifting nutritional dogma. I wish the government would get the right answers the first time.
A woman (a “don’t-need-to-be seen” from the confident looks of her) at the other end of the bar teaches her girlfriend about sauvignon blanc: “Originally from Bordeaux, New Zealand versions have grapefruit and green grass. … crisp, food wine.” Well done. Better than the pompous, not-so-informed chick who loudly (and incorrectly) tells her friend that merlot, not cabernet sauvignon, makes her red blend more tannic. I frequently have to suppress the urge to correct when I overhear wine blasphemy; like the game “Telephone,” the misinformation festers. Besides, those fembot bullets from her heavily modified chest could sting.
But perhaps her sentiment rose from the right place. Since 70 percent of wine decisions are made by women, maybe we should all stick together? Amazing how many wineries haven’t capitalized on our estrogen power and remain allegiant to men. Major consumer wine magazines, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, clearly market to the male sex, and wineries dump serious cash into advertisements. Men and their collector toys — they give me a bigger headache than, well, men. I mean, do men collect and women enjoy?
OK, it’s 7:05 and way past happy hour. Time to drink to alone. Hell, it’s my job. And since it’s frickin’ hot out already and only April, white is my friend. Riesling? Nah, want something crisper. Chardonnay? Tasted too many lately, but the Kim Crawford Unoaked remains tempting. Rosé? Perhaps, but not a great selection. The cheap one from France’s Languedoc maybe. Conundrum? Great fragrant blend from the (in)famous Caymus, but at $12 a glass, I could buy a whole bottle of something else on the way home. Hate when wineries get high on themselves, much like the men slowly filling this bar. Was that Macallen I heard ordered?
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc? Hmmm, won a big award at the National Women’s Wine Competition. Odd concept, yet cool. All female judges — they say women have more acute palates, so it makes sense, but it’s almost like segregating the wine industry. Wonder if they’d let a Southern girl participate? I hear about a lot of female winemakers these days, too. Kristin Belaire at Honig, Stacey Clark at Pine Ridge, Cathy Corizon at Corizon Winery, Veronique Drouhin at Domaine Drouhin — great wines made by fabulous women. You know, it does seem that France counts more females in the cellar than we do. Odd, since we’re supposed to be the nation of equality. Hmmm.
Ah! My wine of the moment: King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris. Homegrown, organically farmed fruit, not purchased. Lindsay Kampff makes its reds. Cool winery, but out in the middle of Oregon’s nowhere; is that redundant? Smells delicious: Pear, pineapple, wet slate after a rain. Refreshing. Flavors are ripe pear, red apple, metallic from the stainless steel fermenters and slightly high in alcohol. But it’s beautiful, like a best friend who waits with you.
King Estate Pinot Gris Domaine (Oregon) Sw = 2. $21 retail. 4 stars Certified Organic.
Sweetness (Sw) rating is out of 10, 10 being pure sugar. 1 (star) rating is out of 5, 5 being wine nirvana.