Thursday, August 23, 2007
WIDGETS OF WISDOM...It’s an interesting thing, sitting in front of a blank screen (inside my head) assuming that eventually something will present itself and make its way through the maze of synaptic signal switching to emerge as ostensibly sensible, occasionally scintillating syntax. Writing is not like manufacturing (Martha, this clown’s writing might as well come from a factory) where you start with some raw materials, then shape them, do some processes to them and out pops a brand new doodad. Although, as I think about it—I guess the raw materials are whatever knowledge (hah) we ingest along the way, affected by the experiences of our lives, then out pops a brand new doodad (did he just use doodad twice in the same paragraph?).
You know how I love to mess around (everybody’s doin’ the mess around), although I must admit, I am becoming just the boringest (spell check just checked out) person (as evidenced by this endless stream of drivel) that I know (did he just use three sets of parenthesis in one sentence?). “Is it possible that two sets o’ guys, both driving identical mint green Pontiac Tempests, showed up at the Sack o’ Suds?” My cousin Vinny aside, what’s going on with the Italian olive oil business (la beez-a-nees)? Seems there has been a widespread scam going on with oils labeled “Extra Virgin.”
Personally, I’m flabbergasted to think that there could possibly have been a situation where the Italians were involved in less than above-the-board types of dealings, especially in something so noble as profit-making and business—absolutely flabbergasted. Actually, I’ve been suspect all along. I mean, just take a look at that nomenclature, Extra Virgin. Looking around our world today, it just doesn’t seem realistic to expect to find that much virginity available, regardless of what aspect of life we are talking about. Maybe the Italians were just trying to maintain the oil’s reputation in the community—you know, the specter of Catholic guilt and all that. Can’t let people think those olives are out runnin’ around, now can they?
MAKING GOOD...Speaking of extra virgin, I ran into my old winemaking buddy Adam LaZarre the other day. He was pouring his newest vintage of LaZarre (catchy name) Pinot Noir. I’ll tell you, that boy may be a little off his rocker (then again, I don’t think I ever met a winemaker who wasn’t), but he sure can cook. His Pinot is really true to the integrity of the varietal. If you ask most wine people what one wine they would choose to drink, were they left one more wine before they die, most will choose a Burgundy (the reason wine lovers planted Pinot Noir in other places around the world to begin with). It has to do with their subtleties, elegance, finesse and balance.
Most of the Pinot Noirs dominating the California market today rely on bold, upfront, in-your-face-fruit, high alcohol and zinfandel-like power. LaZarre has managed to craft a lovely, feminine- styled, elegant Pinot that straddles the gulf between the founding fathers of the wine and us. He’s also got some pretty cool ideas up his sleeve about other styles of wine using some of my favorite varietals—I’ll keep you posted.
Another one of my old buddies, Jeff Moses, is launching a new line of sodas. 101 Root Beer is the label, with cool looking classic cars and a catchy logo. The soda is delicious and will add a nice bit of style and taste to the craft-made soda market. If you have any questions give Jeff a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHIFTING GEARS...It sure was interesting to see all the amazing automobiles flying around last week. Humans can be mighty impressive at designing and building things when they want to, can’t they? Would love to see more of that creativity applied to the less sexy problems facing the world. We really could clean the whole thing up in about two or three generations, a veritable blip on the radar screen of evolution.
The Mucky Duck Restaurant, located at 479 Alvarado St. in downtown Monterey, is hosting its Second Local Business Shindig on the outdoor patio on Thursday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 8pm. Their mission is to bring together the local work force in Monterey County to exchange business cards, share promotional ideas and good times. Complimentary wine supplied by Otter Cove Wines, raffle prizes supplied by Sultry One Studios and The Monterey County Fool, and appetizers will be provided by the Mucky Duck…email@example.com.
IT’S GOT LEGS...Based on the success of their Last Friday’s Wine Bar, the braintrust at A Taste of Monterey gathered that folks are eager to enjoy the amazing wine and view after 6pm. So, for the month of August, every Friday and Saturday nights, they will keep their doors open two hours later (last Friday until 9pm). Go on in, bring your friends or meet new ones, pick up your club wines and visit with guest vintners. 646-5446 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
My wino buddy Thomas Perez is all excited about the winemakers he’s got joining him at L’Auberge Carmel—Aug. 23 he brings in Emmanuel Kemiji of Miura Vineyards. Kemiji is the 13th person to achieve master sommelier in the United Estates, and he’s the former wine director at Ritz Carlton, San Francisco, so you know Perez will be putting him to work pouring. Sept. 14 sees Peay Vineyards & Winery with Vanessa Wong, former winemaker at Peter Michael winery. Wong has worked for Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux and Domaine Jean Gros in Burgundy. First annual Central Coast Trail Walk is Saturday, Sept. 15 at Windows on the Bay in Monterey. Continental breakfast is from 7:30 to 8:45am with the walk along the Rec Trail to Lovers Point and back starting at 9am. They’re looking for volunteers, walkers and sponsors—contact Julie Ann Lozano, event coordinator, coastaltrailwalk.org or 383-0477…I’m gone.