An Interlude…

February 7, 2013

I’ve been working down in Southern California this week; pouring At Craft – Los Angeles and Mastro’s Steakhouse in Costa Mesa under the aegis of the Wine Artisans of Santa Lucia Highlands  (a collection of wineries that produce wine from this vaunted appellation and get together to market their wines). The response to the wines…2010 La Rochelle Rosella’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2010 La Rochelle Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir, etc. was extremely good.

The rest of the week I worked with the salesteam from our broker R&R Wine Marketing, pouring wine for buyers in Orange County and San Diego. There are a number of new accounts who will be adding Steven Kent Winery and La Rochelle wines to their programs…very good week (more to come later on this).

Thursday night I had a great dinner at the Twisted Vine Wine Bar in downtown Fullerton (thanks Chris, Scott, Wes, and Brett for the great hospitality!). Fullerton is a college town and the downtown area reminds me a bit of State Street in Santa Barbara; a lot of cool bars and Twisted Vine foodrestaurants and a young vibe that college towns give off in waves. Twisted Vine is like this too. Great flights of microbrews, value-oriented reds and whites, and a special high-end Cab flight from PerryMoore (a Napa Cab brand owned by a new friend and R&R compatriot, Mickey Moore). The food was great too…Manchego meatballs in an amazing broth and potato and chorizo empanadas…really good!

The best part of the night, though, was totally unexpected. There is a fair amount of free parking in small garages downtown. Free parking – great; similar-looking buildings – not so grand.

As I was looking for my rental car in the garage I thought I parked in, I passed a group of about 10 teenagers hanging out. As I looked down a number of rows, pushing my car remote like a madman, I heard one kid playing a harmonica. He saw me too. Next thing I hear…

“There’s a white man wearing a suit {harmonica interlude}. Looking for his car…{harmonica interlude}. He can’t find it…{harmonica interlude}.

I had to chuckle. Eventually, I did find the car. It was in the building next door…I found it by sheer dumb luck.

Just another week in the wine life. Moments of exasperation, moments of success and the lack of it, and moments where the directionally challenged get called out by a harmonica-playing hipster. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.