Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things I have been doing instead of blogging

- Tasting after tasting after tasting. Holiday season is nuts for us.

- Accidentally signing up for Facebook. Because I need another website that I can waste hours and hours on. So go ahead. Add me.

- Finalizing my Wishlist. What? My parents are after me for Christmas present ideas.

- Spinning.

- Getting ready to go to San Francisco for Thanksgiving weekend! Making dinner reservations, calling wineries, figuring out what to pack... I kinda wish packing was an Olympic sport.

- Reading First Big Crush. Damn this book is good.

- Hatching a plan to take this winemaker up on the offer he made me early this year and go down to New Zealand in March to work their harvest. Now I just have to figure out how to sell my boss on the advantages of me taking a six week leave of absence in order to learn about how wine is made first hand. Advice?

In all seriousness, I haven't really been inspired to write lately. Hopefully the fog will lift after this weekend in wine country. Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quote of the Day

Uttered by Jason, my good friend who lives in San Francisco, who I will never marry - despite his parents' wishes (because he likes boys), who I am visiting over Thanksgiving weekend, who was responding to my question of whether or not I should pack anything dressy for our dinners out (which we have been planning meticulously for weeks):

"Girl, this is California. No one cares what you're
wearing, just as long as yo' VISA works."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Tales from the biz: My single favorite oyster story

When I lived in New York, one of my best friends was a girl from Massachusetts named Jonna. She was a ton of fun, and a truly great girlfriend - always around for a night out, to throw you a birthday party, to listen when you have a problem, and cheer on your victories.

The restaurant that we worked at featured a large raw bar selection, with a rotating choice of fresh oysters every day. Tatamamagouche oysters, the Nova Scotia natives known for being mildly briney and having a very clean finish, made regular appearances on our lineup. We always loved customers who dug into to a plate of oysters, not only because they were expensive but not filling (therefore padding the check without taking up valuable tummy space - so they would still order other appetizers), but because people who ordered them tended to be fearless, playful, and a lot of fun to wait on.

One night Jonna had the distinct pleasure of waiting on a group of six or seven businessmen, all in their late twenties/early thirties, handsome, and only slightly rowdy. Cute men and a guaranteed large check? She was in heaven.

Midway through their first course she poked her head into the server station where I was at the computer.

"Having fun with your man meat?"

"Oh my god, I'm dying. Look at what's on their table right now."

I peeked out and scanned their table, noticing a huge platter of oysters right in the middle. Most of them looked like the Tatamagouche - which were particularly long and skinny that night.

"Hot..." I muttered, turning back to the computer.

"Dude, if those guys make it through all of those, they can have my Tatamagouche later on tonight."

I caught the reference and turned around just in time to see her bounce up to the table, asking if they were enjoying their platter.

"God, I love that girl," I mumbled to myself before diving back onto the floor.

It's all downhill from here (or something equally overdramatic)

Being naturally fair-haired, and having both a father and grandmother who have had nary a silver strand in their lives, have helped me to avoid the graying that sometimes starts to haunt people in their mid to late twenties. I've never been smug with this fact or anything, it's just that the visual effects of aging have never really been something that I've thought about, or even considered.

Until yesterday.

Sitting at a stoplight, I flipped down my visor and started innocently applying some lip gloss. And there it was - a tiny frown line on the left side of my mouth. My first wrinkle.

I blinked. Tugged at the skin. Experimented with smiling and frowning, so see which makes it more prominent. And then a gentle honk from behind reminded me of where I was, and that I would have to inspect it closer in the safety of my own home.

A quick peek in the mirror this morning (clearly I'm not all that worried about it if I waited until this morning to look) confirmed it. Slight, but present. Sigh. Maybe I shouldn't be so judgemental of people who get Botox anymore. I have to admit that is was weird and a bit disconcerting to find a visual sign of age, even if it is tiny at this point.

Life is interesting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Grape State of our Union

"Check out the program for the charity event I'm speaking at on Thursday," my boss said as I ducked my head into his office yesterday morning.


"Yeah. That's how they referred to me. 'Wine lecture by guest sommelier'."

"Hmm... that kinda sucks."

"I know. I mean, I've passed Level 1 and all, but I'm not even employed at a restaurant."

"Well, no major harm. They just don't know what they're referring to."


Fast forward five hours to cocktail hour at one of our favorite accounts.

"Get this - I talked to the charity people."


"Conversation is going fine, finalizing details, yada yada yada... we start to wrap up and the guy goes, 'Oh, one last thing. We were hoping you wouldn't mind wearing a grape costume.'"

I nearly snorted wine out of my nose. After I recovered, the laughing began.


"I know."

"Dude, if someone had asked me that I would have panicked and started looking around for the cameras."

"I know. Can you believe that?"

"So what did you say?"

"It went something like this - 'Ahem. Actually, I would mind.'"

"Thank god you said no. So let me ask you this - would you have been a Fruit-of-the-Loom-ish cluster, or a single grape with a stem for a hat?"

"I don't know."

"You know what would have been great? If to raise extra money for the charity they had you lie down on the floor, and charged people $10 to get a picture taken stomping on you - like they were making wine!"

"Oh my god."

At this point we were laughing so hard we could barely stand.

"You know," I mused, "This is actually a really interesting metaphor of where our society is with wine education right now. The same people who know the word sommelier, even though they grossly misused it, are asking the person referred to to actually dress up in a grape costume."

"Haha. That might be taking the whole thing a bit seriously."

"Whatever. I love a good metaphor."