Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Table Hopping at the Club
So, it was once again time for the semi-annual wine tasting event at the Discovery Bay Country Club, located a bit southeast of us here in Oakley. It’s always a cool event, if a bit of a gangbang, with upwards of a-dozen-and-a-half tables manned by distributor professionals pouring multiple selections from their respective portfolii.
Again, Kathy and I employed our “establish a beachhead” strategy, though this past weekend, unlike last year’s sunny and balmy November, saw us commandeer a table indoors in an alcove dining room set aside off from Table Nine (but more about this prime locale in a minute).
With wristbands and wine glasses affixed to our hot little mitts, we did the quick perusal circuit, before grabbing a table to scan the inventory catalogue.
This was our fourth time at this clambake, with Club staff being unfailingly nice (despite our not being CC members). In fact, manager Anne recognized us from our attendance over 6 months ago; not sure if it was my hump back, limp, ivory crutches, dental plate with teeth parallel to my upper gum, or the forehead wart where my widow’s peak used to be that gave me away as Kath’s previous plus-one.
Whatever, guys: From the initial club phone calls reminding us about the upcoming event (as previous attendees, we’re on the courtesy list, not that, as readers of our weekly “Oakley Press,” we don’t have acute Spidey Sense for this event already) to the reminder call a few days before (unnecessary, but thank you!), it’s been a true seasonal highlight for us.
And after our second appearance at the Disco Bay CC Wine Tasting, as written before, we adopted a great strategy of scoring a location, then one of us scores food and two glasses of wine, while the other holds down the proverbial fort (coats, purses, messenger bags, etc.) After getting the hang of this strategy, even indoors this season, we went to the next step: a theme in two glasses.
Which should naturally bring us to the pros at Table Nine. But first:
If you have read any sporadic posts on this blog, you know that we (well, I, though we both rant orally vehemently on this together in the Lisa Marie driving between tasting rooms) can not fathom the obliviousness of people at a tasting bar. Preaching to the choir, I know, but you get your taste (engage the pourer maybe, ask a few questions about the varietal OK. But, just as you would not tolerate the Safeway shopping cart behind you blamming into your ankles in the checkout, why should I have to hold my glass aloft and beg your forgiveness to move along?)
A Theme in Two Glasses: a nice idea that Kath adopted for the tasting. Now, not every distributor adopts every wine from the first’s region. So it was really cool to scan the catalogue, and find two tables that could pour something in the same realm: either as varietal, vineyard, region or county. We had some great fun.
Kathy was at a table at which a trio of imbibers, tastes in hand, would not make way for anyone else, even after making eye contact with Kath. We’d been to 3 previous DBCC tastings, witnessed the imperviousness to tasting etiquette and processed the possibility/probability (?) that this event was just ignorance. This was something else: Kath politely tried to get a pour, instructing the ladies that it would be proper if, once they got their taste, they’d make room for others.
You would have thought that someone was trying to cold-cock Miss Manners. The “F-bombs” dropped from she, whom, who it should be noted, is a member of Das Club; her posse joined into the “witty’ response. Class.
Shaken, Kathy, ever the champ, brandished two glasses of red wine back at our beachhead. She’d taken an inappropriate verbal beatdown from a few CC members, refused to let it escalate into a scene (though it should have, but who wants to be the first cop on the scene of blood-drenched Big Bertha and Tommy Bahama?) and still managed to kick it “Theme Style.”
Here it was, from the aforementioned Table Nine: “A Taste of Oakley.” These classy Diageo ambassadors, Robert Kolf and Jonathon Harris, dapper in neckties and dark suits, displayed a knowledge of, and a commitment to, the fermented juice made with some of our local grapes: Jade Mountain “La Provencale”: a Rhone blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and more than a little bit of Grenache sourced from our neighboring Evangelho vineyard, for example. As Diageo reps, they say that commitment to Oakley vineyard fruit is intrinsic to the Rosenblum label: Planchon and Pato fruit continue to be vineyard designated wines.
So that was one of Kathy’s two-fisted themes: Table Nine, and featuring a taste of Oakley. Ish. We sipped “La Provencale” featuring Frank’s Antioch fruit, harvested beside the driving range, in the mix. Then a glass of Zinfandel, from Carla’s: you know, the vineyard beside the Kmart.
Wherever you go, there you are.