Sunday, April 10, 2005

A few words about wine

Roger and I finally saw "Sideways" last night. Have you seen it? It's a wonderful movie--a quirky plot, beautiful scenery, much humor, and the feeling of REAL characters. Plus lots of wine stuff.

Although the movie takes place in the Santa Barbara area, which is the central coastal region of California, the vineyard views look very much like what I see every day. It's breath-takingly gorgeous. In fact, even as I watched the movie and felt an instant recognition of the vineyard scenes, I also found myself thinking about what an amazing thing it is to live in wine country.

You see, we live in Sonoma County, California. Major wine country. Our town, Healdsburg, has 53 wineries in it. (I kid you can check them out here.) And that's just the town...Sonoma County has many more. Among our friends, we have winemakers, grape growers, grape buyers, restaurant sommeliers, tasting room employees, wine salesman, winery owners, and even a few "wine lawyers." ("Wine law" sounds pretty exciting until you discover that it involves contracts for buying/selling grapes, labor law, and compliance with the vast array of regulations involving alcohol. ZZZZZzzzzzz.) When we first moved to Healdsburg and rented a house, we discovered that we had several winery owners around door, across the street, up the block... Since our little tract house had a concrete foundation and no cellar, Roger declared that if we didn't have a wine cellar, perhaps we could just refer to our "wine crawlspace."

In any event, wine is a big part of life around here. So all the dialog in "Sideways" about wines and tasting sounded quite familiar. Yep, people we know really do swirl the wine around, stick their noses in their classes and sniff loudly, and say things like "chewy" "licorice essence" and "heady" to describe wine.

It seemed odd to me when we first moved here, and sort of pretentious. Within our first month here, one of Roger's faculty colleagues invited us to a benefit wine caution and we just about fell off our chairs to see the prices people were bidding for bottles of wine.

But now... well, the more good wine you drink, the more you become accustomed to good wine! Our tastes have grown more sophisticated, in spite of ourselves. One of our favorite annual outings is the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, where you can taste wines from Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties under one roof...We usually go around and use our tasting tickets to taste the gold medal winners and stuff we could never afford. We still drink wine that is around $10 or under a bottle, but we make sure it's GOOD wine in that price range, usually something more expensive on sale. (Tonight's wine was chardonnay from Hop Kiln Winery, in case you're wondering...)

Anyway. It's funny to me that "Sideways" presented a small slice of our Sonoma County life. Think of me (and Gerrie Congdon, another Sonoma County art quilt blogger) when you see it!

By the way, you can join the "Sideways Wine Club" and have the wines referred to in the movie delivered TO YOUR HOME. How funny is that?!

1 comment:

Mirty said...

I really enjoyed that movie too! This weekend I was talking to a woman who HATED it! I mean she was really offended by it. But I thought it was funny. She was saying, "What's so funny about guys drinking and cheating?" Oh well, I guess almost anything can be funny if written about in a clever way.