i like the fact that on night's like friday there were 3 wine reps from 3 different companies here not to sell their wares but to enjoy ours. which, of course, does include theirs. in addition to which, there were several people here who really enjoy the wine experience. not just the buzz, which can be fun, but the flavors, the intellectual challenge of the blind taste, the discovery of a new style, and the fun of pairing food with wine and beer.
nights like that are so gratifying to me and, not to put a fine point on it, make the rest of the life (the stress, the conflicts, the confrontations, but especially the sudden swings between mind numbing tedium and full-house panic.) worthwhile.
some of the stuff we all played with was a wonderfully dry sparkling vouvray. a few syrah, grenache, carignan blends (a st antonin faugeres, a delas cote-de-ventoux, and andrieux & fils gigondas). a lovely dry muscat from spain (botani). my eyrie pinot gris (which is now on our by the glass list). the ruinart champagne (which just went to the top of my favorite champagne list. that didn't get shared as much as the other stuff since it was the shop tart who ordered it for her table but the rest of us enjoyed talking about how much we liked ruinart, for various reasons.) a sort of sad little petite sirah that didn't offer much in the way of complexity (green truck) and a more interesting one (lost angel). an unexpected white bordeaux of semillon and colombard (chateau de la grave). that was cool. still trying to land on how much i liked it but i enjoyed it. and babcock's white syrah, identity crisis, which i still keep around but, for some reason, never makes the menu. i guess since it was a hard sell when it was on the menu but a relatively easy one by hand.
some of us ended up back at my place where the eyrie estate pinot was opened and thoroughly enjoyed as well as some absinthe and a bourbon tasting that pitted buffalo trace, blanton's, and basil hayden's against each other (blanton's came out on top.)
and, as morning's blue crept through the venetian blinds, a bottle of trig point alexander valley cabernet sauvignon was optimistically opened.
we're enjoying the remainder of that bottle now -and it's opened up beautifully, might i add.
not sure where i'm going with this.
maybe it's just that columbia has this to offer. there are plenty of people in this town to make a night like this happen and every night, no less. (hopefully not here, every night. that was fun but exhausting.)
what's gratifying is that columbia is still growing and there are places, in addition to us, where an evening of fun wine and great food are par for the course. we've got our motor supply and our terra's and the momo's down the street from us, all with solid wine lists. plus the friendly's and the cellar on greens. the vibe here is different, of course. plus i try to make the wine experience educational, often whether you like it or not.
but go out there and enjoy a night of wine and food. or beer and food. enjoy it for the wineness and foodness of it all. explore the by the glass lists and don't forget the beer lists, many of which are improving considerably with the influx of new beers being distributed.
and, of course, come here, too. but a rising tide raises all ships and everyone who puts genuine energy into their beverage program and their food needs to be rewarded by your attention.