Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who the heck is this guy?

This is the thought that ran through my cranium as I somewhat crashed an informal tasting with a fraternity of serious wine drinkers. What else was I expecting when one infiltrates a group of conservative guys a bit older than myself all the while sporting spiked hair, a trendy mother of pearl button-up cowboy shirt, designer boots, and jeans? Well, I guess this guy does.

Who the heck is this guy breaching our wine circle-of-trust? A trust that looks deeply established and time-based. Hard lines, sunken cheeks, and swollen livers are proof enough of how that time has been spent.

This great event takes place every Friday afternoon as a group of professionals gather at Antonio’s restaurant to share their love of wine, food, jokes, and stories (exaggerated of course). Well thanks to the gracious Keith Edwards who invited me to sit in and get to know some of the regular cast of characters. Each one with their own personal and interesting bio.

So, who the heck is this guy who dares to place a bottle of wine for a blind tasting inside a local five-and-dime paper bag? I guess this guy does. All the while rethinking my offering. Is my bottle good enough? Will my wine be well received? Will I be invited back? What's wrong with with me bringing white zin??;) Well, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into, but I was excited to be there.

To my surprise, I knew a few others in the group through the infallible Kevin Bacon 6 degrees of separation. Like DJ with whom I have exchanged posts on the Robert Parker board. Dan from UCF. Dr. Lopez with whom my pharmaceutical partner Debbie used to call in the past. Then there is Dr. Fisher who has shared some of his cabbage, brussel-sprout-infused burgundies (terroir??) at the local Wine Warehouse tastings and Dan the champagne connoisseur whose fiancé I coincidently have known for 10 years. Dan I promise to starting drinking champagne!
I want my bromance back!! Starting with the Aubry and my new love the Gosset.

Not surprisingly, the entire group was gracious and respectful. Though I probably did dumb down this group a bit, in no way did I feel like the omega who had to earn or build his status. Slowly I felt part of the group and I hope to do it again. Though the tastings are casual the wines were not, led by an amazing '03 Staglin Cabernet which was sexy, seamless, and silky, bravo. Thank you Dr. Lopez for this brillant offering. I had an amazing time and a headache to prove it. I really owe it all to the classiest guy in the room Keith Edwards. Thanks again for this fantastic opportunity, salute and next time I attend I hope no one has to say 'who the heck is that guy'?

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