Today I realized I have a ton of marketing projects I’ll need to work on over the coming month. It’s a lot of work, actually. As I spent most of my morning in meetings, I kept thinking about big picture stuff and my goals, what I wanted to accomplish and how I would get there. It was good.
I left work around 3:00 in the afternoon to pick up several cases of donated wine I helped organize for the William Temple House fundraising benefit and auction this month. I spent most of that time driving through the Dundee Hills and then out to McMinnville. Instead of bringing the wine home or leaving it my car, which would be totally inappropriate because of the temperature, I dropped the cases off in my office. I left there around 4:45 and headed home to change.
I met Susan and Kerry up at the tennis courts by the International Rose Garden up in Washington Park. It’s so beautiful there. We had been talking about playing tennis for months, but hadn’t been able to make it happen.
It was a pretty evening. The scent of roses was intoxicating! Susan and Kerry arrived and we had so much fun! We were rusty at first, but got in some really good volleys. If we practiced more often, we could be pretty good, actually. Because it was Friday, and we were tired from the week’s end, we were really silly. We kept cracking up over ridiculous stuff. Kerry, in particular, was quite hilarious with punchy commentary.
We loved how the roses just grew into the fences and made the tennis courts even more beautiful and fragrant. Tres manifique!
After an hour and a half of chasing wild tennis balls, and cheering each other on for any contact with the ball, we were hungry. We drove down to the northwest and headed over to Cha on Everett Street. We first had a drink at the bar. I ordered the Pepino, a cucumber margarita. I really, really love these summery refreshing cucumber concoctions.
We then had a table outside. We shared the sampling of three cevices to start – which was really delicious. I then ordered the braised pork carnitas tacos that came with a side of divine, rustic black beans. I ordered another Pepino. We loved this place – the decor, the people, the energy, the cocktails and the food.
We dashed off to the Fox Theater on the other side of the 405. We missed the Woody Allen movie we were going to see, the one with Scarlet Johansson, and went to see the 10:00 viewing of Bottle Shock, a movie loosely based on the events leading up to the famous 1976 “Judgement of Paris” wine tasting, mostly covering the story of father-son Jim and Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, whose 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay won, beating out pedigree Burgundies. It’s a charming wine country story, an indi film, one that was featured at Sundance, and one that will probably not do for Chardonnay what Sideways had done for Pinot noir. But, who knows??
Allan Rickman and Bill Pullman were great. It was an entertaining film. Parts were pretty cheesy. The intern Sam, which was added to the film for more drama, is reduced to a chick in daisy dukes screwing around with Bo Barrett and his best friend, the assistant winemaker Gustavo. Turns out there’s a lot of fiction thrown into the story. But I guess it makes it work better for the cinema. I found it odd that the real winemaker, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, was left out of the movie. Ah, well, you can read about his victory in making the wine on his own winery website: http://www.grgich.com/about/mike_grgich.cfm
As I drove home, I giggled at how the young Bo Barrett reminded me of other young winemakers I knew both here in Oregon and in California. There’s something romantic about a soul that is bound to making wine or growing wine grapes. Many women crowd the tables at wine tasting events when the winemaker is there to pour. Especially when they are single. I saw this a couple of years ago when I poured wine at an event at the Hotel Beverly Hills and my table was next to The Bachelor, Andrew Firestone. All these shiny L.A. women in their sequined tops, mind you it was 4:00 in the afternoon, were hoarding his table like bees on honey. I felt sorry for the guy. I witnessed it again in Montana at the table next to me. It was the subject of many punchlines we had shared that weekend.
Anyway. I wondered, as I drove home, if I was fully following my passion with wine. Would I ever take a leap and head off to New Zealand or elsewhere to work a crush? I thought I would have done that by now. Do I want to learn how to make wine? Do I want to be in the vineyard, caring for the vines? I don’t have a green thumb at all. As much as I love the idea of growing vines, I think my creative spirit would fare better in the winery. Will that ever happen? It’s hard for me to say. Perhaps that can be a goal for my 40th birthday. Once I’ve published a few books, saved some cash and laid down more groundwork for such possiblity.