lulu, hillsider companion

lulu, hillsider companion

Thursday, November 6, 2014

starting over

i had 3/4 written a new posting, then decided to start over. I got bored with myself, I think, and re-reading what I had written earlier in the afternoon made me want to hit myself in the face. it just sounded preachy, and felt sort of like chewing on cardboard. anyway, it wasn't anything I wanted to go back to.

so, instead, I'm going to bore you with something different: workingmen's (and workingwomen's) wines. in truth, if you're taking the time to read this you probably aren't bored at all with the subject of good wines at down-to-earth prices. life is hard enough these days without trying to figure out how to pay for a good bottle of zin (my personal favorite, as you may or may not already know) to accompany your cheeseburger and b&m baked beans at dinner, so lighten up superstars in geyserville and calistoga, so the guys in plymouth and girls in vina (and a bunch of other little out-of-the-way rural ava's) can get some room to breathe.

at dinner in trinidad, at the eatery, last week, while waiting for a big plateful of beer-battered fish and chips (fresh cod, and boy was it good), I had a glass (2 actually) of sobon estate's old vine zin, which was fairly rich in slightly tarry blackberryish fruit, nicely balanced, and drinking beautifully. the little dining room was very busy, so I never had the nerve to ask the waitress to go check the vintage for me, but since the little restaurant shows no inclination to offer a captain's list or anything else that suggests they like the idea of tying up cash to age wines, I have to believe it was whatever is currently offered by the wholesaler, probably the 2012. full disclosure here, i was lee sobon's first-ever texas distributor back in the late 70s and early 80s, and have always liked his wines very much, some years being more impresive than others, but always good value to the wine lover. his cougar hill zins, I have to say, i have never failed to enjoy, and from time to time have ranked it in the top 10 red wine buys in the state in a particular vintage, at least in my humble opinion. the sobons aren't the only people making good wine in amador, certainly, but they are perhaps the most consistent, with renwood i suppose. if you love zin and don't know sobon's wines, seek them out; you'll find the effort worthwhile. you can find them at sobon family wines on the net.

sorry. I can't help going off on tangents from time to time; i find it important to pursue thoughts that mean something to me while they're available. my point is this: there are lots of people making good-to-very good wines at reasonable prices in every part of the state (California, that is), so there's no reason for you professionals out there to present crap wine lists to your clientele simply because you're too lazy to do the work and find them. if you are that big a slug, then hire someone else to do it for you, then get the hell out of their way and let them go to work. believe me, you'll reap great financial benefits, and your personal reputation in your local market will begin to show signs of improvement as soon as folks begin to take notice. I will tell you, very frankly, that there are few things in this world that infuriate me as much as a restaurateur who presents a decent menu, well thought out and conscientiously prepared by culinary professionals who care about their craft, who then ruins the experience for the knowledgeable and caring diner (especially me) by accompanying it with a piece-of-shit wine list. and there are a lot of you out there. anyway, I promise that if you just follow this one simple tip, your life will improve in every area, from sex to the respect of your fellow pros.

more on this subject soon. in the meantime, hook'em horns and drink zinfandel where appropriate.

have a good weekend.


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