On the Road Again

Monday, July 23rd, 2007, 9:31 pm

I was so happy to get home and re-introduce myself to Ernie that I took off on another trip on Saturday. I didn’t plan on going to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival this year but when my friend Rick said, “Ah, c’mon” I caved in to the crushing peer pressure. So instead of spending the weekend recharging my batteries I was guzzling wine for two days straight. Or trying to guzzle wine. There was a huge line to buy tickets when we showed up on Saturday and it was absolutely jammed inside. It was by far the most crowded day we’ve seen in the five years we’ve attended, and after the mass chaos of the Amazon Room it wasn’t quite what my overextended nerves were looking for.

But there was lots and lots of wine to be had, and after throwing the occasional elbow to worm my way closer to the booths I sampled some pretty good vino. After all these years I know which wineries to frequent and which to avoid, so some of the joy of discovery is gone. Though there were a few new places this year that had some nice wines. One difference from previous years was that some of the wineries kept their really, really good stuff under wraps. I went to McGregor aching to try a few stray sips of their fantastic Black Russian Red…and learned that they’d already sold out their entire run. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces I learned on the Q.T. that they’d actually brought a single case of it on Saturday and would have a single case on Sunday. The asking price was a cool $100 a bottle. I thought about all the C-notes I fed into video poker machines at the Rio and thought that dropping one on a bottle of wine wouldn’t be a bad investment. But I already have a 2001 Black Russian Red sitting here at home, so I decided to pass.

Last Easter my Dad opened a bottle at Easter that he picked up from a winery called Red Newt, which makes some fabulous stuff. It was fan-freakin-tastic, but I didn’t see it offered. They also didn’t have the Syrah I really like, so I picked up a bottle of their Cabernet Franc and tried to console my taste buds. But as my gang tallied up all the bottles we were getting there I saw a price list and the word Viridescens at the top. That’s the wine my Dad shared with me at Easter and the name naturally caught my eye. “Do you have this?” I asked the angelic young lady at the register and she reached under the table and produced an open bottle. “We haven’t been advertising that we’re offering this,” she said as she administered a very healthy pour into my glass, “because we’d have people hanging around all day asking for samples.”

“Yeah, I’d never do that,” I said as I sipped, closed my eyes, and listened to every cell in my brain go, “Ahhh…” Fantastic stuff. I only bought one bottle, even though the aforementioned C-note would’ve bought a bottle both for my Dad and myself. But we’d already had our bill and discount calculated and I didn’t want to be a bigger pain that necessary. I just need to make sure I’m around when he uncorks it. Sooo good.

As was the Ice Wine we all picked up at Standing Stone, and the half-case of Meritage I picked up at Dr. Franck’s. I don’t know much about wine but I know what I like, and when I found something I liked I made the kill. I mean, I’m not a paragon of viticultural discernment like our friend Brett:

Only a case and change this time, but enough to keep me happy for a few months. Though maybe not as happy as Frank and Heather’s son Hunter, who approved of the choices Mom and Dad made during the weekend:

On Saturday we all went to dinner at a brewpub in Corning. Good food, but as I warned my friend Scott, the service can be “glacial”. It turns out that I was insulting all but the most slothful of ice sheets. Our waiter was quite pleasant and paid us adequate attention, but it took for-evah to get our food. Adding to the problem was that we were sitting outside on their roof deck and the temps plunged into the 50s. Debbie asked if we could move back inside and with the restaurant mostly cleared out they let us move back indoors. As our food was about an hour in coming it turned out Deb made a good call. What wasn’t a good call was her selection of a pasta dish with chicken and calamata olives that was so freakin’ SPICY that it bordered on the inedible. Look, I like hot stuff, but the heat came on like a tidal wave and lingered for minutes afterwards. How can you eat an entire plate of the stuff? Answer–you can’t.

On Sunday the ladies went to the store and bought steaks, potatoes, peppers and squash and we grilled out in the courtyard. I opened a bottle of the Meritage I bought and we had ourselves a fantastic dinner outside. I meant to take a picture before I attacked my plate, but I was hungry. As if you couldn’t tell:

Today we headed home, and that’s where I am right now. I planned on collapsing over the weekend and getting back into the swing on Monday…that didn’t happen. I have a lot of WSOP stuff to write about and actual work I need to do, but that’ll have to keep until tomorrow. At some point tomorrow I also need to do some grocery shopping. Right before I got home from Vegas my folks picked up milk, eggs, bread and cheese for me. So I need to get…everything except milk, eggs, bread and cheese.

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2 Responses to “On the Road Again”

  1. KenP Says:

    “Last Easter my Dad opened a bottle at Easter”

    You can turn a phrase! 🙂

    And, no, you can’t come over and find the 52 that are in my blog.

  2. Poker Perambulation Says:

    […] casino extends to our every purchase. Your buying habits become an open book. Hit a winefest, like MeanGene did over the weekend, and you could get a call from AA. You become a walking target for […]

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