Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 in "Snapshots"

Looking back at 2010, I would say that it has been a tough year, but also a lot of fun. I'm going to do the requisite blog post of reviewing the year in terms of snapshots- I'm going to pick some of my favorite moments from each month, and talk about them, and what beverage was in my hand at the time.

January- The moment that sticks in my mind from January was the night my neighbors decided to have a "progressive" dinner. We started at our house for apps, went to another house for entrees, and to a final one for dessert. One of my neighbors loves this whiskey-based stuff called Sweet Lucy. The snapshot is of us trying to drink this crap, while he also tried to teach me to play guitar. It was a lot of fun.

February- one thing that we did in February was go to the Dorm Room dinner put on by the guys from Niche. At the dinner, Gerard served the most over-the-top thing I have ever eaten- Two peanut butter cookies with about 2 oz of foie gras and a moscato gelee in between. I think I was drinking Spanish wine, but it didn't matter. That wonderfully obscene dish still makes my stomach hurt.

March- On March 17th, I played hooky. That was Saint Patrick's day, and I went to a party that my friend Sara was throwing. The mental image of that fantastically fun, sun-soaked day was watching a 50-something year old woman dance with a 20-something year old guy, and she was wearing only a bra and jeans. Gross? Yes. Fascinating? You bet. I'm sure I had a beer in my hand, and it was probably a can of Guinness.

April- April was a great month, and I'm having trouble picking one particular moment. One is my birthday party, which was amazing. However, the next day after a crawfish boil and riesling tasting, we went out to Farmhaus with my friends Bill and Ellie- the snapshot was Bill demanding in beer-soaked logic that their soon-to-be-born baby be named Megatron. I think I was drinking Schlafly something.

May- The snapshot of May came on May 7th, when I turned in my notice from Premier Cru. I left the office, returned a plant for my wife, and then had a terrible Mexican lunch. I sat there, scared as hell, drinking a Bud Light, wondering if I had just made the biggest mistake of my career. It wasn't.

June- June was a crazy month, as we were getting then Epiphany Wines off the ground. The snapshot is from when my folks brought over a couch from KC, and we sat on it, toasting the new company with a bottle of bubbly. Little did we know what we were in store for!

July- this was another month full of snapshots. In fact, I have two. One was sitting at the noodle bar of Momofuku in New York, eating one of the best things I tried in 2010- their ramen bowl with pork belly, drinking a Shiner Bock. The other came on my BBQ Road Trip with my brother- standing in front of Jerry's in Memphis, "drinking" a Dreamsicle Supreme with some of his friends. It was fantastic!

August- the snapshot from August came when I had a cup of coffee in my hand. That was the morning that I was talking to my friend Ben on the phone, and the Fed Ex lady showed up with a certified letter. Uh oh. That letter was the "Cease and Desist" from Parker Station winery- we had to stop using the name Epiphany in our business. Oh well, truth be told I like "Harsha Wines" better.

September- The moment that sticks out in my mind from September is when we took my parents out for an outstanding and fun meal at Niche for their anniversary. We had great wines (04 Baumard Quarts du Chaume stands out in my mind), and Gerard really took care of us.

October- I can't bring up the month of October without talking about Tour de Moose. Man, I both loved and hated that day. The snapshot is watching my sweet bride sing karaoke at DD's lounge, while drinking Bombay and Tonics with my friend Ned.

November- For some reason, I was fairly grumpy in November. Maybe it was stress, working 60 hour weeks, or just the weather turning. At any rate, I had a great time with my family at the In the Vineyards event. Too many wines to list, but it was a really fun evening.

December- The image burned in my mind came yesterday. My parents got my nieces a Wii. All three of them squealed, starting hugging each other, and fell on the ground. At that time, my brother's 2 1/2 year old son did a flying, get-fined-in-the-NFL style leap on top of them, and they all laughed. It was such a great moment watching childish innocence in action. Beverage-wise, I had a Diet Coke in my hand.

This has been a great adventure of a year. Thank you to all my friends and family for their support of my insane ideas. I love you all, and here's to an "epic" 2011.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful for Generous Food and Wine Friends

I'm a blessed man. Not only do I have an awesome bride, a family that loves me despite my multitude of mistakes, a great little house, two dogs that like me, a growing business, and a car that gets me from here to there, but I also am surrounded by friends that share the same passion for food and wine that I do.

Seriously- the people that I often hang out with to eat good food and drink good wine are some of the most generous people I have ever met. In fact, it's crazy how much more giving they are than a lot of the "church people" I'm in contact with. I have wine buddies that regularly open $60-$300 bottles of wine, just to share. I have a friend that footed a $100 dinner bill for me, so I could experience a fantastic meal this week. This is a great group of people that I know, and am proud to call them my friends.

So, in the Christmas spirit, I want to publicly thank Ned, Kelly, Bill, Ellie, Mike, Irene, Eliot, Amy, Izek, The moved-away Tony and Janet, Steven, Jeff, Mike, Dylan, Chad, Chris, Kris, Shannon, Jonathan, Jim, Peggy, Patrick, KBO, Lou Jack, and anyone else that my coffee-fueled brain has skipped for the drinks and bites to eat this year. I'm really glad that you are in my life- you rule.

Cheers! Don't slip on ice today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Whites

Hello all,
Yeah, I know it's been a while. Running a company during the holidays leaves little free time to pound out inane thoughts on the interwebs.

Today, let's talk about white wines for the winter. I know it's about 3 degrees outside, and the last thing on your mind is a cool, refreshing glass of sauvignon blanc. However, the winter time does lend itself to some really fun whites. It's not like people completely stop drinking white wine between December and March, so you might as well drink the good stuff! Think about these:

Bubbly- Anyone who knows me for more than about 2 hours knows that I love bubbly wines. Saturday night, the mrs and I had a late dinner reservation, so we stopped at a wine bar. Did we drink Syrah, Cabernet, or a 17% ABV Zinfandel? Nope. They were warning of some weather apocalypse outside, so we drank Champagne, and it was delicious. Although bubbly should be drank year round, I think this is the perfect time to open Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, or any other sparkling wine with a loved one.

Chardonnay- Yes, you read that correctly. I'm a wine guy, and I'm saying it's okay to drink Chardonnay. In fact, a lot of the restaurants are putting out dishes this time of year with a ton of butter, cream, etc in them. The perfect match to these dishes is a chard with a touch of oak to it. Many of the big, heavy wines that you used to see coming out of Cali are much more restrained now. Also- don't fear white Burgundy. They are delicious, and if a restaurant or shop is carrying them, there's a good chance that someone on staff can tell you about that wine.

Riesling- I'm suggesting this for two reasons. First of all, this is a high-acid wine that cuts right through the fat of heavy, wintery dishes. Also, riesling is produced where it's cold. See? People in Germany, Alsace, and Upstate New York are producing white wine- it must be okay to drink in times besides the summer. Although they aren't made from Riesling, there are also similar wines from Savennieres, Quarts du Chaume, and Coulee de Serrant that fit the bill for the same reasons.

So, there you have it. Definitive, unarguable proof that it's okay to drink white wine in December.