08/22/06 – Santa Barbara County (pt. 2)

By Jesse on August 21, 2006


First, thanks to those of you who attended our little Polynesian soiree on Saturday night, or the “tropical debacle” as it shall forever be known.  It was fun for a while, and the pineapple-served pina coladas were a huge hit.  Then things started getting “out of hand,” I think most indicatively when the flaming shot I had just poured for Max took leave of his hand and spread itself around the kitchen — counter, stove, etc., culminating with its presence on my hand as we attempted to put out the flames.  I don’t know what was worse, that the kitchen was on fire, that my hand was on fire, or that, by that point, I was too drunk to feel much pain.  Then, if memory somehow manages to serve, we attempted to chase away our dismay at fucking up the 151 shot by successively pounding Don Julio Anejo and Barenjaeger (aged tequila and German honey vodka, respectively, for those who weren’t there).  I spent the rest of the evening clutching ice cubes, falling over couches, and alienating Don’s friends who I don’t know that well.  The point I’m trying to make is that this whole “drinking” thing probably isn’t the best idea, and I’m going to take a break from it until Tuesday night’s meeting.  Or until my hand stops hurting.  Whichever comes first.

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Secondly and foremost, Tuesday night’s meeting is gonna be great, because we’re returning to Santa Barbara County, and we’re doing whites.  Santa Barbara isn’t actually a region itself — it’s the name of a county, and it’s a term used to encompass two smaller regions: Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley.  These are the ones you have to know when you go shopping (although the term “Santa Barbara” may appear on bottles as well).  We will also be lumping the following two regions into this week’s tasting, since they’re just north of Santa Barbara County and they produce mostly the same wines: Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande.  Look for any of these four regions when you’re shopping for this week’s bottle.  In a grocery store, you’re on your own, but if you’re in a wine shop, they may be able to help you find Santa Barbara wines if you’re having trouble.

Also, regarding the elusive wine club field trip: lets try now to decide on a date.  I originally proposed Saturday, September 2, but then you guys were all “no, no, that’s Labor Day weekend, it’s a holiday,” and I definitely respect people’s right to religious expression, so what about the next Saturday, September 9?  Let me know which you guys prefer.  By that point, we’ll have tasted Santa Barbara for either two or three weeks, and we might have some favorite wineries that we want to go visit.  We can discuss the date at this week’s meeting, and then we’ll get into more practical matters like how we’re getting there, whether or not we want to spend the night, and exactly which wineries we’re gonna hit.

When shopping this week, pick out any white wine from the four regions listed above, which are going to be comprised mostly of Chardonnay (a full 60% of all grapes grown in Santa Barbara are Chardonnay) and also possibly some Sauvignon Blanc. If you want to go for the full “Sideways” experience, here are the six wineries that Miles and Jack visited in the movie, all of which are in Santa Barbara County:

Andrew Murray
Fess Parker

We’ll be meeting at Daniella’s house in Beverly Hills, which has an awesome backyard patio for us to enjoy, weather permitting.  Chill those Santa Barbara whites, and we’ll see you on Tuesday night at 9 PM.