Saturday, February 7, 2009

Enjoying LIfe Through Friends and Wine

This week I wanted to get away from the normal Good Cheap Wine of the Week, I wanted to focus on friendships, food, and wine. About six years ago, around when I was starting to realize a real passion for wine, as luck would have it, I met a couple of friends who knew much more about earths sweet nectar than I did. One guy, an old friend of mine, Nick, who now stays up in New York, used to say "wine brings people together," at that time I did understand his meaning, but had not yet grasped it's depth. Well, it's six years later, and I've had quite a long time to ponder what Nick was really saying, the man was absolutely right. Most people, especially in the present time, are overly stressed because the economy and life has dictated so. For some, I'm sure that it has been a while since you've connected with anything outside of your day job. From what I've been hearing in the media, 2009 is supposed to be about change, so when was the last time you changed your weekly routine. Well I decided to do just that this past week and I just feel like sharing some of it with you.
Just to highlight some activities I participated in this past week, a few guys I know, we all try to get together bi-weekly, and either have dinner, go to the cigar shop, or a chosen Wine Bar. This week, a couple of us went to Vintage in San Jose CA, at Santana Row(good call by my good friend Jafari). While we were tasting our flights of wine and speaking of world domination by us, ambitious young renaissance men, both my friends Ododa and Jafari took a sharp right on the road of this collective conversation and started talking about how being places like Vintage (for example), helped them get through the week and I immediately agreed. Ododa then followed up asking about my wine blog, and why not make an exception this week and write about how wine and places like this brings people together. Nick's words immediately jumped to forefront of my mind and I realized, wine and good converstions, for me is like therapy, it helps me to escape this corporate mindset I get stuck in throughout my work week.
To tell you the truth I was blessed enough to have two really great experiences this week in relation to wine, food, and good company. My experience started at Vintage on Wednesday, which for those who ever watched Cheers, I feel like Norm when I walk in this place. The staff there are inviting, and not to knock other wine bars, but Vintage employees are very knowledgeable about their wines and enjoy helping first timers understand that quality does not always come with a huge price tag on a bottle. So for all of you, who may have been to a wine bar in the past, and maybe was afraid to ask questions, go to vintage, and ask away.

My next experience led me up to Half Moon Bay, to a wonderful restaurant called Crab Landing. A beautiful place with beautiful ambience, and as told by the staff, because I arrived at night, there are also wonderful view of the ocean during the day. A good friend of mine Named Dante, invited my lady and I up there to hang out with some of his friends. Now for anyone who knows "The Mayor," I mean Dante, knows that he knows everyone in the bay area and he also loves to bring people together over good food and wine. So because it was Dante inviting us we drove up, and it was worth the trip. In the dinner party there was about 12 of us and the conversation was lively, as we shared many a dishes. One of the dishes that stood out to me was the Calamari that was on point like a military sniper taking a shot, it was literally that good, with sweet breading that paired extremely well with the only bottle of Vouvray on the current menu. Another dish that tickled my fancy was the Bluepoint Oysters, which also caught the sweetness on the finish of the Vouvray very well. We as a group ordered a number of wines which I will not bore you with, but the wine list is strong, and as I heard from the manager himself, and also witnessed in his cellar, patrons can expect an even more balanced to come. So definitely if you are in the area drop by Crab Landing and enjoy the atmosphere of quality service, food and wine.
Lastly, I know with the recession, people have been stressed out which has led to them cutting down on spending money. I say continue to be frugal, but sometimes it's okay to step outside of work life and catch up with some friends or loved ones, you may, as I did, find some sanity. So go out this week or weekend with some friends or family and leave a response online, I would love to hear what you guys and gals experienced while out. Oh yeah, and include some wine or food to the equation. Take care as usual and I'll be back to wine next week.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. I saw it by following your comment on Tom Wark's Fermentation Blog.

    I am in Palo Alto, and familiar with Vintage winebar over at Santana Row, and many other wine bars in the Bay Area. Wine Bars are great places to hang out with friends who like wine and company. Unfortunately, many wine bars are not up to snuff with their selection, and frankly they do over-charge -- paying $8-10/glass for wines that cost them $15/bottle is tough to swallow. But you do get to try different stuff for less than a price of a bottle in a restaurant, which is great, especially in this economy. Personally, I prefer having dinners and tastings where you can open everyone's own great wines with people who appreciate them, and pay vastly less (per glass) than in wine bars.

    I heard some good comments about Vintage from a few wine friends. Agree with you completely - wine brings people together. It also makes you think and feel.

    Keep blogging!
    Gary "Iron" Chevsky (from the Iron Chevsky wine blog at