Friday, September 5, 2008

Distraction is Necessary

It's early. 5:15 a.m. I've been up since the should-be-illegal hour of 3:30 this morning, & now I'm at work. Shocking, I know. Horrifying, even! Here's the really scary part - I did this yesterday, too, & I'll probably be doing it a few more times throughout the month of September. Now, I know you're asking yourself why I'm doing this. Don't worry, you're not alone - I'm still asking myself.

Here's why - the VP Debate on October 2nd. Weird, huh? No, not really. You see, it's coming to where Doug works, & he's an electrician. (Actually, he's the main one for this shin-dig, aside from the engineers.) He has to set up all of the power for the now-massive media center that will provide all of us with the coverage. (It didn't start out being too massive, but now with all the hoopla surrounding these VP picks, it's just crazy.) This means a lot of overtime, which means really early mornings. He even has to work late on some nights. Our other business is hopping all month, too. Hey, I need shoes. Poor Doug.

Not to discount the love of my life, but poor me, too. If Doug's up early on a work day, I'm up early, too. I'm too paranoid of oversleeping, not hearing the alarm, the alarm not going off... so I get up & go with him on the days he doesn't have to work. Crazy, huh? Well, sort of. If you look at it from a financial standpoint, it makes sense. We're not paying for 2 vehicles' gas & parking - & believe me, where I work, it costs a freakin' fortune to park in a relatively safe place. That, & I'd just really rather not drive if I don't have to. There are times that I love to drive - but never to work. Heh. I'm spoiled. And tired as hell. Bitchy is destined to follow, & probably not my trademark delightfully bitchy, either....

So, distraction is the name of the game so that I don't fall asleep with my head on my desk. That wouldn't be comfortable, nor would it go over well with the powers that be. And so, my friends, I write.

At this point, I'm going to restrain myself from spouting off my views on the election. I'm not a political dynamo, nor do I wish to be, & I absolutely hate it when people debate. I've made my decision, & I doubt that will change. I will say that one of the VP picks pushed me off the proverbial fence, & that I'm very irritated by some of the things that are happening. However, I have no control over that until the election, & even then, I only have control over my teeny-tiny vote. Gah, politics.

How about a change of subject? I'm irked enough because I'm so tired, so let's talk about last night.

Since it was Thursday night, & our favorite haunt, Veritas Gateway to Food & Wine, has its weekly wine bar, Doug & I decided to get out of the house. (I've written about this place before, & how much we love it.) They just hired a new chef, so we were excited to see what he had to offer. When we walked in, we were greeted by one of the owners & several of the staff (who know us by name, which is so nice), & then we headed to the tasting bar.

They had an importer on hand to pour & talk about the wines. We usually really like this because we get to learn a little while we taste. Most of the time, Doug & I will select our bottle from the rep's lineup to more or less be polite. But not last night.

This guy poured us a rather lovely White Burgundy, which is Chardonnay, for those of you that don't know the French wine regions. Heh. Like I'm some master...but since I taste & drink a good amount of wine, I'm figuring it out. It's actually quite simple for Burgundy - reds are Pinot Noir, unless it's a Beaujolais - then it's Gamay - & whites are Chardonnay. See? Easy! Ok, enough of my little lesson, I hope I didn't put you to sleep. Anyway, since we were the youngest people in Veritas (we usually are, unless we go with the Luces, they're younger pups), I guess the importer dude took us for total novices.

Importer Dude: This is a White Burgundy, Dom Perraud, Macon. It's from Burgundy... that's in France.

Maybe we were just too tired - usually this stuff just amuses us - but I really had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "Really? I thought it was just a color." I didn't, & just nodded my head politely. The importer dude went on pouring his other wines - all still from Burgundy, which, as we now know, is in France - & speaking to us like we were just kids that were there to get some free wine. I could feel the tensions rising from my beloved, easygoing husband...not good. Luckily, the other owner that we hadn't seen yet came to the importer's rescue & started talking to us about the wine & then the importer dude figured it out.

Yeah - we're younger than everyone else in this place. We're dressed in jeans & a t-shirt & we probably look a bit rough. And we know that Burgundy is in France... I think that most people do. Like I said, we were probably just too tired. Both of our work days were craptastic, too. We were a little irked, so we didn't buy the guy's juice. (For the record, it was good, but not fabulous.)

So, what did we end up drinking? I suppose the spirit of the election drove us to select an American wine, so we went with the 2005 Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel. I'm not gonna lie - we adore Zin, but we picked it largely because of the name & the label because both made us laugh.


See what I mean?! And you know what? It was really good. It had a rather subtle nose at first, but it was smooth & had wonderful raspberry, black cherry, maybe even some chocolate & blackberry flavors, along with that fabulous spice you get from Zinfandel. Very easy drinking, & at a decent price - we were quite pleased.

Every time I drink a good Zin, I kick myself for not buying more of my all-time favorite for that varietal (so far), the 2002 Dashe Cellars Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel. Oh. My. Goodness. That's a lovely wine. We drank it last October & haven't forgotten it. At about $30 a bottle, it makes a stupendous treat...& gives you a nice buzz. It's a big one, clocking in at 14.9% alcohol. Doug & I were actually giddy halfway through the damn bottle... (Note to self: buy the damn Dashe. You love it.)

Back to Veritas for a sec - the food was outstanding. We had a filet stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle & Bleu Cheese, with Bordelaise & Lyonnaise potatoes (sounds fancy, eh?), & Chicken Surprise a la Andy... all I know is that it had capers & was ridiculously yummy. Cheers to the new chef!

Ok, the whole blogging thing isn't enough anymore. I need to go drown myself in coffee. Heaven help me.


Thom said...

You're nicer than I am. Once, when I was in a restaurant and asked about their wines, the waitress said that they had red and white. I looked at her for a moment and said "You mean, they come in colors now?!?"

She, nor the person I was with was amused. I, however, thought I was terribly clever, even if I did steal the line from a Steve Martin movie.

Hey... are you still awake?

Explosive Bombchelle said...

How are the doggies handling the early mornings and the empty house?

LucyinStLou said...

Oh you poor, poor thing. And poor Doug too. Coffee sounds like just the ticket for both of you--lots and lots of it. Oh and we get that from importers too. I think it's because we don't have gray hair. I suppose youth has some drawbacks...

Claire said...

Ah, Thom, you ARE clever, even if the line wasn't your own. You've got enough Thom Originals to go around. And no, I'm probably not nicer than you - had I not been in a place that I love owned by great people, I would've let loose, I'm sure.

EB, it's only day 2, but they're doing fine. I'll most likely be back to somewhat normal hours next week (hopefully), but they'll still miss Doug. I'll get the "you're doing it wrong" looks...

Claire said...

Lucy, we commented simultaneously! Yeah...poor, poor us. And yes, coffee, but I think I'll be turning to something a little more high-powered like espresso or Red Bull in a couple of hours.

This importer was with a distributor that we didn't know, so that didn't help. I do believe he was pretty embarrassed when David started talking to us - he realized we had a clue. Never assume, especially not these days - lots of people from many walks of life are getting into wine!

Savvy Mode SG said...

drink plenty of coffee. i can't say i know how you feel about getting up at such awful hour but hang on there.

Blue Ice Dave said...

I really do love the varietals from Burundi...that's in France, right?

Mary said...

I've gotten that Plungerhead several times at St. Louis Cellars. Thanks for reminding me that I need to go back there for Plungerhead and some other wine!

Mary said...

Oh, I also wanted to add, thanks for making me feel validated for liking a wine that a real oenophile enjoys:)

Steve and Stepher said...

Steve is an electrician as well! So the VP candidates are actually going to debate? I say this w/only a slight sense of sarcasm since I haven't hear much come out of either since the conventions.

Oh politics - how you make me want to move to Canada...

I'm guessing you work downtown or Clayton b/c I know how difficult it is to find decent, "I'll probably not be killed if I park here" spots in both places. Well, not so much Clayton but I know it's UBER expensive.

BTW, You never made fun of my love of St. James Winery (this was oodles of posts ago)... ;-)

Nursedude said...

VP debates...what? Isn't there billiards or "The World's Strongest Man Competition" on ESPN 2 that night? On one hand, I cannot think of a time in my life (and I'm 47) where a VP Candidate like Gov. Palin has been such a lightening rod of hatred(from feminists) and admiration in other quarters. I think the way Gov. Palin has been so protected by her handlers, I just think she's going to get eaten alive at the debate.

I enjoy trying a variety of wines, to. One of the great things with the world wide wine glut, that it is possible to get some pretty decent wines even in the 9-10 dollar/bottle range.