I love booze. I love the mix of flavors in a well-made cocktail. I love the warm feeling from a nice glass of a bold red wine. I love the mellowness of a nice beer. Yes, I am a booze geek, but as I’m growing older, I find I can’t pound it back like I use to, and oddly enough, I don’t want to.
When Rich and Rachel were in LA, I had the opportunity to sit in on a wine club blind tasting. For years, I have read about the wine club and wondered if someday I too might be able to wine club with the best of them. On the Sunday after thanksgiving, I got to do just that as we along with Mark did a blind tasting of four whites and four syrahs in at Matt and Kristy’s house Silver Lake. You can read all about it here.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I was in the presence of hard core winos able to not only identify the grape but also where in the world the wine came from. Holy smoke, I thought, I enjoy wine and know what I like and don’t, but I was tasting with people who have wine flowing in their veins. Naturally, I fell back on my other love, movies, to describe the complexity of what I was tasting.
Still it was a pleasant afternoon, sitting out in the sunshine and sipping wine. Little specks of dirt landed in our glasses, but I didn’t mind. It made the experience more organic to me. If Rich and Rachel and Matt and Kristy ever decide to hold a blind wine tasting in your city, I recommend going. It will be a mellow learning experience.
One recent Sunday afternoon, I stopped by the Wine House to get a bottle of gin for my uncle’s birthday present. I was seeking a gin that my uncle has never tried. This has gotten harder and harder throughout the years in our quest for the most sublime martini.
As I perused the gin selection and waxed nostalgic on all those great martinis I’ve had through the years, I suddenly found myself surrounded by three guys all in their late twenties. They were shopping for bourbons and maybe possibly scotches. They were like women in boutiques. They had opinions on everything and spoke them aloud.
At that point, I realized that I was in the presence of Booze Geeks. Yep, these are guys who set out to learn everything about booze and know everything about booze.
As I studied the different gins and weighed my different options, I suddenly heard one of the Booze Geeks talking in my ear.
That’s no good. He said pointing to the gin bottle that I was reading the copy of.
I glared at him. Did I ask for his opinion? No.
No good? I asked repeating his words.
It’s a very weak gin. He said.
Weak gin? Again, I was repeating his words, but Geek boy continued.
What will you use it for? He asked.
I make martinis. I said being pulled into his Geek world.
Well if you want to make martinis, you should use x, y, or z. He said pointing to three different bottles of gin. I had used all three. They made mediocre martinis.
I’ll take it under advisement. I said as I grit my teeth. I didn’t mind his geekiness. After all, I was a booze geek myself. I objected to his intrusive geekiness. Fortunately, he had a whole world of bourbon to explore, so he went on his way.
By the way, I eventually picked out a gin called Death’s Door. Even though I thought it might not be the best name of a gin for someone’s birthday, the gin was made and bottled in Madison, WI, and I’m pretty sure we’ve never had a gin from Wisconsin.
It had a nice combination of botanicals, and at times, I even thought I tasted peach. With all its flavors, it made a nice martini and played well with Aperol and sweet Vermouth in a negroni.