Mike H Shields
June 9-10, 2012
Every year I have the privilege of attending this event, and every year, I'm not disappointed. Until this year. I don't know what it was, but I walked away from the event totally sober, so, the wineries have failed in their mission to impress me. To give you an idea of how I should feel before I leave Raleigh Studios across the street from Paramount Pictures; two years ago, I ended up getting picked up by a drunk chick and having anonymous sex. Well, that's not entirely true. I did get her name.
My modus operandi this season was to move to each vintner, ask for a Pinot Noir, and take a sip. Now, I'm no expert, but I play a good game, and know what to look for. I just don't know what to call the steps, which is why I'm not an expert. I don't even play one on TV.
If they didn't have a Pinot, they'd give me something close, usually a Sirah. At least, that's what it said on the bottle. Again, an average guy like me that wants to buy a decent bottle of wine to bring home for a prospective date, just needs to know if it tastes good. A good buzz at the end is an added bonus as well. Especially if it leads to anonymous sex.
Wash, rinse(literally), repeat. Move to the next offending of the over 40 plus wineries, and be assaulted again. Now, I could give the names of the wineries that served what acted like water wine, or, I could be a good Christian, and say nothing. As I don't have anything good to say. It's interesting to note that the most memorable companies served coffee and balsamic vinegar, not wine.
The good news is, the next week I attended a wine tasting at Total Wine, a franchise that has popped up recently. The specific location is not important; whom I met that day, is.
Jeff Hurst, of Truett•Hurst Winery fame, was very accommodating, and poured a selection of various reds from their estate. He said something that is true for everyone, “The best wine is the wine you like best.” This after serving me the aforementioned Pinot, and I stated that I wasn't a fan. However, their Cabernet is a definite winner in my opinion. If you'd like to take a wine trip on the order of Sideways, Truett•Hurst is located in Healdsburg, CA @ 5610 Dry Creek Road.
The end result is, I'll be attending LA WineFest again next year, if nothing else, to receive another commemorative glass. For an additional $20, you can get it personally etched by some company that was on site, if you're into that kind of thing....
It's still 72 and sunny in Redondo Beach. Even if others would have you believe different.
Disclaimer: Mike exaggerates the claim made in the first paragraph, and is a happily married man as of this writing. You can find his film ministry at: my168project.com.