Having recently closed the back cover of John Irving’s “Last Night In Twisted River” (fantastic; especially if you like Irving), I’m a little intimidated writing anything today. So for tonight’s write-up, I’m going to take a more journalistic approach because by golly, there’s a lot of stuff going on.
I’ve mentioned here and there that I enjoy playing music with friends every now and then. True as that may be, there is usually a modicum of inner frustration when I strum and sing someone else’s songs. Don’t get me wrong, I play songs I’ve written as well, but I’m just not as prolific as I’d like to be. That’s about to change. Enter one of my creative heroes, Sam Flot. Sam has been a good friend of mine for a long time. That being said, guess where he buys his wine? As with many customers, I know Sam’s palate, and he gives me discretion to, “mix me up a case of stuff that I would like.” I did exactly that about a month ago, not knowing what it would lead to.
One of the wines I packed in Sam’s last case was a wine I call Meg White. Its official name is Rene Barbier Mediterranean White. It’s a non-vintage, 11.5% alcohol, crisp white wine made from blending Xarel-lo, Macabeu, and Parellada. Yes, those are the 3 traditional grapes used to make Spain’s stellar sparking wine, Cava. As is evidenced here, the still version of this blend is crisp, food friendly, and get this, $5.98!!! Not a typo. 6 bucks. Is it drinkable? Just ask any of us. With summer fastly approaching, we all owe it to ourselves to snag a case of this “just ’cause”. Seriously. 6 bucks. When it first arrived in the shop, we had to come up with a code to add it to our inventory system. Due to space constraints, it had to be abbreviated to “NV Med White”. Being a fan of all things musical, it’s Meg White to me. I sent another friend of mine packing a case of this one and after he texted me as to how much he liked it, I suggested he enjoy it while listening to Ray Lamontagne’s “Meg White”. 5 minutes later my phone exploded.
So grabbing Sam’s mixed case, I headed to Sausalito’s houseboats as we were doing some work on covering the Stones’ “Exile On Main Street” in its entirety. I got there early, so Sam and I got the chance to catch up. We chatted about his upcoming trip to Jazzfest and he asked about my recent trip to Bordeaux. Funny that. I told him that when I was in Bordeaux, I had a lot of time to myself as I did a fair amount of driving around. Sometime in the middle of all this driving, I was inspired to write not 1, but 2 new songs. They had titles and concepts, but needed flesh and soul. Oh yeah, something else about my creative hero Sam Flot, he’s got a record label. Our other buddy showed up a little later with his girlfriend and some burritos; we ate, we drank and we played Stones’ songs. We popped 2 bottles from Sam’s case that night. The Meg White was one of them. Proof’s in the pudding. Our buddy and girlfriend were quite taken by it. They ordered a case immediately. Sam, on the other hand, was not only going to Jazzfest, he was going on a mini-tour and wouldn’t be back around for 5 weeks. He’s a busy guy. So the phone rings the other day.
“Pete, I need some more wine.”
“Want me to mix up another case?”
“No, I want a whole case of Meg White.”
“Can’t say I blame you.”
“Just checking, now that I’m back are you still good to play music on Tuesday nights?”
“Yep, sure can.”
“Pete, I really like the idea of the _ song, I’d like to help you with it.”
“Really? That’s great! Love the idea. Let’s do it.”
“Great. See you Tuesday.”
“Cool. You got it.”
“Don’t forget the wine, Pete.”
So that’s exciting. What else? Well, the 2010 Bordeaux futures campaign is heating up as more of the well-known chateaux are releasing their prices. We appreciate hearing from you all regarding your wish-lists. Our dinner with Aline Baly of Chateau Coutet is now at the “Save The Date” stage, which will be July 14 (yes, Bastille Day) at Range Restaurant on Valencia St. Details regarding menus and costs are still being hammered out, but look for those details soon!
Anyhoo, I’ve got Sam’s case pulled from the floor awaiting Tuesday’s delivery. We’ve got a limited amount as of this moment, but we’ll have more by the middle of next week. If you haven’t tried it, but would love a crisp white for $6, then this is your wine! What else? How about some grilled halibut with cilantro and garlic, saffron rice and sauteed spring squash? I’ve got Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” cracked open on the coffee table. I just need to grab a bottle of Meg White on my way out the door! – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me if you want to know more about our upcoming dinner with Mlle Baly of Chateau Coutet or anything else: firstname.lastname@example.org