The Long and Winding Road

by u235craig | November 1st, 2011

I may have had a religious experience today. I was going through the daily chores of being the wine guy today when it happened. A customer came through the department Looking for some wine to drink tonight. Him and his partner were heading to the Wine Country. They were going down 101 and highway 1. Staying in yerts and camping all the way. They had a Lab Mix so the places had to be hound friendly.
We atlked about where to go. I suggested Glen Ellen in Sonoma for the best mellow wine experience. Kunde Cellars as my favorite California Winery. Benzinger to visit one of the greenist wineries in the world.
A little later, another customer told me to check out the Australian Lamb chops at $6.99 a pound. I was on a mission. My brain flashed back to The Plaza Del Sol Apartments In Napa on Trancas street across from the hospital.
Oh my god! a flashback to the early 70’s. I’d drive to Petrini’s Market in San Rafael to get racks of lamb, baby lobster tails, other cool things. On my tiny barbecue grill on a picnic table on my little patio, I would grill lamb and fight with my cat Zinfandel. French bread and some good salad was heaven. We drank lots of Napa and Sonoma Barbera. This wonderful Italian grape that was medium bodied, full of power, and very easy to drink. I used to think if everyone drank this wine we all would drink wine.
Enter the wine yuppies. Assholes who wanted to be cool and own a winery. They wanted French Grapes. French Wines were the most expensive. Peasant wines are what the vowel people drink.
Barbera starting getting knocked out. In the early 80’s Sebastiani Country Barbera was the last hope. I built big displays at my Safeways. Silvia and some of the kids sold the winery. Barbera like Jacky Faper came no more.
I got home. I took an old cast iron fry pan and heated some Colivita first cold press olive oil in it. I added chopped fresh garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, and a few dried chilies. On low heat I let them infuse into the oil for about a half hour. I put a Stouffer Spinach Souffle in the microwave. Toasted a ciabatta roll in the toaster.
The lamb chops 3 minutes with the heat up halfway in the warm oil. Then 2 minutes on the other side.
Earlier I opened a Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Mendocino Barbera.
It was a religious experience. Me eatting the nuggets of meat off the bone. Then Miss Molley and Mr Bailey power chewing the lamb ribs. This has become my new favorite lamb wine. Please Willamette Valley say you didn’t hear that.

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I grew up with a family that was truly Northwest. We were Hunter/Gathers. From clam digging and crabbing at Grayland, Huckleberry picking at Mount Adams, Salmon fishing and a Bear Hunt on the Straits of Juan De Fuca, Camping at my Aunt and Uncles Cabin at Monte Cristo, Oysters at The Doseiwallups on the Canal to Trout Fishing in British Columbia; I enjoyed it all growing up. We ate really good with the things we got. I learned well at a young age to enjoy life. Preparing a fine meal and pairing the wine to go with it can be intimidating. It doesn't have to be. It is and should be fun. So come along listen to my stories, try out my original recipes, and enjoy the wines I suggest. You might Like it!



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