a big, fancy-pants wine festival

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Back from four days at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, where my pouring station at the Grand Tasting was directly beneath the speakers, which were blasting some kind of weird, rich-adults-will-like-this techno, so any time someone came up for a taste, I felt like I was shouting at them. (Also, you know how sometimes when you yell hard enough, spit comes out? This was a very real fear.)

Other wine festival-related observations: Apparently, you must be in costume to taste wine. This is the only logical explanation I have for the extraordinary outfits people wore to this event. Examples included: A tuxedo jacket with studded lapels; numerous men in pink or red pants with sockless, laceless loafers (bonus points if they are blue, orange, yellow or any color but brown); stripper shoes, the higher, the better; plaid pants with white sport coats (sort of like the "I'm golfing, but I'm formal-golfing" look); bow ties as all-over accessory (yes, even on a pair of laceless blue loafers); see-through dresses; leather pants; giant, feather-duster-esque plumage in hats, hairpieces, necklaces, etc.; and head-to-toe white, because obviously this is the best color to wear around red wine and people who have been drinking all day.

I also encountered, for the very first time, the creature known as The Husband Who is Such a Wine Snob that He Just Cannot Speak to Pourers. In order for this being to get a taste of wine, his wife must sidle up to the table, quietly offer two glasses, and say, in a very apologetic voice: "My husband loves Cabernet, but he is very particular about wine, so can you please educate us?" (Imagine the difficulty of this conversation with adult techno tearing through your soul.) Meanwhile, the husband stands a few feet away, staring at something very important located several feet above your head.

And let's not forget the amorous couple who made out for a good five minutes right in front of my pouring station. Nothing like seeing people your parents' age shove tongues down each other's throats.

Other images from the festival:


Am I the only person who thinks she stole Guy's hair?


Pecan brittle made with Pappy Van Winkle. Pappy Van-freaking-Winkle! Hedy Goldsmith is a genius. And also incredibly sweet in person. (She sent me home with a to-go pack of this stuff. It lasted less than eight hours. Nothing like eating fancy brittle by yourself in your hotel room.)


Just for the record, this happened at 10 a.m.


I think Tyler saw that older couple making out, too.


I love Carla Hall. She is an absolute sweetheart -- spent time with all of her fans, asking questions, taking photos and getting to know them. And her food is awesome.


Duck hot dogs on glazed doughnut buns, topped with truffle mayonnaise. Surprisingly, I just couldn't do it -- the portion size and the over-the-topness of it all discouraged me. I may regret Not Knowing for the rest of my life.

However, I did eat a popsicle with chunks of bacon in it:


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