There is something therapeutic about seeing trees and towns and wide blue sky passing by you at 80 miles per hour as you sit in a car, listening to good music, on your way to somewhere. It is an added bonus when those trees are at that moment when they are still lush but where the leaves are no longer green but various hues of yellow, red, brown, and orange.
Such were the trees on the road on the way to Lexington, North Carolina, whose Barbecue Festival my friend James (of The Eaten Path fame), our friend Nick (of the US Patent and Trademark Office) and I attended this past weekend.
(Thank you to the Lexington BBQ Festival for this poster!)
For those of you who do not know of James by this point, he is one of my good friends from Berkeley who has for the last year called Brooklyn, New York home. While his more regular contributions to the blogosphere can be seen on The Eaten Path, he also is a huge aficionado of all things barbecued, once spending a few weeks traveling through the Smoky Crescent and eating and observing the best the South had to offer. It is one of his goals to publish a comprehensive and awesome book on barbecue–a noble goal, indeed.
Thus, when he said there was a barbecue festival in North Carolina I asked if I could go. I figured I wouldn’t have very many more chances to have a purpose to go to North Carolina, and besides, any reason to get out of DC is reason enough.
I am at home, taking a much-needed break from law school. First semester was a breeze compared to the marathon of mock trial, briefs, classes, and journal competition!
Having lived in DC now since August, I feel like I have a sense of the city. True, I haven’t really explored too much, but enough to realize a few things. First, DC is a nice city–to visit. Second, there are nice restaurants–in the $$$ range. Third, there are some good cafes–if you’re willing to take the Metro and walk a while. Fourth, there ARE some good wine shops, though the District of Columbia isn’t exactly the Bay Area. I am pretty certain that I will be returning to California after law school.
I really do like certain aspects of DC. I do like the cold weather, for instance, and the snow (although it can be a real pain when you’re trying to walk in slush and frozen ice). I do like that you can generally get around using public transportation (traffic today in LA brought back some bad memories). But, after all of this, and despite LA’s problems, LA is still home to me.
Unless you are a winemaker or, say, this guy, work sucks. I don’t care how much you get paid, or how “rewarding” the job is–work is work, and work by definition sucks. Getting up in the morning, beating traffic, then getting harassed by customers for 8 or 9 hours straight is not exactly my definition of the “best day ever”, though of course there’s much worse!
I work on the sales team for the business department; there are other departments with their own sales teams. The estate planning sales team recently moved into the ground floor suite with my team. To “facilitate” this move, the LegalZoom administration funded a wine and cheese mixer in one of our conference rooms for Wednesday.
Needless to say, I was very keen on who, exactly, would be choosing the wine. I was delighted to hear that Heather from HR was the one assigned to purchase the food and wine. Heather knows her wine: in the days leading up to the event I e-mailed her repeatedly about her wine preferences and what she thought she would purchase. Tempranillo? Some sort of Rhone-style blend? As for whites, she settled on an unoaked or at least neutral-oak chardonnay.
It has been a while since I last posted on this blog. To my loyal readers (all two of you): never fear! I intend to update this blog frequently. Being a “writer”, however, I find myself in long periods of time where writing is the LAST thing I want to do, especially after a day of work or a night of carousing. These days–and nights–I find myself in the mood not to write about wine but to drink wine.
These past two or three quiet weeks have been filled with drinking. I can’t say I’ve had anything too spectacular to drink: however, I’ve had some solid, easygoing, and inexpensive bottles. Even better–I was joined by my family, who have slowly started to look at wine not as a drug, per se, but as something that can have health benefits in moderation.
LegalZoom = overtime. A lot of overtime. For instance, this means that once every three or four weeks we have to come in for half days on Saturday. Luckily, the time passed relatively quickly and I was able to drive down the 101 South to the 110 North, then exit Orange Grove, then make a left onto Mission Street and, two or three blocks past the Gold Line, pull into the familiar parking lot of Mission Wines and meet up with the usual motley crew of my co-workers, regulars, and newbies for an afternoon of conviviality.
Joining me in the 25-and-under group were some fellow “Zoomers”: Jonathan (not Jonathan Lewis from entries past), a film major from USC; Will, the Guatemalan martial artist who can squat-press over 1,000 pounds; Erica, of Coloradan extraction; and her boyfriend, Jack, the New Yorker accountant.
We were in for a treat: a wine broker was present for the tasting showcasing wines from his portfolio. This portends well because importers, winemakers, and brokers are pretty keen to put forth their best; Saturday was no exception. The five wines on the “official” tasting list were:
1 | 2006 Lioco Chardonnay | Sonoma, California | $19.99
I hate to admit it, but my palate’s not very refined. I sipped this chardonnay and thought I detected vanilla and oak. Hell, I was dead certain I detected vanilla and oak. The broker came over and told us some more about the wine, including the little fact that this chard had not been aged in oak. At all. It had not even touched neutral oak. All stainless steel. I did taste a lot of fruit–very tropical–and some nice acid. A bit of butter–not a big butterball like many other California chardonnays I’ve had. Overall, one of the better chardonnays I’ve had, though I would have to say that I still have never encountered a chardonnay I wanted to take home with me.