Friday, October 16, 2009

Modified Date Night

So the one upshot of my little buddy being away is that I have been drinking a LOT less, really cut back on my alcohol consumption over the past week…not sure how long I will impose this, “dry spell” upon myself but it was much needed after this last month….always had a blast but the habitual hangovers and subsequent, “Holy mother of God, what did I do?” moments were weighing heavy upon my body, my fuzzy head and my soul. I’ve not given up drinking but have cut it back by like two thirds. (So funny thing is, right this second I am on my second glass of wine…it’s not even 7, so...let’s just say I am baby-stepping to less drinking) I will confess I had a hard time sleeping the first couple of nights, man…that’s pretty embarrassing, but with the whirlwind of emotion and drama, well the booze was a helpful mind numbing, sleep inducer. But I got past that and have been waking each morning feeling less like ass and ready for my day.

Been letting myself think and feel more, pretty scary that…who needs to feel everything right?! To spend your time thinking about the very human, very tender, perishable nature of the life you think you know, the life you are sure is set in stone, the life that is just perfect enough and then WHAMO…kick in the gut. Doing it with a clear head just makes it that much more…well, wrenching. I’ve actually been pretty “up” in a good mood and looking forward to exploring a less dizzy couple of years and a new, more open and honest relationship with a friend I love with my whole heart, so it’s all good, no pouting, no sadness…actually quite excited about this next chapter. I feel open to new things, like Amy having to do so is making me, forcing me to step outside my comfort zone and to explore.

I got a message the other day from one of my readers, “Going to be in town, might you want to get together?” now this is a, or should I say, “the” reader I have met before, sure some of my already customers read but this was the first, “from faraway” reader that I met, I dug her then even though we didn’t really spend too much time together, (she popped in for a visit at the shop one afternoon) but I could just tell we were of the same, ilk. I thought about it all day and then jumped in, “Would love to!” The sale of some baseball tickets later and I was handing Jess a tasting sheet and running through the Ridge Vineyard wines we were pouring, with her.

I had run through the wines earlier in the day, hate to say it but I was less than impressed. I had/have heard so much about Ridge, the way the wines are built to cellar, not jammy and geared for palates like mine, palates looking for intrigue and complexity…the wines I tasted earlier, um…not so much. Turns out we had mistakenly poured the 2007 vintage releases from Ridge, not the 2006 we meant to. When I ran through the wines the second time my left eyebrow was arched, a clear sign that I am interested…and the wines were so balanced, focused and impressing the hell out of me with their complexity. Would I pay close to $40.00 for an interesting Zinfandel, not likely, but I still thought the wines had merit and I will be looking for older vintages, curious as to what these wines will do with some time in the bottle.

The hubby was at first a tad nervous about hanging out with a blog reader, “You’re hanging out with a stalker you know” he warned, but given the choice, “stay home or come out and play with us” he opted to meet us for a cocktail before dinner…where else, we went to Tracy’s. I so love that slightly awkward moment when you first have drinks with someone new, do you go for something tame and civilized like a Gin & Tonic or do you go for what you really want…”I’ll have a Sapphire Martini, straight up” I blurted when we were bellied up to the bar. “I’ll have a Goose Martini, dirty” was my new buddies reply, just as I thought….this chick is so down.

One drink for us, two for the hubby, (he was drinking mixed cocktails) and we were on our way to Benley, one of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach. We made the menu, “go” which means we ordered what we always do and let Jess chime in with an order of the short rib…(drooling) forgot how sublime that dish is…and there we sat munching on wicked hot spring rolls, fried shrimp, cuttlefish and perfectly marbled short rib that was rubbed with roasted five spice and nestled in avocado.

I grabbed two wines before we left the shop, a 2006 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru and a Fontainerie 2007 Domaine de la Fontainerie Sec, ($31.99)…dude….dude. That brilliant white wine, with that food, just sick. I loved the restrained baked pear flavor, the slightly musty, earthy notes and the massive, rich, sexy texture that wrapped around the palate and held on for dear life. Not a wine for everyone but Jess and I were diggin’ it big time, so serious, yet so friendly and compelling…a wine that kept you reaching for the glass, “I need one more sip”, freaking love that.

We popped the Burgundy and while I confess to committing infanticide, the wine was just so pleasing. I know it would have been, will be more complex and haunting in a few years but even while young there was something so seductive about it. I was pulled or drawn in by the first sip and Jess was not leaving that restaurant before the bottle was emptied…it snagged us, pulled us in, made us its biotch and we had no problem folding, surrendering to its will. Tart red fruit, little whiffs of smoke and that tangy, racy thing that leaves your palate aching for more.
Jess, Jessica, it was a pleasure hanging out with you, thank you so much for contacting me and next time you are out we are so down with hanging with you chicka. I adored getting to know you better…tad freaked that we are SO much alike, wonder why it is you were drawn to this blog?! I will share Dave with you, for a minute but you must understand that he and I, destine..sorry, it’s a fact, but I will share my wine, my love and passion for wine and my laughter with you any day. Look forward to hearing about your transition into the wine world and am here should you have any questions or need to vent your frustrations……trust me, they will come!

Very cool, very refreshing evening to say the least. Thanks for getting me out of the house, out of my head and back into the bottle, in a good way. Sending giant hugs to you in Colorado and telling you, in all honesty….humbled by the fact that you sought me out..means a lot.


Thomas said...

Aw, here I was with an almost trip to LA coming up and I was going to try to get to your store to surprise you.

The trip is canceled...for now.

Samantha Dugan said...

Awe, I am so flattered but now I'm bummed that you are not coming. If the trip, (or any trip) comes up again I would love to have you come by the shop, meet you and share a glass of wine. Thanks so much for thinking about me, you guys are like touching me and junk...

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I'm that stalker your husband is talking about...

That Jessica is leading my dream life and she'll have to understand that you're MY destiny, just sayin', and, I may be willing to share, but, hey, I saw you first. Just like you, My Darling, I'm more and more open to emotions, and first up is jealousy.

One of these days you and I will meet, My Gorgeous Samantha, though I'm something of a letdown in real life, rather impotent without a keyboard in front of me. So we'll have to go to a piano bar.

Won't that make an interesting post?

I adore you

Your HoseMaster

Samantha Dugan said...

Mr. HoseMaster Sir,
There you are, I feared that I had lost you or something, broke my heart and stuff. So a real life meeting of Sans Dosage & The HoseMaster of Wine, can you just see that?! I for one cannot but adore the idea and have a feeling that a few of our shared readers would love to be a fly on the wall if we did. Not to worry I am a massive letdown in person too...maybe we should stick to the Interwebs where we can remain saucy and I can pretend I'm like sexy and junk.

Jessica said...


It was SO great meeting you - and a tad bit "outside the comfort zone" for me too. Glad I made the leap to get together, and that someone bought my baseball ticket!

The food at Benley's was fantastic, but no comparison to the wine! You and Callo were totally a hoot and I can't wait to hang out again the next time I'm in town!

I'm sorry to make you jealous and Sam is lying she is just as sexy in person! :-)

See you next time!

Samantha Dugan said...

Was awesome and I am so "in" to do it again next time you are out...we will do LA next time, far better choices there and then I will not worry about your long drive back! Oh and Ron, don't listen to her...I filled her full of Pho, Vouvray and Burgundy, freaking Rush Limbaugh would look sexy after that, (psst..Jess I just stuck that $20.00 in the mail, thanks for not blowing my cover...)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Yes, our real life meeting would be dangerously flammable. I think I'll wear asbestos underwear.

You could never be a letdown. Just read your posts aloud to me and I'm yours. OK, I'm yours anyway. I'm sure the lovely Jessica is right, you're unbelievably sexy in person.

I do know you're irresistible and brilliant in print.

I adore you!

Your HoseMaster

Samantha Dugan said...

Great, just what I need Mesothelioma...