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Sharing the Wealth the OWC way–part 1

October 30, 2008

Recently a joke made the rounds of conservative and Republican emails, blogs, and forums calling into question Obama’s ideas of redistributing the wealth by taking an Obama supporting server’s well earned tip and giving it to a homeless person outside the restaurant (here’s my post with the full version of this story).

I practiced a little Obama style redistribution of wine wealth myself in the past few days following the First WIne Bloggers conference hosted in part by the Open Wine Consortium (of which I am a new member).

First, on my way home, following the Sonoma County Luxe tasting (mmmmn, Jordan chardonay, mmmn, Siduri Keefer Ranch pinot noir!),  I made a stop near UC Berkeley to see my wine appreciating nephew Kyle who lives in Lothlorien which is the kind of Berkeley style student cooperative living situation which we all assumed went out with the 60s and 70s. This is simply a place of legend. Here’s Kyle and some of his friends hanging out on the roof with its views from the Oakland Hills to the SF Bay.

Lothlorien's Roof


I’d never been there, even though Kyle’s lived at Lothlorien for over a year. So it was time to place the stories not to mention I was in great need of a triple espresso from Peet’s on Domingo nearby.

Lothlorien North and South more or less defy description. If I tried, we’d both be here all day and I still wouldn’t be close, so I’m not going to even try. It’s like a combination of Art City and homeless shelter. Besides, the point of this post isn’t about Lothlorien, but about sharing the wealth Obama style.

As you can imagine, at this time of the weekend, I had quite a collection of open bottles of wine in the car. As in several cases of open bottles. As in, how in the world could I consume this much wine before it turns into something I have to pour down a drain?

So at the end of my tour, and my espresso, I went through the wine and handed off a case of treats to Kyle to share with his housemates. In particular, as this coop tends toward the more earthy, crunchy, organic type college student, I handed off the tail end of two biodynamic wines, the  Quivira grenache and the Truitt-Hurst Red Rooster zin, as well as others I’d thought they’d appreciate, including some New York cab franc for variety, and as a special treat for my Princess Bride loving nephew,  The Spaniard, an exquisite blend predominantly of Tempranillo by Twisted Oak.

The Spaniard was actually one of the more memorable wines of the weekend, making it one of my favorites, so I told him to save that for himself and a special friend, and that if he kept it in a cool dark place, it would be good for a couple more days. We also talked about taking a trip together to Calaveras County to visit the winery, and for him to meet owner and fellow Princess Bride fanatic,  El Jefe (Jeff Stai), who could serve as a role model to him as well, as someone who found success and made money as an engineer in Silicon Valley then used his funds to fuel his passion for wine and winemaking.

To quote from Kyle’s email the next day:


The wine was fabulous.

We were having a long drawn out council and I went up to my room and brought down the whole box with glasses (jars) and got two helpers to uncork them in the library and help me place them in the middle of the room.

It was so funny to watch people slyly inch towards the sleek bottles, like rolly pollys. It lightened the mood considerably and people were like “where did this come from”. “Kyle’s Aunt” was the answer. You have to understand that $2 buck chuck is the only wine ever seen here!

I set the cabernet francs together, and the zinfandels together. I really like the cabernet francs from New York, esp the 2004 Wölffer Estate Cabernet Franc, from the Hamptons, on Long Island.They had such a light taste. I couldn’t stick around too long because I had to get back to writing my report but I brought a glass of  that Woofler cabernet franc up with me and made myself some kathy bread (sourdough bageuette grilled face down, drowning in butter and fresh minced garlic. It was so sweet, listening to sitar and eating alone on my new red sheet fitted bed with a beautiful glass of red wine and crispy golden brown garlic bread, lit lowly with one dimmed lamp.

Ahh, Thank you!

Glad you made it home safely,
Love, Kyle

Share the wealth indeed!

One day most of these students will have plenty of money to buy the wine they want. Let’s hope they come back and buy some of the wines that were generously shared with me.

Maybe we should call it the Obama Wine Consortium!

Next up: Sharing the Dry Creek Valley Zin wealth in a tasting with friends!

(Warning: Unless you are related to me by blood, or Jeff Kaiser, you are NOT allowed to call me Gwenny!)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason permalink
    October 31, 2008 12:21 am

    Sitar and a red sheet.
    Sounds like Communism to me!

    Viva la vino!

  2. Jason permalink
    October 31, 2008 12:36 am

    It’s been a long time that I’ve been peripheral to the Jeff Kaiser phenomenon, as it is in Ventura. You’ve just pushed me to purchase his “Desert Fathers” offering from the internet.

    It was seeing his reference to the Eugene Chadbourne sessions that cinched me. I remember seeing Eugene at Art City. And, I’ve always meant to see Jeff more often over the years, but never get to.

    It seems this should tie-in with the blog-networking seminar you wanted to attend earlier this summer. Tit-for-tat. Cash-for-that. Linkage and all. Percentages.


  3. Jason permalink
    October 31, 2008 1:05 am

    I’d not made the connection . . . how much he contributed to the “blip-hop” movement, and beyond. Wow.
    Good stuff. Good drink.

  4. October 31, 2008 1:27 am

    hey hey Jason!

    glad this post gave you so much to drink in!

    my dad accuses me of turning my nephew into a hedonist. I ask, is that so bad???

    let’s go visit Jeff at UCSD and drink wine in Temecula!

  5. October 31, 2008 6:20 pm

    I may have to learn to plan better– my cousin’s husband (‘Neutrino’) Steve has been urging me to head out to Temecula wine country since I first visited them in ’96. They live in Irvine, see. Haven’t made it yet.

  6. October 31, 2008 7:26 pm

    well let me know if you head south, David! we can all three go taste wine in Temecula–you would enjoy Jason and we can all talk criticism–lit, eco, fem, you name it!

  7. October 31, 2008 7:44 pm

    Hmm- is my laptop on Puerto Rican time? Timestamp above reads 7:26– it’s 12:39 in Lakeport!
    I’m waiting to hear frommy SoCal peeps about Thanksgiving– well, Adriano is travelling with wife audrey to inlaws’ in Tampa, Mark may or may not be eating turkey…Lauri & Steve may also be traveling…I’m not even sure– is it on Thursday the 20th or the 27th? Have to go check…

  8. October 31, 2008 8:30 pm

    Thanksgiving is Th. Nov. 27–the 4th Thurs of Nov.

    My blog is set on GST–not west coast time for reasons we can discuss one day over a glass of wine!

  9. November 2, 2008 5:20 pm

    Hi ArtP,
    I’m looking for politically minded artists who have blogs in the Ventura area…any links you can recommend?

    I’m enjoying your blog.


  10. November 14, 2008 6:48 am

    Hey CorpseBoy,

    I am really not aware of politically minded artists who are blogging with any regularity but if any turn up, I will pass them on!

    Thanks for stopping by!


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