Wine Country: December 2007 Archives

Wine: No Longer a Stowaway at the Movies

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by Courtney Cochran

If you're like me, you may have stashed a bottle of vino in your purse or overcoat on occasion before heading into the movies.  Sure, you felt a bit sheepish about your contraband, but when the opening credits rolled to the tune of a lush Santa Rita Hills Pinot, you knew you'd taken the risk for good reason.  Still, sipping from the Styrofoam cup you snagged at the concession made your reward seem less sweet.

With the opening of Sundance Cinemas San Francisco at the old AMC Kabuki Theater in Japantown ( ), you can purchase wine by the half glass or glass and take it right into the theater with you, no smuggling required.  The first theater in the city to snag a liquor license, Sundance offers moviegoers an eclectic lineup of 25 wines sourced from both local and global producers, many of them made from organic or sustainably farmed grapes.  

Even better, they'll give you a real glass, too.  

Full disclosure: I am the sommelier who selected the wines for Sundance Cinemas. 

When Life Bubbles Over

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By Robert Farmer

Nothing prepared me for the sheer joy of it. Nothing anybody told me – and believe me, lots of people told me lots about it – prepared me for what really to expect. Nothing. Even the best, most well-meaning advice about “getting plenty of sleep while you can,” and about how to “enjoy my freedom while it’s still available, was able to adequately capture the true nature of the Event and life immediately after the Event. It turns out that having a child is something – to employ a rather hackneyed cliché – one must experience to appreciate.

 And that is exactly what happened to Yours Truly in early December when my wife delivered after no shortage of agonizing labor our first child, a beautiful daughter. She was north of ten pounds and her size seemed to belie her sweet innocence while it also underscored the magnitude with which she impacted our life. People go on and on about how a baby will change your life. But mostly they mean the nuts and bolts of it. Gone are the blissful, slumbering nights and long leisurely weekend mornings. Gone is the narcissistic focus on Self. It’s all replaced by an incredibly unexpected and unwavering need to care for someone else. I now know they’re talking about when they speak of unconditional love. Nothing anybody told me prepared me for that part of it. It's life bubbling over, and I’m there to scoop it all up.

And, it's also the reason I have been saving a bottle of 1998 Schramsberg Reserve sparkling wine to commemorate the occasion. Sure, there are bigger names in the “celebratory” wines world. But like the emotions I’ve experienced with this child, wines like this are something one must experience to appreciate. This is a truly great sparkler, befitting any great occasion. It represents just 2% of the winery’s production, but it’s their best pinot noir-based sparkling wine. It’s wonderful, a thing of beauty, and I hope you can appreciate my analogy here.