Definitely not- but the same probably can’t be said about the man who sold it to me.
While Mme. Pants and I were in Sebastopol we went to visit a friend of ours that I’d gone to school with in Florence. It just so happens that he’s currently employed at the finest wine store in town, the Wine Emporium.
When we first walked into the place it came across as very casual and comfortable. Bottles and bottles of good looking wine lined the tall shelves and a nifty little tasting bar sat in the back corner.
As I looked around I noticed that the walls were hung with some very interesting and somewhat graphic art (I later learned that works by local artists are rotated and preference is given to pieces that spur conversation and a bit of controversy.)
We made our way back to the tasting area and took a couple seats next to two middle aged women who had obviously been there for a while and who were having a gigglingly good time. Our friend Kai or possibly Ki (proper nouns don’t count in Scrabble) poured us some samples of a few local whites.
While we were settling in, James the owner emerged from the back wearing a Bluetooth headset, shorts of a surprisingly modest size, and a somewhat absent-minded facial expression. This, I thought, is a man who should be drinking.
When he finished his phone call, he came over and introduced himself. Then he turned to the two women next to us.
- James: “Are you ladies nurses?”
- Lady #1: “No.”
- James: “You know there’s a lot of nurses striking today.”
- Lady #2: “Yeah we heard.”
- James: “Are you sure you’re not nurses?”
- Lady #1: “Really, we’re not nurses.”
- James: “You look like nurses.”
- Lady #1: “I’m a teacher and she’s an accountant.”
- Long Pause
- James (smiling to himself): “I love nurses.”
As James wondered off again I had to reassess my initial impression. This was one funny man.
This advice is not in reference to your drinking.
We stayed for an hour or so as James and Kai poured us taste after yummy taste of their impressive stock. Unlike our stores here in Texas that are limited to sampling only three or four types of wine, the Wine Emporium keeps over four cases open for your educational pleasure. God bless you California liquor laws.
As we talked, I learned that James shares an interest in delicious food (hard to believe I know.) And he actually keeps a huge book of menus from all the best places in the area just in case his customers get peckish, or in my case obsessive.
Peppered throughout our conversations, James managed to fit in multiple off color stories involving bottles, pumpkins, cork screws and time pieces- all delivered drier than a crisp pinot gris (sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
When we were ready to leave, the man actually gave us a half dozen eggs that he’d gathered from his own hens. You’re certainly not going to get that from some big discount store. Or any store really.
So the next time you’re in Sebastopol, the Puligny-Montrachet of northern California, definitely swing by this cool little wine haven. Tell James that Mr. Pants sent you and ask to see his espresso machine. I promise it’ll make for an interesting afternoon.
The Wine Emporium, Inc. 125 North Main Street Sebastopol , CA 95472 Phone : 707-823-5200