Saturday, February 10, 2007

Whines about wines: Local wineries go upscale

I cast the proverbial pox upon your house, Robert Parker. Gone are the days when we could casually stop by at renowned local wineries like Hopkiln, Davis Bynum or Martinelli & pick up a nice, reasonably-priced table wine for $8-$12. Nowadays, the same wines cost $15-$20 & most of their bottles are priced at $25 & up. Oh well, it was fun, but now we're back to Two-Buck-Chuck.

I'm truly glad that the local wineries are doing well. I do understand the fact that the owners made enormous investments in building, architecture, equipment, agricultural innovations, etc. & need to raise their prices in order to recoup their losses. But ... um ... howzabout a nice little discount for us early loyalists & local yokel river rats & rattinas who slurped up your fruit-bomb Zinfandels & peppery Pinot Noirs back when they were affordable & all the high-revenue tourists were still converging upon the wineries in Napa Valley? Especially for the local craftsmen, artisans, & contractors who built your wine cellars & tasting rooms.

Oh, wouldn't that be loverly?

On the other hand ... Perhaps wine -- & wine-tasting -- SHOULD be more expensive so that tourists & others cannot just go about meandering on the roads & winding about like drunken sailors. We drove down River Road this morning towards Route 101. Several of the construction pylons had been knocked down or crushed. Perhaps the hotels & wineries should arrange for limos & other transportation so people aren't driving around drunk.

It's also sad that so many of the local farms -- which used to grow stuff people could actually eat -- have become vineyards. I especially miss the place on Westside Road which used to do a wonderful Halloween pumpkin patch thing every fall. If some emergency cut us off from the rest of the world (like floods or wine-tasting terrorists), we wouldn't have much in terms of fruit, vegetables, dairy & livestock. Then again, we'd be so drunk on wine that we wouldn't care.

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