Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tasting notes: Giants World Series victory

I was headed out to dance in the streets last night when my wife asked, "Aren't you going to bring some bubbly?"

What was I thinking? I had watched the game at a friend's house and we had of course drank bubbly there, a tasting-room-only Navarro Vineyards wine which we opened because an indigenous Northern California wine seemed appropriate.

I had been thinking to drop into a bar for a cocktail or three, slap hands with strangers, perhaps make that silly corpse-thanking-God gesture Brian Wilson delivers after every save.

But crowded celebrations are the worst time for a beverage geek to order a drink. ("Excuse me, you haven't muddled that enough.") And nothing I could get in a Mission Street bar was going to be as appropriate as the bottle of Deutz Champagne Brut I had in the fridge.

I hadn't planned for the Giants to win -- I always have a bottle of Champagne in the fridge. You just never know when you're going to need it: personal best on the treadmill, finding a dollar on the train, a particularly lovely sunset. We go through a fair amount of bubbly in my house, but as soon as I open one I chill a replacement.

(Perhaps my favorite quote from the hundreds of wine articles I've written was from Ravenswood founder/winemaker Joel Peterson, a guy who struck it rich making red wine: "After I turned 50, my goal was to have a glass of Champagne every day. I'm doing pretty well at it.")

So I grabbed the bottle and a couple of plastic wine 'glasses' designed for camping and headed to Mission Street, where people were, literally, dancing in the street for the first time since Barack Obama was elected.

I can't get over the political overtones of last night's Giants victory. Fox kept showing us the gloating George Bushes, senior and junior, during the Rangers' win in Game 3. We got to see their smug mugs as the Bush who devalued my "W" threw out the first pitch in Game 4.

We also saw Texas local television reports on games in San Francisco that focused on the horrifying fact that people smoke marijuana here. And there's the crowd contrast: in Texas, it was like a PTA leadership conference -- lots of fresh-faced Caucasians in red-white-and-blue uniforms. The Giants' crowd was their nightmare -- multiracial longhairs with fake beards in panda outfits.

If Texas had won this series, it would have been just like the 2004 election all over again. And today we're apparently going to undergo exactly that, as much of America seems to think the Republicans didn't ruin the economy enough when they were in charge before.

Longhaired free thinkers have won few battles in American history. They didn't beat Nixon, they didn't stop the Vietnam War, they haven't gotten us out of Iraq or Afghanistan. The kind of crowd you see at the Giants game -- well, we always lose in the end. Like the Giants, who had never won the World Series since moving from New York 52 years ago. Sometimes we think we have a victory (2002 World Series; electing Obama) but it always goes south before it's over.

Naturally the TV network of the World Series was Fox, ready to capture once again the ascendancy of social conservatives, with the Bushes at the helm.

And then -- Edgar Renteria, a Colombian immigrant, took the supposedly unbeatable country-boy Cliff Lee (hobby: hunting) deep. Tim Lincecum, wolf-whistled at in Philly and skipped in most interviews by Fox because of his propensity for saying naughty words (i.e., "fuck yeah!"), was superb.

Fox only showed one second of concern on George W. Bush's face. One second, yet for me it was the visual highlight that summed up the larger context of the whole Series. San Francisco won one. Misfits, castoffs, leftists, dope smokers, immigrants, guys dressed as nuns -- we went to the heart of Texas and won.

Yes, I drank Deutz Champagne on Mission Street last night, and slapped hands with a firefighter in his truck, and danced to a drum circle. There wasn't much residual sugar in the Deutz -- it was elegant, with subtle toastiness and a long finish. So it would be a cliche to say the taste was sweet, and inaccurate besides.

It was satisfying. It tasted like, for one day, the America I wish this country could be: letting our hair out, laughing with our neighbors. I grabbed the Deutz because it was the bottle I had handy, but forever after when I taste it, I'll taste victory.


Woodward Canyon said...

Congratulations on a great Giants victory. What a fun series.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Great Win and I'm glad it happened in texas. They can come home to a parade that will make fox news heads explode.

1winedude said...

Are you sure you weren't rioting / looting? Just sayin'...

BTW, I used to keep a bottle of bubbly in the fridge when I was single, for emergency purposes, of course!

Ali said...

What a sweet victory it was. We had an impromptu Palo Alto High School reunion in Portland, to cheer on the team we all grew up with as kids.

Love the picture of you on Mission street with a bottle of bubbles. Classic.

Thanks for the humorous post.

And cheers!