Monday, November 28, 2011

Metapost: Attention Ladies of Decatur (Georgia)!

Well, it's that time again, a post-holiday race to the bar to hang out, drink some fruity stuff, and have some girl time! Our next Ladies of Decatur tweetup will be this Friday, December 2, at Harbour Bar and Fish House, which is in the former Tesoro spot on Church Street. We usually start convening at around 6:00 and break up between 8:00 and 9:00. Please let me know via Twitter (@RandomOenophile) or in the comments if you plan to come!

A few of us had a discussion over the weekend about whether we should continue rotating location or pick one or two places to alternate between. Here are my thoughts on the two options. Please feel free to add your own in the comments.

The advantages of continuing as we've been, which is to go to different places, is that we get to try new places, and it makes the gathering more accessible to people in different parts of Decatur. We also won't burn out on one bar or food menu. The disadvantages are that it's harder for me to plan because I have to pick a place, and it's harder for y'all to plan for since I usually don't release the location until the week of the event.

The main advantage of picking one or two places to make our official Ladies of Decatur tweetup location is that we could develop a relationship with the owners or GM, and this may eventually grow into us getting perks or discounts. No, I won't go and ask for these directly. My philosophy from the blog is that such things are always appreciated but never expected. The disadvantage is that we risk losing people because they would get bored of going to the same place all the time or get burned out on the same menu.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff, so feel free to chime in!

Hopefully my back yard won't look like this tomorrow:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Random Outings: Molly Dooker Wine Dinner

About a month ago, Hubby and I had the pleasure of being invited to a Molly Dooker wine dinner, held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Atlanta. We arrived a little late for the passed hors d'oeuvres but enjoyed one with the Violonist, a crisp but fruity Verdelho. Then the evening progressed, as Hubby described:


Okay, let me explain. First, the name… Molly Dooker is the Aussie term for a left-handed person. Both owners are left-handed and embrace the characteristic so much that at one point, they discussed having the screw cap on their premium wine be a left-handed one, or "righty-loosy, lefty-tighty." As clever as the idea is, that may have frustrated some already inebriated people. A wine closure shouldn't be a sobriety test. The funds were much better spent opening schools for disadvantaged children in Cambodia.

Owner Sparky Marquis's "Mum" Janet introduced him, and he told us how to do the "Molly Dooker shake." That's to release the nitrogen in the bottle, which is a preservative but can also cause the wine to taste flat. In order to demonstrate this, they poured a Two Left Feet, their blend, pre-shake, and then had one poured post-shake. The pre-shake one had more of a nose but did taste flatter, while the post-shake one had less nose but more body and a little smoke.

Then it was time to play! We got to try the three single-varietal "everyday" wines: The Scooter (Merlot), Maitre'D (Cabernet), and Boxer (Shiraz). Using a little bit of math, some equipment that looked like it had been stolen from the CDC's chem lab, and lots of palate-cleansing bread, we blended our own Two Left Feet. Each table voted on their favorite. We lost, but it was still fun. Our table winner was 60% Merlot, 10% Cabernet, and 30% Shiraz. The most interesting part of that was that Sparky wrote every table's winning blend on a board behind him, and the variation in people's preferences became apparent:

After our blending seminar, we flipped the paper over, and we ate steak while trying the "party wines," "love wines," and Velvet Glove in rapid succession. Of the "party wines," the Gigglepot (Cabernet) was my favorite with nice fruit and texture. I also really liked the Enchanted Path, a Shiraz/Cabernet. I actually preferred it to their premium $185/bottle Velvet Glove Shiraz. The food, steak with vegetables and a lovely chocolatey dessert, were very good as well.

Interesting tidbits gleaned from the talking, which was all delivered with an Australian accent. It was like watching a tipsy BBC America program(me):

- The everyday wines come from owners Sarah and Sparky's historical challenges of being Molly Dookers trying to make it through everyday life. Oh, and Sparky and his kids like to race scooters.

- The Gigglepot and Blue-Eyed Boy are Sarah and Sparky's kids Holly and Luke. They're pictured on the labels.

- Sparky's Mum Janet liked the Blue-Eyed Boy so much she would sneak tastes from the barrels. I like her!

- The Enchanted Path and Carnival of Love, the "love wines," refer to Sparky and Sarah, and the two labels go together. Sparky, the knight on the first label, becomes the joker on the second.

- Janet talked about the "Molly Dooker Miracles," events that seemed coincidental but all affirmed their wine-making purpose and endeavor. I can't do them justice here, but it increased my confidence that if I'm meant to become a professional author, it's going to happen.

After the dinner, Hubby and I checked out the rooftop bar, then went to the downstairs bar, where we got to hang out with Sparky, Janet, and some of their friends in the U.S. Janet and I discussed how, when you're engaged in something where the end product will be judged subjectively (like writing or winemaking), people's opinions tend to be a lot stronger. I'll keep this in mind the next time my romance manuscript gets ripped by a horror-writer friend.

Overall, although the pacing of the dinner and tasting were a little odd, it was a great night and influenced me more than I realized: for two weeks after, I couldn't help but inform left-handed people they would be referred to as a Molly Dooker in Australia.

Disclaimer: We were invited to this event, and our tickets were comped.