Wednesday was a day of several firsts for Your West Coast Oenophile, but the one I particularly wish to share was my introduction to the wonders of potato plastic! I’m not speaking of Mr. Potato Head, the beloved Hasbro invention that, way before Don Rickles vivified him in Toy Story, preoccupied untold hours of my childhood, but the biodegradable polymer now used to make disposable picnic and deli utensils, found in environmentally-conscious establishments like Whole Foods.
As in most matters, there’s a trade-off involved in adopting such products. While the knife and fork ably cut and handled the soft slices of Diestel turkey breast I enjoyed while my Trek bicycle was being tended to, I doubt their relative diminution of rigidity (as compared to conventional plastic) could stand up to the challenge of nimbly slicing through a flame-broiled New York Strip.
And, rest assured, where there are outdoor Weber grills, there will ultimately be marinated grass-fed steaks, with Zinfandel or a well-aged Cab, occasionally punctuating this fish- & pasta-eater’s culinary routine. And if that means having to furnish guests with conventional plastic knives and forks, it may just have to mean plastic knives and forks (of the dishwashable variety). Accommodating good friends, as well as good barbecues, must, at times, trump unwavering adherence to fervent ideology.
I illustrate the point because, as dedicated as Sostevinobile will be to embracing the most comprehensive environmental criteria we can establish, we cannot be held to infinitesimally narrow parameters, and in some areas where values compete, attending to the comfort and desires of our guests must be paramount.
I participated in the inaugural gathering Wednesday night of ChangeSF, a networking event for ecological activists or those merely concerned for how they might improve the environment, sponsored by Conscious Revolution and Bay Localize, two notable organizations dedicated to many of the same principles locally-based sustainability that Sostevinobile espouses. Most of the evening was quite informative and quite enjoyable, despite a certain woman, herself of a readily-identifiable Slavic extraction, who rather tactlessly deemed that mistaking my name for being Spanish, instead of its mellifluous and syntactically distinct Italian origin, was “close enough.”
Oblique ethnic slights aside, what I found more jarring was her dogmatic stance that Sostevinobile ought only to serve wines from wineries that used recycled bottles. Certainly a noble ideal, provided I were willing to restrict our fare to an attenuated selection of wines from only four, maybe five, wineries throughout the West Coast region. And certainly, as I informed her, we will scrupulously make every effort to ensure that the bottles we do use will be properly recycled afterwards, but this assurance did little to sway her.
No matter what our philosophical or political tenets might be, Sostevinobile is first and foremost a business serving customers, not an arbiter of inflexible standards or a philosophical incubateur<
/span> (French, not Italian, but close enough). We will always hold as our primary commitment an unwavering effort to provide our customers the finest selection of sustainably-grown wines found throughout viticultural regions of the three states we serve. It is a benchmark of excellence we hope our patrons will come to appreciate.
And as this blog is intended to be informative, enticing, occasionally amusing, but never didactic, it’s time for me to step off my soapbox and bring today’s entry to a close. And with that, I bid my readers and Wednesday night’s latter-day Savonarola a heartfelt до свидания (Russian, not Polish, but close enough).