Your West Coast Oenophile was thrilled to be chosen as one of the judges for this year’s USA Wine Ratings competition. Coupled with being named a Top 100 Food & Beverage Leader by the 2021 Global Summit on All-Things Food, it feels like Sostevinobile is finally receiving major professional recognition.
It’s no revelation that little, if anything, has been normal in 2020, and wine judging has been no exception. Rather than gathering at a central hall or facility and having wines pour for us, judges had to handle all their designated wines individually and remotely. Though enjoyable, these new (and hopefully temporary) parameters proved rather laborious, and the lack of camaraderie did somewhat dampen the process. Nonetheless, I diligently made my way through the entire process, as verified by the volume of my spill bucket after judging 72 wines this past weekend.
And no, I am not about to try chugging it. Admittedly, there are superficial similarities: balding, bearded, Ivy educated, underappreciated writer, oenophile. But I do NOT look like Paul Giamatti—though many have insisted.
A few years ago, I finally made it to Hitching Post, the renowned Buellton restaurant prominently featured in Sideways. As I walked into the bar, I announced “if anyone calls me Miles, they’re getting punched out!”
Just to be sure, I ordered a Merlot.