It's that time of year again. Non-stop parties, glutinous gatherings, and, of course, wine events galore. These days I find myself invited to or pouring at some pretty opulent, ostentatious, and downright rowdy wine-themed corporate and consumer events. It seems to me a natural extension of our society of consumerism and excess - and I have a love hate relationship with it all.
I certainly love any opportunity to spread a bit of knowledgeable enjoyment of wine... but the activity at this time of year is too darn concentrated over just a few crazed weeks - and many participants show up at these things more for the buzz than for any other reason. I miss those simple, casual days of summer sipping, like the wonderful midtown Manhattan event I attended about ten years ago called "Rooftop Riesling." The event was just as (and where) you might expect. It was a simple, joyous celebration of a single variety accompanied by some downright tasty summertime eats (I'm probably wrong, but my mind tells me there was spit-roasted pork involved somehow).
I'm not a big fan of Garrison Keillor, but it's times like this season of making far too merry that I pine for the simplicity of a Lake Wobegon wine tasting. That sure sounds good to me right about now.