Hip To Be Square

Last week Kerith and I decamped with the kids to Healdsburg for the summer.  After months of planning, a military-like deployment, and the shock and awe of the Overstreet clan descending on this bucolic hot spot in northern Sonoma county, we’re finally settling in.  The kids are enrolled in day camp, the fridge is full of Gogurts and peanut butter, we’ve figured out who sells the best fruit and veggies at the local farmer’s market, and we’ve even been given a slight reprieve from the recent heat wave (yesterday’s high was 105, today was a blustery 93). 

So, with great anticipation, we dropped the kids at camp today and set out on the first of our summer “Wine Wednesdays”.  Our goal is to cover the greater Sonoma county on Wednesdays, one region at a time.  Fortunately, Healdsburg is ideally situated in the middle of the Dry Creek Valley, the Alexander Valley, and the Russian River Valley.  Knights Valley and Rockpile are also close by.  In fact, our house is no more than a 15-minute drive from the world-class wineries of each of these fantastic appellations.

Today’s adventure was a short excursion to the Dry Creek Valley.  In short order we hit Dry Creek Vineyard, A. Rafanelli, and Ridge Winery.  All are prodigious producers of zinfandel and we actively tasted and stocked up for our growing collection of the regions best.  We picked up a musqué (a sauvignon derivative), a zin, and a dessert wine at Dry Creek Winery and a couple of zins at both Rafanelli and Ridge. 

This is not all idle wine tourism, mind you.  Our underlying goal is to befriend enough local growers that we can talk our way into buying a ton or two of zinfandel grapes to make a special bottling of Bruliam Zinfandel.  Kerith is already busy cooking up batches of her almond biscotti to temp unsuspecting local farmers.  And those of you who have had them know that there is no greater siren song - and that these Sonoma county hippies don’t stand a chance. 

Overall, it was a great day.  The second best thing about the outing was telling the guy pouring at our last stop that, after three wineries and tasting about 15 different wines, we had to get going to go pick our girls up at pre-school.  And that he didn’t miss a beat in pouring us one more taste “for the road”.

And what was the best you ask?  As we were driving down the 101 freeway to Santa Rosa to pick up the girls, we passed the local arts center.  They have an electronic billboard that advertises upcoming events.  Since we’ve been here, I’ve been less than enticed by upcoming acts such as Frankie Valli and Lisa Williams (Medium and Clairevoyant). 

Today, however, I almost drove off the road when the sign flashed at me:  August 13th – Huey Lewis and the News.

For my money, there really is no greater musical act than Huey Lewis & The News.  Oh sure, the Beatles, Springsteen, U2, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and many others certainly were (and in some cases are) big players.  But, c’mon, if you’re of my generation you can’t possible tell me that you didn’t own the Sports album and know every word of every song.  Heart of Rock ‘n Roll, I Want a New Drug, If This Is It, Finally Found a Home, Walking on a Thin Line, etc., etc., etc.  Michael Jackson be damned (and he likely is), Huey Lewis was the king of the ‘80s.

As I rushed to pick the girls up and hurry home to buy my tickets before it sold out, a couple of thoughts occurred to me:  i) I must have bought the Sports album in 1984 or 1985 – about 25 years ago; ii) that means that Huey Lewis is probably about 80 now and the The News, is, well, not so new; and iii) I’m getting really really really old.

But screw it, for one night, on August 13th, I’m going to put my children to bed, drink a couple of glasses of Dry Creek Valley’s best zinfandel and go rock out with a bunch of other aging Gen X’ers like it’s 1985 all over again.

Who’s with me??