Lamb Jam Flim Flam in San Fran

…ewe’ll have a grand old time!

Across the bay bridge I drove this Sunday morning, delving determinedly into the gray pillow of fog wrapped tenderly around the sleeping City. I wound my way through Japantown towards the Presidio, deftly avoiding bike riders bent on becoming… bent. We arrived with excitement in the old, abandoned Spanish themed Presidio neighborhood of this former Military base, a forgotten village from the 40s with charming clapboard houses surreally set in the foreground of a view of the modern city that glimmered in the reflection off the bay.

I waltzed with wine in hand into a historic room of the Golden Gate Club and was warmed by the smell of hickory smoke and cooking meat… instantly my salivary glands took action. From table to table we walked with our rubber chickens – reading the menu descriptions that each chef would be preparing to pair with the celebrated wines of Northern CA. I could hardly wait to wrap my lips around some tender meats…

Our pouring table was a raucous celebration (as per usual) with the staff (moi) and guests making crass jokes and playing with the rubber chickens all day. Most entertaining was our “Slow, Adults at play” sign, which started a semi-serious, live spontaneous auction among 10 or 12 of the enthusiastic tasters gathered round to the curious surprise of the rest of the room (sorry!). I think they LOOOOVE us, They wanna Kiiiiiissss us!

We even had a proud moment when we made our most delicious Spaniard come out of that one guys nose as we pretended to be a wine pouring robot, complete with robotic dance and arm movements with bottle in hand…not a bad used for a $49 a bottle red!

I was lucky enough to be the subject of an original cartoon artist on site – with his rendering of a terrifying “Ali monster” and a giant “Cockzilla” wreaking havoc together on the Golden Gate in fine twisted fashion.

The afternoon light streamed in and the next hours took on a life of their own as we greedily gobbled up tangy lamb tacos, gently roasted shanks on creamy clouds of polenta and succulent rare bites of barely browned herbacious tenderloin between  frantically beckoned pours for our charmingly impatient wine drinkers. This party was one that no one wanted to leave and I dare say, we were one of the reasons why!

I am proud to say that we closed down the party, being the last (and most popular) table pouring wine at the event (why would you quit when you’re all having so much fun!?) “You are the MOST fun winery we have ever met!” “We want to drink your Garnacha as our last glass of the day because we want to end with the BEST!…don’t stop, keep pouring…more…ok great thanks!” were among the slippery sweet words gifted us by our silver tongued slightly soused support group as the party wrapped up.

Packing up the car with exhausted stray chickens and empty wine bottles (you drank allmy wine people!!!), I smiled with satisfaction watching the happy couples lolling on the lawn awaiting their taxis with full hearts and ewe filled bellies. Those loooong days of pouring, of chatting and laughter, of childish jokes and silly behavior, they fill me with energy and I can live to pour another day. Yes, I know, I am so noble for being willing to sacrifice my days to pour you wine, and yet I am so humble and shy also… so to avoid the limelight, you can send all my rewards and accolades care of  “El Jefe” to our own Twisted Oak Winery in Vallecito, CA. Come and party with us in the tasting room sometime!

Lamb jam was a major slam, this ham is hoping I am…able to pour for you again next year ma’am.