Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
I'm a lousy golfer. Sure, I enjoy my bi-annual tour of the links. But for me the game serves two purposes - it's either an excuse to enjoy time with friends, or a way to induce a good nap. The announcers voices and the pace of the game are amazingly somnambulous.
As an untalented hack, I'm in awe of Tiger Woods, one of the most naturally gifted, driven men or women to ever play the game. So sure, it's nice to see him win the "Father's Day" US Open at Torrey Pines, a course where I once shot a 79. Though I must also tell you I shot much better on the back nine.
But I had to change allegiances yesterday. I was rooting for the underdog, Rocco Mediate, once I read the accounts of Sunday's tie with Tiger Woods. He is a 45-year old professional golfer who has never won a major tournament. He has been described as a "Palooka Golfer" and a "Journeyman golfer", but no derogatory description could mask his selfless love of the game that could be seen during his interviews.
"I'm just thrilled to be here" he said grinning from under his golf cap full of U.S. Open souvenir pins - "I just want to see what I've got when playing against Tiger. I already know what he's got. What an amazing opportunity"... and such as that. So its to Rocco's amazing spirit that l ask you to lift your glass with me, in a toast to all "Palookas" and "Journeymen" regardless of their field. May they rise to their own challenge, whatever it may be, with the class of a Rocco Mediate.
Toasting Rocco Mediate
I am breaking out some of my best stuff for this toast - three of my favorite Central Coast Pinot Noirs. You may not automatically reach for Pinot when you're ready to toast. To each his/her own. Just try these special wines and I think you'll see why I consider them among the best toast-worthy wines California has to offer.
- Labyrinth 2005 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard, $31.00 - Produced in an elegant, food friendly style, this wine has the structure to age and the fruit to last the duration. A journeyman wine that will surprise many in a sudden-death taste-off on the 19th hole.
- Au Bon Climat, 2005 Pinot Noir, "Knox Alexander", $45 - A wine for hedonistic pinot lovers, who enjoy rich with fruit and with a silky finish that lasts through tomorrow. An homage to the Winemaker's son, Knox, this is an assemblage of the best from the ABC vineyards within Bien Nacido - what better wine to feature at the end of a Father's Day tournament?!
- Arcadian Winery, 2005 Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix Vineyard, $55.00 - I am so in love with this wine, I wish I could drink it everyday. But as a Journeyman wine merchant, it is still a special treat, even with my discount. A wine to enjoy today or for many years to come. This is the current release from Winegrower Joe Davis, whose meticulous approach to every step of making wine is exemplified in his extended barrel and bottle aging prior to release.
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