Friday, May 23, 2008

Cheap Wine - Barefoot Pinot Grigio

When Brian asked me to be the cheap wine blogger for, I thought it would be easy. I drink cheap wine on a regular basis, and I made my pocket money in high school as a stock boy for a high-class wine shop in Connecticut. I’m certainly no expert, but I learned more than just how to sneak a bottle from the basement to my trunk.

It’s not as easy as I expected. Of course I never planned on using words like “oaky,” “bouquet” or “legs,” but I thought I would be able to give a somewhat educated opinion on relatively cheap wine. I’m kind of a wino, but with standards. So to do this I figured I would need some sort of criteria, and as I made my list, I thought, why not keep it simple and ask 7 questions about cheap wine. 7 is a good number, and not to completely limit myself, I’ll keep question 7 open for a who, what, when, where, why or how question, which will alternate with each blog.

The first bottle I will discuss is Barefoot’s Pinot Grigio.

1) Price?
Anywhere between 4.99 and 7.49. A grocery store will always be cheaper than a convenient store.

2) Food?
Grilled chicken and watermelon!
If you’re not much of a cook and want to impress a date, here’s what you do: First have a chilled bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio and look nice. When your date shows up at the door, have a tray full of freshly cut watermelon on the table, and the grill going. Squeeze some lemon on the chicken, add some S&P, throw them on the grill and make your move. Hopefully you’ll have made it to first base by the time the chicken is done. After your date eats the chicken and has a few glasses of wine, you’ll be rounding second.

3) Music?
Sublime. Bob Marley is good too. Beatles, but only Sgt. Peppers or Magical Mystery Tour.

4) Clothes?
Shorts are a must! If it’s too cold for shorts, it’s too cold for this wine. Flip-flops a plus. Muscle t-shirt a bonus.

5) Read?
Great wine for outside reading, especially if you’re in a hammock. You’re going to want something that doesn’t make you think too hard. May I suggest Where the Sidewalk Ends or The Bible?

6) People?
This wine should be shared with friends. A backyard BBQ or a bonfire on the beach are perfect situations. Next time you’re invited over to your buddy’s house for a BBQ, show up with a bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio. Everyone else will have Coors Light, and you’ll look cool with the chilled wine.

7) How?
Don’t be afraid to hold your glass by the top. I’m sure someone will tell you to always hold your chilled wine by the steam of the glass so it doesn’t get warm, but if you drink your glass fast enough, that won’t be a problem, so hold it however you want. It’s hard to look cool while holding a wine glass at the steam.

Last glass
I’m not an expert, just a cheap wine enthusiast. I don’t have a trained palate, but if you’re like me in the sense that you find most white wines too dry, Barefoot Pinot Grigio is a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Celebrate the Three-Year Anniversary of "Cheap Wine and Poetry" Thursday May 29, 7 p.m.

Where would we all be without the Three Little Pigs? Pascal’s Triangle? And what about getting to third base?

Great things always come in threes— even “Cheap Wine and Poetry,” celebrating our three-year anniversary on Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m. at Richard Hugo House. To commemorate, we’ve invited back four (Sorry threes!) of our favorite featured readers of the past: writer and “The Stranger” columnist David Schmader, solo performer Jennifer Jasper, and poets John Burgess and Jourdan Keith.

Charla Grenz— sans Dorothy Parker get-up— hosts; the wine’s a buck a glass, and we’ll be raffling off books from past readers, “Cheap Wine and Poetry” t-shirts, and other surprises.

So lift a glass with us on May 29 and celebrate Seattle’s coolest reading series. Here’s to threes (until next year, when we celebrate our fourth anniversary)!

WHAT: “Cheap Wine and Poetry.” Celebrating the three-year anniversary of Seattle’s coolest reading series. Features John Burgess, Jennifer Jasper, Jourdan Keith, and David Schmader.

WHEN: Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle.

ETC: Wine $1/glass.
Open mic.
Merch sales.

Co-sponsored by Richard Hugo House

About the Performers
Seattle poet John Burgess just had his second book— “A History of Guns in the Family”— published by Ravenna Press. He’s a 2006 Jack Straw writer, co-founder of the Burning Word Poetry Festival, and the 2008 curator for Words' Worth, the poetry program for the Seattle City Council. He is currently working to put the lit journal Snow Monkey online. His first collection is “Punk Poems.”

Jennifer Jasper has been performing and directing in Seattle for almost 20 years. She was a co-founder of Kings’ Elephant Theatre (10 years) and co-founder of Pulp Vixens (10 years). She has been performing her own work in various forms including stand up comedy, monologues and is now developing a one-woman show for 2009/2010. Most recently she can be seen hosting for the Von Foxies Burlesque as the scotch-swilling “Maggie.”

Jourdan Keith
, Seattle’s 2007 Poet Populist and storyteller, is a Jack Straw writer and Hedgebrook alum. A 2004 grant recipient from the Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the choreopoem, “The Uterine Files: Episode I, Voices Spitting Out Rainbows,” her publication credits include ColorsNW, Seattle Woman, KUOW, the video “Silence...Broken” and the anthology, “Ma-Ka, Diasporic Juks.” She is the founder of Urban Wilderness Project, which provides storytelling, restoration and adventure programs.

David Schmader
is a writer and performer who’s been living and working in Seattle since 1991. His solo plays include Letter to Axl and Straight, which he’s performed to great acclaim in Seattle and across the U.S. In his spare time, Schmader is also the world’s foremost authority on the brilliant horribleness of Paul Verhoven’s Showgirls, hosting annotated screenings of the notorious stripper drama at film festivals across the country and supplying the commentary track for MGM’s special-edition Showgirls DVD in 2002. Since 1999, Schmader’s been an editor and staff writer for the Seattle newsweekly The Stranger, for which he writes the weekly pop culture-and-politics column “Last Days.” He’s currently completing the new live cinema essay Nomi’s Inferno: An Abridged and Annotated Tour of American Cinematic Failure, and a new solo play, Litter.