Wine-ing Over Baseball…Or Is That the Other Way Around? Either Way, Yum!

For the last few years Seth and I have spent the second to last weekend of every October in Cambria and Paso Robles for the Wine Alliance’s Harvest Festival. Sadly, the Angels have either been out of it by this point or never in it to begin with so taking a trip away hasn’t been a tough decision. What will we do next year or in 2013 if the Angels are still in the thick of things? Well, suffice to say that is a conundrum I would love to have! It’ not like we’d have hotel reservations to cancel. We stay at his folks’ place. Yes, I know how lucky I am!

Random thoughts from the weekend:

1) Taking a trip up here in the middle of the post season doesn’t have to mean sacrifice for the baseball fan. There is usually someplace great to watch the game, a winery throwing a baseball party, like the one we attended last year, a local you hit it off with tipping you off to an open party somewhere, or something. Sights like this are not uncommon. Best. License. Plate. Ever…okay…maybe not ever, but still:

Cool folks abound in Paso Robles and you meet the nicest ones at bacon and wine pairings. Go figure. Photo by This is a very simple game...

2) Things are not always what they seem. I figured I’d get my tips on where to watch the game this weekend from the baseball winery. No dice. Because of the too mild weather, harvest is still going on instead of just finished and all of their biggest baseball fans are out working. No, I got my best tips – and excellent wine! – from the gentleman at the Pithy Little Wine Company, nestled in a gorgeous boutique looking tasting room in downtown. And thank you, good Sir, excellent tips they were.

3) There have been less bad calls this post season than I remember from other post seasons, but they’re still there.

4) I said it before and I’ll say it again, I miss having a Molina brother behind the plate.

5) Every time I sit down to watch Albert Pujols play I think, nah, he can’t quite live up to the hype no matter how good he is…only to be reminded a few plays later that, no, really, he is that good.

6) Even injured, Josh Hamilton is almost that good. St Louis fan walking into the bar for the first time in the 6th inning: What happened? How did Texas score that last run? Me: Josh Hamilton happened. St. Louis fan: Say no more.

7) Sitting down at the bar to watch the game, wherein you are rooting for St. Louis as your borrowed team, behind this sight is not as daunting as you might think. Hey, at least you know they’re all baseball fans and not going to start whining about wanting to change the station to football!:

Clearly these fine folks are disappointed Phillies fans, just latching on to another team for the rest of the month, LOL! True Texas fans the lot of them, great bsseball fans, and really nice folks. Photo by This is a very simple game...

8) Catching a ball I can understand. I would never lean out over the rail to catch a ball, even if I don’t agree with it, on some level I understand why someone might do this in the heat of the moment. But throwing a ball onto the field? Seriously? I can’t understand it at all. Kudos to the Rangers ushers for kicking him out…not that I expected anything less.

9) Cheese and wine pairing is wonderful. Small bites and wine even better. BBQ and wine pairing rocks. But a bacon and wine pairing is the best of all. Yes, bacon and wine. And I assure you, it was even better than it sounds, especially the wild boar bacon paired with rich cabernet. Yum! And it’s even better when you meet another baseball fan couple up from Los Angeles for the festival weekend. A Cubbie and a Red Sox fan – proof that two long standing curses (one broken and then some) can cancel one another out into a happy marriage.

10) I wished Mike Napoli all the best with the Rangers when he got traded and I meant it. But I have to confess, hearing the entire stadium chant Nap-o-li, Nap-o-li when he comes up to bat with runners in scoring position and seeing all of the signs that talk about how clutch he is makes me feel a little ill. Why couldn’t you have done some of that for us, Mike? I know you didn’t have as many opportunities, but you did have opportunities.

11) Regarding the previous bullet, I don’t know where this sort of October pettiness is coming from. I haven’t always been this childish about losing. They say adversity breeds character. Well, apparently, baseball “adversity” breeds the wrong kind of character in me. *sigh*

12) For a game where the final score was so darned uneven, it sure didn’t seem uneven in the middle. I swear Texas was on the verge of catching up every time they came up to the plate.

13) Cambria is small and internet access at the house is always sketchy and, in fact, non existent this weekend, but there are worse things. Spending the afternoon like this up the street at Moonstone Cellars, one of the wineries with free Wi-Fi while we plot our dinner and game viewing strategy (no TV at the house either), doesn’t suck. Tempranillo. Yuuuuuum!:

Wine, cheese, books, blogging _and_ the games on in 15! Is the heaven? No ma'am, just Cambria. Photo by This is a very simple game...

8 Comments

Mmmmmmmmm baconnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!! Your description is so titillating that I feel moved to find myself a plate and get down to business (though the fact that it’s 8:30 am may make reaching for a bottle of wine a bit questionable ;-) As for your Molina brother yearning, I hope I never have to go through that.
–Jeff

Pleased to have inspired a tasty breakfast, Jeff. It’s not the before 8:30 part that doesn’t work for wine so much as the before 8:30 on Monday part. And I don’t think Yadi’s going anywhere.

– Kristen

Thanks for spending some time with us at Moonstone Cellars. We keep talking about putting in a TV for post season play. We’ll surely have one up for next year! It’s been hard for too many of us to gather around my iPad with the streaming MLB app. It’s time for us to step up! Kendra, my wife, is a big fan of the Angels and will surely “green-light” a sizable flat-panel for the tasting room should the Angels make the playoffs. Great blog, BTW, and we’ll be following you!
Cheers,
Grape Stomper Todd

Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting, Todd! Oooo, if that happens, watching games from Moonstone would rock. I did not know your wife is an Angels fan. Very cool! I’m sure we’ll see you all the next time we’re in town. Moonstone has become a favorite afternoon visiting place. :)

– Kristen

Having had Bengie and now Jose Molina on the Jays before, I know what you mean by missing having a Molina. Doesn’t matter which one, seems like they can all catch and come up with key hits when you need them.

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

Bluejaysnest – When Bengie and Jose were on the Angels, we used to say they taught other teams religion: Thou shalt not steal on the Molina brothers.

– Kristen

Napoli is taking advantage of the playing time. The guy was traded twice last winter, and he could be the WS MVP. Amazing!
http://thefakegm.mlblogs.com/

What he’s done this season is absolutely amazing, Aaron, and believe me, part of me is pleased for Nap. But the myth that he’s benefitting from increased playing time is just that, a myth. :) He played in more games last year and the same number the year before, although admittedly less in the two years prior to that. Maybe it’s like Bautista moving to Toronto, something just clicked with different coaches.

– Kristen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers

%d bloggers like this: