I’m stuck in old Cincinnati today. If the Cards win tonight, I fly home Saturday. If the Nationals win, I fly to D.C. Mrs. Cohn Zohn is very understanding — she knows what a sports writer’s life is like.
Right now, I’m washing my clothes in the hotel laundry. I ran out of underwear and Guillermo Mota spilled a bottle of champagne on my sweater which smells like the Moet and Chandon Winery. So I’m washing the sweater on the delicate cycle.
The Merc guys have been generous — Kawakami, Alex Pavlovic and Dan Brown. (This is Alex’s first year on the Giants beat. Marty Lurie calls him the rookie of the year. Alex says, “I’m the ONLY rookie.”) They let me tag along with them for dinner late after each game. I have been in charge of ordering the wine and I’m pretty good at it although Spander is better.
I ordered a Martini cab from Sonoma, nice. An Albarino and last night a Ribera Del Duero — wonderful Spanish red. Which leads me to a story.
Dan Brown and his wife Susan Slusser (she covers the A’s for the Chron) are in our wine group. We meet about once a year for a blind tasting and we pass out score sheets for comments and grades. It’s fun. At one of our first meetings several years ago we did a cab tasting at three different price levels, call them expensive, medium and cheapo. I went to BevMo in Orinda for the cheapo cab. A guy in the back said he had just the wine for me. He let me taste a Mexican cab that cost something like $3.29. He said it was great, waxed enthusiastic and I happily agreed.
All week long I imagined myself knocking everyone’s socks off with my Mexican cab. When it came to the blind tasting everyone, including me, almost gagged on one of the cheap cabs. Brian Murphy wrote it tasted like gasoline. I was laughing inside thinking how mine was a real winner, not like that awful cab, and I would surprise people. When we revealed which was which my Mexican cab was the gasoline. Dan said it was the worst bottle of wine ever made.
Please don’t think I’m down on Mexican wine. I am down on THAT wine. I go to Rumbo al Sur in the Oakland hills just to drink their Mexican Zin.
I had bought a second bottle of the Mexican cab, because I thought I liked it so much — the guy at BevMo had been persuasive and convinced me I loved it. I opened the second bottle for Mrs. Cohn Zohn a week later not telling her what it was. She almost fell off her chair. This is rancid, she said, or something like that.
Which brings me back to Cincinnati. After I got all those nice wines for us this week, I asked Dan Brown if I finally can be absolved from the Mexican Cab, which has become an ongoing joke in our wine group.
He eyeballed me.
“No,” he said. “That’s your Buckner moment.”