Must love wine (music and video games) in San Jose

Above: They crowd last night was like putty in our jazz hands.

It’s still not clear to me why our manager booked us at an all-ages show at a video arcade in San Jose but he did. The other one of life’s little ironies last night was the fact that technically we were in “wine country” California (a stone’s throw from Santa Clara and Santa Cruz) and despite the abundance of wine bars revealed in a google maps search, there was very little wine I could find to drink. The venues closest to the video arcade where we played (who knew video arcades still existed?) were Barra di Vino (a would-be Italianate temple of Cabernet Sauvignon) and UnWined, a cleverly if perhaps inaptly named but clean and smart operation nonetheless.

Above: The domestic charcuterie plate at UnWined wasn’t bad and the very reasonably priced Vocoret 2006 Forêt really hit the spot.

Somehow we ended up at UnWined (don’t trust Google maps to get you there, btw) where I found an impressive list of big, bold barriqued California wines and two bottlings I could actually drink: the Vocoret 2006 Forêt Premier Cru and the Venica 2006 Collio. We opted for the former because it was already chilled since they are also currently serving it by the glass. (Check out Eric’s article on Chablis. I wish Raul at UnWined would take Eric’s advice: “Because good Chablis is subtle, it is crucial not to serve it too cold, which will mask the flavors. Barely cool is just about right.”)

Feeling compelled to drink something local, I also asked for the “least barriqued” Pinot Noir by the glass on the list and was served a Candela 2006. The staff at UnWined was very friendly and knowledgeable about the list (they told me they decant nearly every red wine served by the bottle, the “Cabs” and “Zins” needing extra time to open up, said our server).

Above: Céline Dijon (aka Verena Wiesendanger) did the dance of the Momie last night. For a change, I played Jean-Luc Retard’s (aka Dan Crane’s aka Björn Türoque’s) killer 70s-era SG instead of my John Carruthers custom Sunburst Tele with mint-green pickguard.

It was just one of those nights: the gig was strange but fun and we ended up back at the hotel drinking beers and laughing too loudly. I’m lucky to be in a band with folks whose company I really enjoy sharing. Ryan (aka Morris “Mars” Chevrolet) reminded me that — on stage and off — the music is ALWAYS fun.

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one

Tonight at Spaceland in LA is sure to be a fun one, too. I can’t wait to see all my old friends and be reunited with that gorgeous lady of mine.

3 thoughts on “Must love wine (music and video games) in San Jose

  1. There are actually a number of video game arcades still operating in San Jose. The old hands at the tech companies keep them in business through a mixture of nostalgia and actual old-school competition. Golfland in Sunnyvale has what is probably the premier arcade left that caters to serious enthusiasts. Glad you enjoyed San Jose!

  2. Pingback: “The grooviest bunch of wine professionals” « Barbera Meeting 2010

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