All the shitty wine I drink in Houston (in case you were wondering)

whitney seng houston wine sommelierIn case you’re worried about me here in Houston and all the shitty wine I’m drinking, I thought I’d share some images from last night’s Iron Sommelier competition and charity event held at the swank Houstonian hotel, spa, and resort.

I personally couldn’t afford to get into a high-roller gathering like this but my gig blogging about the wine scene here for the Houston Press, the city’s weekly rag, does have its perks.

That’s sommelier Whitney Seng (above), who competed in the event and works at the River Oaks Country Club, where the well-heeled petroleum crowd hangs out.

He didn’t win or place last night but I loved his Alpine theme and the Terlan 2012 Pinot Bianco Riserva Vorberg that he was pouring. What a killer shitty wine!

james watkins pappas brosThat’s James Watkins who was representing and competing for Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, where the oil and gas crew blow wads of cash each night before heading to our city’s ubiquitous strip clubs.

James was pouring Catherine & Pierre Breton 2006 Bourgueil.

I mean, how cool lame is that? You’d expect him to be coughing up some Napa Valley “Cab”! James didn’t win anything either.

matej skerlj wines malvasiaMy super good buddy Nathan Smith was pouring a flight of macerated wines from Friuli, including Radikon, Graver, and Matej Skerlj’s Malvasia from Carso, one of the hottest lamest newcomers on the Italian wine scene.

Nathan came in second place last night. He lost to some really interesting dude loser who grew up in Greece and runs an all-Greek wine program in one of our city’s ugliest neighborhoods.

Click here to read my post today for the Houston Press.

8 thoughts on “All the shitty wine I drink in Houston (in case you were wondering)

  1. This post is racist. Well at least as racist as those offhand comments made in San Francisco about your beloved Houston.
    Not really, huh? Did those Terroir dwellers offer any further insight beyond their rude dismissal of your fair city?
    As a loyal reader I hope you get over the slight. I get that this post is in jest but I know you understand the saying about the truth behind humor.
    Pride in place is noble. Representing is understandable. Blind allegiance to a flag or city boundaries ought to give pause.
    I’m glad you have found a great place to raise your family.
    When touting all the progressive elements of your home base, if you leave out the litany of recent Texas state legislative retreats into the Dark Ages, then the picture is distorted.
    I can’t defend those random rude insults you received. But had you explored the source of the prejudice it would likely revolve around politics… not people, museums or demographics. It isn’t racist to decry the subjugation of women, textbooks, and voter rights. Your beloved city/state isn’t alone in this regressive trend.
    Chances are that those likely temporary assholes in San Francisco are usually your allies. Celebrating the wonder of vino, and if familiar with Do Bianchi, grateful to witness its veritas ;)

    • Graz, I love you man and I consider you a good friend even though we only know each other virtually.

      But, man, I never claimed to be a saint.

      This post is pure sarcasm, poking a little fun at the hubbub last week.

      Thanks for being here.

        • Graz, I’m not sticking with any charge of racism. The post was a satire of stereotypes of Houston and Houstonians. It was mere fun… Not sure where you’re coming from on this… but thanks for being here.

          • Sorry to belabor, but just to be clear. My query about the racism charge stems from the original post that this current one is related to:
            When you detailed how you refrained from engaging the “micro-aggressors” so as to avoid stopping the conversation. Followed by what you might or should have said, etc… But you felt comfortable in attributing motive and intention that was never expressed. And to level the charge of racism in response to the “sorry to hear that about living in Houston”.
            So I’m coming from a place of asking you if that is really the conclusion you’ve drawn? It seems that the “hubbub” was just a projection on your part — a reaction to the slight? I think that’s a reasonable question to ask as an interested reader, no?

          • Ok, Graz, it’s clear that this is very important issue for you. Your language and tone here are very serious.

            Honestly, I don’t see the microaggression or aggression in my post. And the “racism charge” here is entirely out of line and I take issue with it.

            I’m also having a lot of trouble following your logic.

            I was not born a southerner (in the historic sense of the term with regard to the evolution of cultural stereotypes in the U.S.).

            But I have become a southerner by virtue of the fact that I married into a southern family and have fathered children who are southerners, by birth and acculturation.

            When people mock me for being from Houston, I see intrinsic racism against southerners in their gesture. We could argue the finer points, but few would disagree that the microaggression “I’m so sorry you’re from Houston” is based stereotypes about southerners.

            The same could be said of a northern Italian who makes jokes about southern Italians. The joke-maker and the southerner are both Italians but they also belong to two distinct groups of people that can be defined in distinct racially unique subsets.

            The utterance of “I’m so sorry you’re from Houston” (in the context I described in my post) implies a hierarchy among the peoples who live in the south and those who do not.

            When I wrote my post about “bad” wine I drink in Houston, I was employing sarcasm and hyperbole for comic effect. I didn’t refer to any group or subset of Americans beyond Houstonians: a group to which I belong!

            Everyone is welcome to post comments of my blog but if you continue to use such offensive language here, I will not engage with you anymore (although you are welcome to post whatever you like here).

            Now it’s time to enjoy Saturday and time with my family of southerners… shitty wine awaits me tonight for dinner.

            Buon weekend…

  2. “When people mock me for being from Houston, I see intrinsic racism against southerners in their gesture. We could argue the finer points, but few would disagree that the microaggression “I’m so sorry you’re from Houston” is based stereotypes about southerners.”

    … Anyway, thanks for the friendly send-off ;) I wouldn’t expect less from a gentleman and scholar.
    It seemed as if this was an important issue for you as well. Unfortunately if you’ve already drawn your conclusions then there is little ground for discussion. I’m sorry that I pushed too strongly and beyond your desire to engage. Fwiw: Texas isn’t the south. Racism has meaning and can be described by example, etc. Your assessment of the phrase “Sorry you’re from Houston” may suit you, but I think many would disagree (by example as evidenced in the comments to the original post).
    Remember, you hung the gist of the original post on your assumptions, not actual expression or evidence. That’s your prerogative. Your blog. Your rules. Enjoy your shitty wine (kidding – ha ha).

    • Actually Graz, Texas is part of the South, historically and culturally. I really can’t see how your line of reasoning there is sustainable.

      And for the record, I didn’t respond to any of the commenters who took offense with my use of the word racist because all of them commented anonymously and I don’t respond to anonymous commenters on my blog (although I do not edit or delete anonymous comments).

      It’s clear that you don’t see any racist over- or undertone in the “I’m sorry” line. That may be because you’ve never been on the receiving end of a microaggression like that.

      I encourage you to read the UC paper I cited carefully:

      Have you ever taken a cab in NYC? Have you ever initiated a conversation by asking the driver, “where are you from?” Then you’ve made a microaggression.

      Read the description of the first microaggession on the list in the UC paper.

      It wouldn’t be a microaggression if you had previously established a rapport with the driver. But if that’s your first interaction, it’s a microaggression.

      If you don’t see the racism in that, then you really need to look more closely at this.

      It’s really hard for me to believe that you’ve found my posts so offensive. I really don’t know that much about you but you’ve always been so friendly here.

      You wrote “This post is racist” in response to obvious sarcasm. You even noted that the post was “in jest.” But you continue to insist that I am racist because of my hyperbole.

      I never wrote that the utterers of “I’m sorry” are racist. I wrote that their microaggression is inherently racist — whether they recognize that or not.

      And for the record, I’ve never written anything that even remotely implies that Bay Area or California is a better or worse place to live than Houston or Texas.

      I simply wrote that people who use the “I’m sorry” line with me are no friends of mine.

      And on a personal note, you’re tone is way out of line here. I find your language very offensive here. I’m not on trial in the court of Graz.

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