Friday, March 25, 2011


This is not much of a review but rather a story of epic failure. A heartbreaking failure on so many levels.

When I was a young and naive architecture student, I idolized Herzog & de Meuron. So naturally, during a trip to Napa Valley, I endured a painfully irritating tour with a bunch of asshole architects and their 'interns' (more on this later) just to get a glimpse of the brilliant architecture behind Christian Moueix's Dominus winery. If the name Christian Moueix sounds familiar to you, it's because he is responsible for Ch√Ęteau Petrus, the most expensive wine in the world. You know, the one that Paul Giamatti was saving in Sideways.

For those who haven't been around architects much, they are annoying as hell. Well, not all of them. But they sure love to talk about architecture, like all the f-ing time. I have many lawyer and doctor friends and they sure don't talk about lawyering and doctoring outside the office. Don't believe me? Read this.

Here is how the tour went. It was probably 36C that day. Couple that with California forest fires and you have 40+C. Add an asshole junior architect to the mix that was probably assigned by his principals to take the interns on a little field trip. This guy. Unbelievable. He was somewhere between Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller and Tim Gunn, if you took all the charm out of Tim Gunn. "Inteeeeerrnnnns, is this precast or reinforced concrete?" Every two steps. "Inteeeerrrnnnss, what do you call this type of a wall? Is it a retaining wall?" Then he decided to interrupt our very knowledgeable guide and improvise a 20 minute speech on the building (most of which was misinformed). As if! I was ready to say: "Hey asshole, we are all here because we know about the building! No need for a lesson." But, of course, I'm one polite gal.

So after what seamed like an eternity, we, all sweaty and dehydrated with smoke filled lungs, were finally taken to the wine cellar with the "inttttterrrrnnnns" and guess what? We weren't even allowed to taste the wine! We could look at it! But not taste it! The world is a cruel bitch. Were we able to buy it? No. No wine. Just an architecture tour. Seriously.

So, I get back to Vancouver and I go to get myself a bottle of Napanook but the damn thing is like $100! No, thank you. I already suffered enough.

But it haunted me, so on a trip to Maui, I snagged a 2002 bottle for $45 at Safeway of all places! Score! This was three years ago. I saved the damn thing for a special occasion. It looked beautiful. Its fresh, modern American label distinguishing itself from the old country. It was saying, "I'm special. Love me. Cherish me."

The day finally came. I decided to open it. On the menu: braised short ribs in red wine sauce, polenta, roasted tomatoes, pear tart for desert. I was ready for magic and fireworks. I open it and............. The cork is soaked in wine, crumbling away. My precious Napanook had gone rancid. Sour and rotten. After all that? Yes, I even bought the f-ing book.

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  1. This was hilarious Anya! Pity you never got to drink the wine.

  2. as a canadian, the selection and price of wine in american safeways is eye-opening, to say the least.

    Great story, Anya!