A friend recently asked me how I remember all these stories from my youth. I grew up in a large family and the retelling of stories (particularly ones where I makes an ass of myself) was a favored activity. The repetition really anchored most of these tales.
But memory is a strange and fascinating thing and can be misleading. For the longest time I had two very distinct and special memories of my grandfather. He passed when I was still very little, but he always made such a sweet show of things when I’d visit him with my mother. He knew I was crazy for those Sunkist Fruit Gems he always had on hand, often in the freezer. They were not so unusual- just small, gummy pectin discs with a pleasingly textured sugary crust. But he would arrange them on a tray for me as if they were little delicacies and we’d split a Ginger Ale. Just two gentlemen, equals, sitting down for a drink and a simple treat. It was always the best.
The other memory is the more peculiar one. A rollercoaster at Disneyland. A distinct memory of riding this coaster with him. In my mind, forever, I am around 4 or 5 and riding the coaster on his lap. It's not Thunder Mountain but one of the smaller “kiddie" ones. But my mom set me straight on the math years ago. No way. No possibility of rollercoasters in his shape by that time. What we were able to piece together is that my recollection was a cloudy memory of visiting him in the hospital on various occasions toward the end. Such a large, white building with odd halls and banners and flags and crosses. And it was all so bright to me and there was, surprisingly, joy. He would be so happy to see his grandkids and he would put the smaller ones like me on his lap and wheel us around the hospital’s hallways with a great laugh, though he was likely in great pain.
The internet is full of folks chronicling what a wretched year 2016 has been, with so many great losses. I don’t know what 2017 has in store for all of us. But I thought of my grandfather this morning and remembered a man who could turn a hospital into Disneyland. It is this spirit that our little wine shop embraces, now and in 2017, and always. Whatever we all individually or collectively face- we will be here for you. A bright station on your journey. We are here with a smile, with a laugh- here to do whatever we can to make things better.
Since sitting on our laps would be a bit weird, come join us for a flight of bubbly to lift spirits and get the celebrations for 2017 started early. We’ll be showcasing 4 different sparkling wines and have additional bubbles available by the glass.
TONIGHT (Thursday, December 29th) at OAKLAND YARD
ALL SPARKLING FLIGHT- 3 wines, $15
TASSIN NV CHAMPAGNE (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay) Champagne, FR
Domaine La Taille Aux Loups NV Brut Tradition (Chenin Blanc) Montlouis-Sur-Loire, FR
Elke 2011 Madame Elke Brut (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir-MethodeTraditionnelle) Mendocino, CA
Please Note: OAKLAND YARD will be OPEN New Year's Eve from 10-8PM and will be closed on New Year's Day.