Today is my birthday. Sitting here, thinking what to write about, it seems silly not to mention, I suppose.
I don’t have a ton of birthday stories. I recently chronicled a few memories when our shop turned 2 in November. But one emerging from the recesses this morning: I'm in my late 20s, returning home after an overnight on the coast. Three of us driving back that particular Sunday, my birthday, and I'm assuming we’ll surely get up to something that night in our neighborhood. But my friend gets a text on the way down - the owners of the wine shop where he works need him - and perhaps someone to help as well. He proposes I join him. Work? On my birthday? But then I'm thinking Oh, the old ‘get him out of the house for the evening, surprise party’ trick... and I agree to bar-back.
Cut to closing, "tomorrow's a busy day" my friends says, but he proposes a quick Manhattan at Colombo’s on the next block. Ah, yes - house party too obvious, everyone’s at the dive bar. Nice one guys. Mixing it up. We get to the bar and it's just he and I. Some conversation, one drink (maybe two), and he drops me home. OK, enough delay, here we go! Lights go on and there's no one home. No party. Nothing. Like much of my life that exists only in my head, it was equal parts disappointing and comical. I was no Columbo.
Funny thing though, looking back many years later on that night, it was actually a really great birthday. Helping a friend. Enjoying a quiet drink together. And, it turns out, he gave me a truly extraordinary gift too. My first shift at a wine shop. I started taking more of them there after that. I caught the bug, left my job and and took a harvest position in western Sonoma. The enthusiasm continued at a shop in New York where I met Max, and my wife. And now on my birthday, so many years later, here I am, writing you. I'll hit send, and can almost hear your voices, in unison: "Suprise!"
TONIGHT: Thursday Night Flights! Thank you for showing up, for being part of this party here at OAKLAND YARD. Thank you for your presence. Let the joy continue, tonight - we'll be pouring French Whites and Italian Reds. And we've extended our hours on Thursdays... Flights $12 from 5-9pm! Wines by the glass too as always!
SATURDAY: Rosé Flights. All new arrivals. Still and sparkling pink delights from around the globe. All dry and delicious. Flights from 2-6pm and wines by the glass until 9. It's also Record Store Day and the block will be hopping early on. Tacos Oscar will be open at 10am - stop in for brunch and bubbles here or stock up on party and picnic provisions and keep the party going.
SUNDAY: Wines of Burgundy. Four wines, Blanc and Rouge. Beguiling beauties from Bourgogne. We'll be pouring a stellar selection from 2-6 and wines by the glass until 8pm.
Thanks for all the love,