Sonoma’s Terroir

Terroir or Terror?My editor at the Bohemian asked me to pen a pithy ode to Sonoma’s terroir, for the paper’s annual “Arcadia” issue, which highlights all things epicurean in the tri-county area. Here’s the result…

Sonoma is a tale of two cities: The one you’re in and the one to which you’re trying to get invited. Though not terribly diverse or integrated, it is perhaps one of the few towns where a nouveau riche telecom refugee can discuss the corporate acquisition of local wineries with a recently transplanted Himalayan Sherpa and everyone gets along. An area artist recently attributed this bonhomie to the fact that for many in the valley “work” is a merely hobby, often spiced with piquant notes of altruism and served on a crostini of civic duty. It’s also a great excuse to drink. Hence the staggering amount of fundraisers thrown by the karmic-minded, which dot the social calendar the way phylloxera plagues a viticulturalist’s dreams. Despite this endless bacchanal – fueled by the democratizing elixir of fine wine and all order of locally raised, grazed and otherwise procured epicurean delights – there is a surprising lack of gout. This is just as well since it would interfere with one’s early A.M. stroll home. Such constitutionals are highly recommended seeing as the town produces nearly as many DUIs as it does vino. Just don’t pass out on the petanque court lest your nose be mistaken for a cochonnet and pelted with metal boules (though this can divert a hangover, it is considered rude to bloody the court and you won’t be asked back). The best bet is to take Vern’s Taxi, especially if you’re headed towards the outlands beyond the valley where the varietal of choice is meth and you ditched your bike while fleeing to avoid your patron’s hubby.

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