We all know wine has inspired many good books, whether “Sideways” by Rex Pickett or Benjamin Wallace’s fascinating “The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine.” If you’ve felt an epiphany stemming from a glass of your favorite vino, now’s the time to put that tale to paper — or into the word-processing program of your choice.
Roots to Wine, a nonprofit consortium of Yolo and Solano county wineries, has launched a short-story competition. The catch is that the story’s theme has to encompass the experience of Fresh Press Weekend (Oct. 12-13), an open house of area wineries, which will be inundated with recently crushed grapes from the 2013 harvest.
Perhaps the aromas of fresh-pressed juice will rekindle memories of a romance gone by, or maybe you’ll get caught up in some “Sideways”-like shenanigans that will make for a good tale. Either way, keep the word count to 500 words or less. The winner will score a case of wine from such Roots to Wine members as Berryessa Gap Vineyards, Turkovich Family Wines, Casey Flat Ranch and others.
The deadline to submit a short story: Oct. 20. That means you have one week after Fresh Press Weekend to beat back writer’s block and finish your piece.
But even if you like wine more than writing, Fresh Press Weekend sounds like an opportune time to explore some of the less-traveled local wine country. The route extends north through the Capay Valley, home to such wineries as Seka Hills and Simas Family Vineyard, Putah Creek Winery near Davis to the west, and a cluster of tasting rooms in downtown Winters including Berryessa Gap, Julie LePla Winery and others.
For more information on Fresh Press Weekend and the writing contest, visit rootstowine.com.
A septet of sommeliers: Many restaurants find it a luxury to have a single sommelier or dedicated wine professional on staff. Well, just look at The Firehouse in Old Sacramento, which can now claim a whopping seven certified sommeliers in its restaurant.
The Firehouse recently added Chris Hayes and Garrison Schwarz to its list. And now they’ve got one in the kitchen, with executive chef Deneb Williams passing his sommelier exam. To celebrate, look for 50 percent-off wine specials lasting through Sunday. For more information: www.firehouseoldsac.com.
Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias