Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Pink Statement of Pride

It's not often that a rose crawl becomes a hurricane party.

Today's Carytown Rose Crawl required that I pull out one of my two pink dresses so as to be attired appropriately. I settled on the hot pink mod little shift that looks like it's straight out of 1967.

We began at Amici, a new addition to the crawling process.

As a guy held the door open for me, I walked in and was surprised at the number of people in attendance, including Matt from Secco wearing a pink headband.

The crawl was already paying off in spades.

Amici's rose of choice was Negroamaro Salento and a glass was poured for me almost as soon as I walked in. Well balanced and fruity, it was a nice start.

Our rose crawling group quickly filled the bar area and as I glanced down the bar, every glass held pink. I was definitely where I needed to be.

I met a few new people (another food writer, a woman with a large pink purse) but chose to catch up with a friend I hadn't seen in a while instead of chatting up the masses.

Almost before we knew it, it was time to move on to Amour Wine Bistro; they get points for both the wine offerings (there were eight plus two flights) and the four different food pairings.

With a bit of assistance, I chose the La Bastide St. Dominique Rose and the eggplant caviar on a baguette.

The rose had some gorgeous fruit and a long finish and the eggplant bruschetta 's fresh flavors made for a satisfying snack as we began Round #2.

The crowd grew at Amour as people who couldn't get off work by 5:30 joined us for the second stop.

I (re-) met a farmer and said hello to a few people I knew. Our rose crawlers were steadily growing, much to my delight.

Walking down to Can-Can, some of us who had been on the Riesling crawl a few months back wondered if Can-Can would be better prepared than last time (they were supposedly unaware of the Riesling crawl so I skipped them).

Strike Two; the bar was crowded with their regular crowd (shudder) and they had only two bartenders on staff, so the rose group had nowhere to go and no one to serve them.

Along with several other people, we beat feet and opted out of their offering. It was a shame.

Heading to Secco, the sky was looking ominous and I briefly considered stopping to roll up my car windows.

Bad call not to have done so since we were barely ten minutes inside Secco when the monsoon arrived.

Knowing my open car was being drenched when there was nothing I could do about it in no way hampered my continuation of rose exploration.

The bar had only one seat available, but I quickly claimed it and adventurously ordered the "Dealer's Choice" flight. It's not like rose-loving Secco was going to steer me wrong.

Fifteen minutes in and the lightening seemed to be striking the very heart of Carytown as Chef Tim and I watched from the doorway.

Moments later, we lost all power.

But with back-up lighting at the front and back and some well-placed candles (including the loo), who really needed electricity?

Um, the kitchen so they could cook and the wait staff so they could use the register system, but we customers could drink just fine in the semi-darkness.

My flight arrived on a pink placemat with pink post-it hearts announcing my wines.

From left to right, I had Mazzolino Brut Rose (list notes: "It makes us giggle"), followed by Fenouiellet Rose (beautiful nose and a long finish) and finally the Tete a Claque Rose (refreshing and dry).

Barely into my first glass and enjoying the bubbles, a guy approached me, hoping for help so he could place an order.

He moved here from Poland ten years ago and was looking for a good red, so I recommended a personal favorite, the Chateau Muser "Jeune Rouge" from a  very old wine-growing region in Lebanon.

He got two bottles and came back twice to chat me up. It may sound like I was pimping owner Julia's wine, but honestly, I was just recommending a favorite of mine to a stranger.

After a bit, the amount of oxygen left in the room became scarce, so the front and back doors were propped open to cool things off and improve air flow.

And that's when it began to feel like a hurricane party. We had no music, no food, and no light. You'd have thought people would leave for brighter pastures, but they didn't.

I chatted with a girl who loves her Church Hill neighborhood as much as I love Jackson Ward.

I met a guy who works at Edo's who admitted that it's impossible to hear any music there, much less his favorite band, Led Zeppelin.

I met a bartender who blogs about going out who offered to over-serve me if I came to his bar.

After a while, the chef and sous chef were so bored that they began polishing glasses. Finally the sous chef told me that they could still produce some food in the dark.

Cheese was out because they didn't want to open the refrigerator, but they had spicy almonds, marinated olives, and the tortilla Espanola, which I opted for.

He brought it out seconds later and I felt like all eyes were on me as I ate it, but that didn't stop me. Eggs and ramps were just what I needed at at that point.

My pink dress was mentioned several times by strangers, but only after owner Julia acknowledged her pink underwear did I allow that I was wearing the same. Hey, anything for a good rose crawl.

I ended on Punkt Genau for its bubbles and refreshing quality in a room where the temperature continued to climb. 

The transplanted Pole returned to chat and, all at once, Dominion let there be light.

Although it had been just under three hours in the dark, the mood inside the bar had been convivial. The restored lights were immediately dimmed to power outage levels and the remaining devotees carried on.

But after a time, the thrill of being trapped by the rain and in the dark had spent itself, so people began cashing out.

Still, with a personal best of six roses under my belt, I felt no shame about calling it a night.

Even if a certain Facebook friend did immediately give me a hard time about being home at a reasonable hour.

I hope he took note so I don't have to do it again any time soon. 

What's the point in being home this early anyway?


  1. Thanks! I enjoyed your take on the Crawl. That bartender that you mentioned sounds really cool. ;-)

  2. OMG!! I hate large, pink purses!! LULZZZ! WHO DOES THAT? So glad you mentioned it! Thought I was the only one!!!!! =>