Our son just started his first year at Bard College. (I digress here to note that Bard’s illustrious musical alumni include The Sherman Brothers, Steely Dan, and our friend Nelson Bragg of the Brian Wilson Band. Spectacular connections right there, but that’s not my subject for today.)
Rhinebeck, NY is a lovely town about 8 miles from the Bard campus in the Hudson River Valley. We dined at a few places there in August while we were in town to drop Ben off at school. Among the restaurants to which we intend to return is Terrapin. The setting is dramatic: it’s housed in the beautifully renovated “First Baptist Church,” built in 1825. It’s got a bistro on one side, for casual dining, and a somewhat dressier (in both food and ambience) restaurant side. The food was amazing, from the Farmer’s Market salad through to the crème brulée (which was, to our shock and delight, among the best we’ve ever tasted, anywhere).
The wine list was carefully considered and reasonably priced. Feeling adventurous, we tried a Spanish grenache called Evodia, and fell in love with it. A happy wine, very food-friendly, and we decided we’d have to add it to our house rotation. Since it was reasonably priced on the restaurant’s list, we figured it would be a relative steal at retail. Then we tried to find it at retail. While it’s readily available online, the shipping adds greatly to the cost, making it not such a bargain. And the only place it was available in Los Angeles, according to Wine Searcher, was across town in Venice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a real problem, but I’d recently had major surgery and that greatly limited the extent of my travels.
In the meantime, I took myself out for lunch at a local favorite, Studio City’s Artisan Cheese. While waiting for my sandwich, I chatted with Sarah, their assistant wine buyer. We talked about varietals we like, and she allowed as to how the owner prefers Italian and Spanish selections. I remarked that we had just the week before had a delicious Spanish grenache called Evodia. “Evodia?” she exclaimed. “We’ve got it!” Lo and behold, they had it – lots of it, in fact. I bought a case.
Trying and loving a wine in a little village across the country, and finding it right here in my hometown – it’s a funny old world, isn’t it?