Thursday, May 12, 2016


New Horizon
    There was more than one left turn as our friends Bruce and Judy drove us beyond scenic Jerome Arizona into Verde Valley Wine Country!  Yep, Arizona Wine Country! Who'd thunk it?!
   Their good recon work put us outside Cornville at scenic Page Springs Cellars.
    Judy is the undisputed queen of the picnic. Lana has been emulating her since an incredible repast in Red Rock Canyon country on a first visit many seasons ago.

    In cooling shade and near the Page Springs flow just off the nearby Oak Creek, the culinary magic happened again.
 Green white soup accompanied the cheeses, pate's, olives, fruit and more.  
    Arizona Wine Country offered up its own special charms as well.
   After a previous tasting we settled on a bottle of Vermentino as we sat near the budding crop.
   OK, full disclosure here. I was skeptical. After about a decade of living in the Paso Robles appellation, I guess I have become a "California snob," but winemaker Eric Glomski does a fine job. He did his training at a California winery and is helping to establish a burgeoning wine culture in Arizona.
   Page Springs Cellars is a lovely spot, featuring menu items grown in their nearby garden. It has lovely views and even a massage tent near the vines and the flowing Oak Creek.
    I belong to the school that believes wine is one of the great socializers of the world. Through history wine has been a source of collegiality. Most states now boast of wine growing and Arizona's adds to the virtues of The Grand Canyon state.

    He and a couple of his pals decided to check out a Trump Rally in their Utah town. They were there to see the spectacle and to let someone know their sentiments, should the occasion arise. He's a sharp young business man, the son of dear friends. One of his buddies was a former newspaper colleague who we were told is uninhibited in his political expressions, especially his disdain for all things Trump.
    As fate would have it they were in the right spot as the  Trump goon squad began syphoning in a couple hundred folks from the some 3 thousand who had gathered in mass. In a moment they found themselves face to face with secret service and other security, being patted down and frisked before being ushered into a tiny theater. These would be hecklers were front and center. Our friend said his first impression was "Hate and racism are alive and well in Utah." 
    Clearly the trio was outnumbered and since they were not wearing cowboy hats and football sized belt buckles they were immediately targets of suspicion.  That is when his heart started to pound bit more rapidly. It ticked a bit more when the Trumpeters began handing out signs and banners as they spewed their Trumpisms. He said of course he needed to take one of the signs, not to do so might have landed him on the front page as another Trump protester being pounded by the Trump true believers.
    A few Utah right wingers and political sorts came to "warm up the crowd." This is when our friends son thought he might just end up pulp.  As a Congressional candidate began extolling the virtues of Utah and a piece of legislation he had backed, the young man's uninhibited friend began to heckle the speaker with a sign he had turned into a megaphone.  He said he could feel the force move, that would be the dark side. He sensed they were being surrounded by the Trump cowboys. His friend continued to heckle the speaker saying he was a sell out, a member of the establishment, part of the problem in government. He challenged him as not being a true Trumpeter. This was when the young man detected a significant shift in the vibe. Now the Trumpeters were giving the razz to the earnest Utah Republican who was eventually jeered off the stage as being an establishment lackey. 
     Ah, the poetry of it!  True Trumpeters, being led in the insurrection by a guy who had turned up to protest the Donald himself. Instead he was able to whip up this Trump Rally into booing out one of the few republicans willing to show up.
     As for Trump himself?  They decided just to listen. Our friends son said in his 20 minutes on stage it was more about show business, a kind of call and response. "We're going to build that wall!"  Massive response! "We're going to make American great again!"  Massive response!  And so it went.
The young man said he can't recall Trump completing one full sentence, or for that matter a full thought without jumping into some line that drew a response.  He said it was clearly performance.  But the rabble loved it. 
     It makes for a great dinner story. But it also makes for great insight. And so the Trump movement-moves.

     See you down the trail.


  1. Have you seen the Honey Mooner's Episode with Trump dubbed in? If I can find again I'll send you the link.

  2. I'm happy we were able to educate you a bit on the Arizona wine industry AND please your palate. That Utah story is indeed one to tell around . . what else . . a bottle of fine Arizona wine!

  3. Well it seems good wine is being produced in so many places these days. Greg and his girlfriend went south of the border to this new winery... He says I have to go!!!

  4. Looks like a road trip in your future!

  5. I had no idea there was an Arizona wine industry. I'll look for some on my grocery shelf.

  6. That would make some Arizonians happy.

  7. Bypassing the Trump issue, said more than enough about the dunce already. But wine.....I went from a complete naif about wine in '72 to someone who thought he knew far more than he really did in less than a year. At someone else's expense I cut my wine teeth on '70-71 Burgundy and Bordeaux, Bonne Mares, Romanee-Conti, etc....same with Bordeaux, Gran Cru, etc. Not at all trying to brag here, but that was what I expected wine to be.
    Imagine when I started having to pay for it.
    Anyway, in later years, I finally realized that Sonoma and Napa wines were the equal of France, and finally figured out the central coast wines were excellent also. Been 45 years of an education.
    Enjoyed your post and pictures, and who knows, perhaps someday I'll try a Arizona appellation.

  8. 45 years of wine education is a good education indeed.
    Our story is much as yours. All I knew in the 70's was French wine. For a long time I was "suspicious" of California wine until one of our favorite restaurants began to feature Napa and Sonoma in the late 70's. Fortunately international trade being what it is, wine is more portable and diverse. Still I'm partial to the locals. Cheers to you as well.