Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bottle Shock

I wrote this as an opinion letter to my city's local newspaper, The Lompoc Record. It's a bit difficult to squish so much opinion in just 300 words but I think I managed it quite nicely. 

"Bottle Shock"

I was shopping for a present for my boyfriend’s mother’sbirthday, the party for which I am attending this weekend. I decided I wasgoing to find the perfect gift to encapsulate the charm of Lompoc that cansometimes be found if you look the right way. Since her birthday party is abarbeque I decided to bring a bottle of wine from Lompoc. I could not find theWine Ghetto on my phone and the poorly designed website had no address or phonenumber. Finally, thanks to a tip from my mom, I drove down Chestnut St. andfound my way to the Lompoc Ghetto! I thought it looked charming.

It wasn’t. I walked into the first door I saw and found nowine in sight. A man serving a couple of other men behind the counter askedwhat I was looking for and I told him a merlot. He explained that this climatewas perfect for pinot wines and I’d have to go further inland for merlot. Butif she loved merlot she would love the pinot. How he could tell what a woman’swine preferences were in 2 seconds was beyond me. The man must have been agenius.  He tells me I should buy this bottle of pinot whatever becauseshe would just love it.  Okay, how much? Thirty five dollars. Thirty five dollars?! Oh yes, he said,that’s why she would love the wine.  Iwalked out.

My mother did buy that day and spent $17; the bottle wasscrew-top. If the Wine Ghetto thinks they can put a hefty price tag on a bottleof wine and buy their way into the illusion of a sophisticated wine town, they’rewrong. Not with a screw top. Not for $35. Not in this town.

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