So this weekend Hunky Beau and I hitched it up to Napa to dine with the ‘rents at Copia , the giant food-wine-museum-garden “experience” launched by Robert Mondavi (with some star power oof from Julia Child) a few years ago. It’s an awfully Wine Country thing to do, all bourgeous mauves, flowing linen skirts, and bipolar smiles. The ghost of Cesar Chavez hovered.
There are edible gardens with patches like “Sauvignon Blanc” and “Petite Syrah” planted with the fruits, herbs and trees associated with each individual wine’s flavor (grapefruit, rasperries, vanilla, tobacco, etc.) That was pretty cool, as were some of the displays in the food museum, which is actually a reliquary of antique name-brands. (I now know the entire back story of Kool-Aid.) We dined in a “lunch program” that took place on what looked like a television cooking show set, and were treated to carcass-heavy details about the lamb being served, followed up, for some reason, with an a capella version of “Georgia On My Mind ” from our really gay presenter, a baritone. Luckily, copious amounts of wine were served throughout.
Copia also offers frequent seminars led by super-friendly, slightly crazed blondes who gush about “marketing to millenials,” “emerging alternative wine packaging,” “biodynamics: moving beyond organics” and “the rebirth of pink!” Considering the retired-looking crowd, however, all this marketspeak probably only served to make wine more intimidating, which in turn, as happens with wine, probably made it all the more fascinating. The best thing, though, was when we were cheerily yet firmly urged to come back on May 13 for the “Wine Rave ,” which artfully combines wine tasting with a DJ in an effort to “market to the millenials” (ages 11-24) on a “level they can relate to.” The rave is from 9 p.m. to midnite. I’m so going.