My childhood friend (Fitz) recently turned the big 4-0. To celebrate the huge accomplishment of this crabby, over the hill, bitter Irishman, I was invited to his party…in Irvine no less, at a place called OC Wine Mart. Yay. I’m familiar with the location as my work is walking distance from it, but I’ve never bothered to go in…because hey, a wine shop in Irvine across from a high-end business plaza reeks of overpriced bottles of wine and acute snobbery! Why waste my time?
“Don’t worry, they have beer” says Fitz. Yay. Blue Moon? Guinness? Maybe a Stone Pale Ale if I’m lucky? If the beer selection is bad, should I drink wine? (Funny that I make wine, yet I rarely drink it.) My wife was pretty excited as she’s a regular wino, ahem, wine “enthusiast”. As we arrive, the place is the size of the average mini-mart in a small Irvine-approved strip mall. Inside sits a classy modern decorated tasting area with a bar and a few chairs. Surrounding the tasting area is an adequate and well balanced selection of wines from all regions and styles. Coolers adorn the walls filled with delicious beer.