This past week, I was once again a guest up in the Dry Creek Valley for a bit of tasting and a bit of bike riding. More on both of those later, I hope. Shortly after I received my initial itinerary (and approval from my lovely wife), my good friend Donald Goodkin (of Goodkin Vineyards in Dry Creek and member of the Board of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley–WDCV) asked if I would be interested in coming out a day earlier to attend the launching of a new WDCV initiative.
As many of you know, my in-laws live relatively close to Northern Coast Wine Country (approximately 1-2 hours away depending on destination and traffic), and going out a day early would be another day subtracted from the time I would be able to spend with my wife’s family.
After consulting with my wife, it was a difficult decision, but I agreed to come out a day early for the event and limit the amount of time spent with the in-laws–yes, a tough choice.
The event in question was the Dry Creek Culinary Cooperative Special Media Preview. That is a really long title for a rather simple (yet brilliant) idea, the premise of which is rather straight forward: buy a bottle of Dry Creek wine from one of the 60+ Dry Creek Wineries, take the voucher (provided by the winery at the time of sale) to a participating Healdsburg or Geyserville restaurant, and the corkage fee for that first bottle is waived.
A Brilliant Idea.
And it was completely mine!
OK, not really.
The idea came from the aforementioned Donald Goodkin, a neurologist in a former life (I am not really sure what a neurologist does, but I know it is infinitely more complex than anything I ever do), who is now a grape grower in Dry Creek Valley and a member of the WDCV board. He had the idea for this program some time ago, and when he asked me my opinion (he may be brilliant, but might fall just short of “genius” given his choice of preferred consultants), I could not provide a single example of a similar program in any wine region worldwide.
Thus far, there are seventeen participating restaurants in Healdsburg and Geyserville, with the hope of adding more (the participating restaurants are at the bottom of this article). This past week, I, along with a few members of the local media and my blogging buddy Bill Eyer of Cuvée Corner, went to five of the participating restaurants where we sampled specially prepared dishes that were paired with a Dry Creek wine.
It was a wonderful evening of great food and wine and more than the occasional laugh.
So the next time you are in Dry Creek, buy a bottle, grab a voucher, and head to one of these restaurants for dinner where the corkage fee on that bottle will be waived. The program officially starts September 1st, but the vouchers are in the tasting rooms and dozens have already received free corkage.
Really a brilliant idea.