Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Blood Of The Vines

Have you ever been riding your chopper down a southern U.S. highway, lookin' for America and unable to find it?  If so, "Easy Rider" is the movie is for you.  I'll call a spoiler alert here in order to mention that in between the moment you see that shotgun barrel stickin' out of the pickup truck window and the moment it blows the stars and stripes right off your greasy hippie head - you've found it.

Before that moment occurs, maybe you can pull off of Route 666 and visit a southern wine tasting room.  Even if it's Muscadine they're pourin', it's better than what the rednecks have for you.  That Cracker Barrel cheese plate never tasted so good.  If they're servin' meat, be sure to inquire as to which highway it was found on.

All kidding aside, I spent a bit of time riding a mororcycle on southern U.S. highways and only had my life threatened by 18-wheelers passing me on the right shoulder.  That's not to say the sort of escapades encountered by Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider" didn't ever happen. They just didn't ruin my Mardi Gras.

The movie was a cathartic experience, as I remember it, but now it looks dated.  TFH guru Michael Lehmann has the same opinion, which he talks about in his commentary on the trailer.  But even in 1969, young and wet behind the ears, I knew that riding a Harley chopper through the bible belt with a joint in your throttle hand and the American flag on your head was a pretty stupid thing to do.  That freak-flag-flying trio might not have been able to find America, but they sure knew where to look for trouble.

Gitcher motor runnin' and head out on the highway for V-Twin Vineyards in Sonoma County.  Scott and Lisa Del Fava merged their passion for wine and motorcycles and produce such delights as V-Twin Zin in Dry Creek Valley.  They say it kicks ass, and nothing less would be expected.

Rev up for some other options:

Four Vines Winery "Biker" Zinfandel - Paso Robles Zin has a splash of Mourvédre to kick start the mid-palate.

Robert Stein Winery and Vineyard - A collection of affordable Australian wines adorned with classic bikes. $15

Harley Davidson Bar and Shield Wine Glass - Dishwasher safe, but no guarantees if you use it in a fight. $9

Hog Cycle Wine Bottle Holder - It'll hold your wine bottle - and your girl, if you don't watch out. $50

Pewter Motorcycle Wine Stopper - Not a chopper, but maybe the handlebars wouldn't fit into the fridge. $20

The Kingman Wine and Food Festival has a car and motorcycle show this year.

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