Mary and I don’t often go to concerts, especially during the summer we are just too busy. We did last week though go to the Festival at Sandpoint to take in the George Thorogood and the Destroyers show. What a treat! The concert was, to use an overused word AWESOME! At 67 years old now, hard to believe, Mr. Thorogood sounded great, looked better and was clearly having so much fun still playing and crafting his trade that it was simply joyful to watch! Albeit with his hard rocking and no doubt hard living edge.
He played all his classics, everyone to perfection. I was struck by one song in particular though, not only in how it related to his life and how much he loves it as it is, but also the wine business and how much fun and joy we get from working in that world day in and day out. I did some reading on George Thorogood after the concert, there was one interview where he talked about the work and the grind of rock and roll. We get it to a greater or lesser degree we all go through that even in wine. But just like George we too get tremendous satisfaction from what we do.
The song that so impressed was “Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job”. In the pantheon of George Thorogood songs it is a bit lesser known than say “Bad to the Bone” but it is a great and fascinating illustration of what it is like to work in an industry, rock and roll or wine, that engenders such passion for the consumers of it and great fun for those of us who get to work in it.
We aspire to reach the level in the wine business that George has reached in rock and roll and after seeing his show last week we are even more committed and mindful of doing it with great joy. Many of our readers and customers comment on how great it must be to taste wine every day, well not every day. It is actually concentrated in 2 or 3 days in any given week but as we have said in many columns it is around 50 wines per week. You know what? All of you who have said that are right! We can’t say we love every wine we try but we do learn a lot from trying all of them. We learn a tremendous amount too from those who present them to us. Every winemaker, importer and our great local distributors have a story to tell that contributes and modifies our view of the wines we try and contributes to our knowledge.
Our events too are a blast. Perhaps not as much fun as a George Thorogood concert but we get to taste wine at our tastings with our great group of customers. At our wine dinners we have the chance to work with the best restaurant professionals in the area at Fleur de Sel, and every month we get to go out to a spectacular dinner drinking wonderful wine specifically paired with delicious food.
Not as much as we would like but occasionally we get to go on tour like George Thorogood and the Destroyers do. When we do have the chance to go to wine country we get access to extraordinary wineries and spend time with legends of our business in an intimate and private setting many times that is so rewarding and full of knowledge we look forward to every trip.
When you listen to the lyrics of “Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job” you hear of all the folks who from girlfriend’s parents, to his own parents, and from his big brother Bob how no one considered his rock and roll career a real job. Wonder what they think now? There have been some times over the last 10 years when we thought even to ourselves maybe we should get a real job, much of what we do has not always been easy. There have been other wine professionals too who from time to time have questioned our approach, it is only natural. We probably don’t need a haircut and we have no intention of getting a real job, just like George we are having way too much fun!
If there is a topic you would like to read about or if you have questions on wine, you can email George@thedinnerpartyshop.com, or make suggestions by contacting the Healthy Community section at the Coeur d’Alene Press.
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George Balling is co-owner (with his wife Mary Lancaster) of the dinner party, a wine and table top décor shop located by Costco in Coeur d’Alene. George worked as a judge in many wine competitions, and his articles are published around the country. You can learn more about the dinner party at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com. Be sure and check out our weekly blog at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com/home/blog-2. You can get all of these articles as well as other great wine tips by friending us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.