Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Next Winemaker Dinner at Restaurant Gougé

Restaurant Gougé is pleased to announce our upcoming winemaker dinner with Splooge Estate on Tuesday, October 29th. Chef Ptomaine will create a special menu to pair with the Natural, Authentic and Certified Sensitive® wines of Splooge Estate, one of California’s many wineries. Joining us to talk about the wines will be owners Richard and Lotta Splooge, as well as Splooge Estate’s winemaker Seaman Samples.

At Restaurant Gougé, winemaker dinners are not just a way to fill empty seats on a Tuesday night. Don’t be cynical. We have empty seats damn near every night. But that’s because it’s so hard to get reservations. Yes, our phone number is unlisted, and if you try to make a reservation on Open Table, you get a message saying, “There are no reservations available within five hours of your requested time—not the way you dress.” That’s the way we like it. So, no, unlike so many restaurants who have “special” winemaker dinners every two weeks, which makes them about as “special” as One Day Only sales at Macy’s, Restaurant Gougé will only create winemaker dinners when a winery comes along that produces wines that rise to the level of our food. And regular guests of Gougé know that our cuisine is nothing if not risible.

Upon arrival, guests of the Splooge Estate winemaker dinner will be greeted by proprietors Dick and Lotta Splooge with a celebratory glass of their very special The Linoleum Project™ Sparkling Blue Hungarian. Blue Hungarian is a very rare hybrid grape, a cross between Green Hungarian and Zsa Zsa Gabor (so shouldn’t it be “Blew Hungarians?”). Only 29 bottles of Sparkling Blue Hungarian were produced before the rest were confiscated by Homeland Security. Be forewarned, the wines of Splooge Estate, and its sister label The Linoleum Project™, are Natural. There may be some bottle variation, and, with Sparkling Blue Hungarian, there may even be shrapnel. Authentic Sparkling Blue Hungarian is fermented in the bottle, using an ancient, nearly forgotten, process where a small mushroom is placed inside each bottle, and the bacteria and yeast present on the mushroom create the bubbles. This process was known by 17th Century monks as Méthode Champignon. Seaman Samples tells us that he uses very special mushrooms for the process, so, don’t worry, those monkeys flying out of his butt aren’t likely to be real.

Like most winemaker dinners the world over, the Splooge Estate dinner isn’t the least bit about pairing wines with food. Food and wine pairing, it is generally recognized, is a fairly stupid pursuit, like jogging, or how they caught O.J. Food is only necessary at a winemaker dinner so that you can drink more. And at home, it’s just an incredible waste of time to try and match that slop you call dinner with a fine wine. In the case of Splooge Estate, their wines are Certified Sensitive®. Let’s say you tried to pair the 2010 Splooge Estate Tempradillo (a very rare variety, much prized by chefs because it brings its own plates) with hamburgers. Are you kidding me? Hamburgers? With a Certified Sensitive® wine?! Do you even have feelings, for Christ’s sake? Do you know what they put in hamburger these days? Cows, and parts of cows that dangle. Meat fucking byproducts. I don’t even know what that is. Really. What are human byproducts? Bougars and pus? You can’t drink a Natural wine with that. That defeats the whole goddam purpose. Splooge Estate does its best to be carbon neutral, and you’re accompanying their wine with food from animals whose burps have turned the planet into Death Valley? Jesus. What a bunch of idiots. And you wonder why we prefer empty seats here at Restaurant Gougé.

So Chef Ptomaine will be serving food with the wines of Splooge Estate without particularly caring if it tastes good with them. It’s a winemaker dinner, that’s how they work. What would be the point of spending countless hours trying to find the perfect match for each wine when we can simply use up the stuff we haven’t been able to sell off the menu? After the first two courses, no one cares anyway. It’s a drunkfest, face it. That’s why you come, isn’t it? Sure seems like it. So what do you want? Wines you haven’t tasted before AND food you haven’t had from us before, too? No, of course not. That makes no sense. Good. Glad we agree.

Don’t worry, we won’t let the Splooges talk very much, and we certainly won’t allow Seaman Samples to drone on and on like he usually does. First of all, he’ll probably show up drunk. Which is fine because at least he’s an Authentic drunk. But, then, if we let him, he’d babble incoherently for hours about all the Natural and Orgasmic and Holistic and Spiritual ways Splooge Estate farms its vineyards. We’ve heard this speech, believe us, it’s out there. Do you really want to hear how they use the cadavers of wine club members who leave them their remains in their wills as insectories while you’re eating your tournedos of beef? Didn’t think so. And, really, who doesn’t sucker their vines in the spring with trained beavers? Who gives a dam?  At Restaurant Gougé, we understand that you have dozens of winemaker dinners to choose from all over the city on any given slow week day. We strive to make ours appear exclusive, and to assure you that you won’t have to listen to a boring winemaker who’s eating up your valuable drinking time.

It’s hard to imagine a more magical evening that the Splooge Estate winemaker dinner at romantic Restaurant Gougé. We’ve rented special glassware just for the occasion, so you’ll want to get here early to find the ones with the fewest hard water stains. The evening begins promptly at 6 PM, but if you’d like to come a little early and beef up on our Happy Hour buffet, that might be a good idea. Don’t tell Splooge Estate, but Sparkling Blue Hungarian is great with Buffalo wings. Put some in your purse, our service tends to be especially slow during winemaker dinners, and you may get hungry between courses, because, well, a microwave is only so big.

Seating is limited, so be sure and grab a chair when the music stops. The Splooge Estate winemaker dinner is a rare chance to taste the wines our sommelier calls, “Heart-pounding, like CPR.” Remember, it’s a winemaker dinner. Please leave your critical faculties at home, where they belong.


Daniel said...

methode champignon...priceless!

quite a way to start the day.

cheers HMW!

Marcia Macomber said...

2nd Daniel's comment. That truly was priceless (among so many others that I lost count)! It's hard to keep up when they go at ricochet speed from Seaman Samples to Zsa Zsa Gabor blowing Hungarians...

Unknown said...

Gee Ron... since Canada has got so many beavers.. why are so many of our wines so awful?? Since those Splooge wines sound so good.. may I suggest a little music to go with dinner??? Michael Bolton so-called singing opera.. our local critic wrote, this would be the comedy album of the year if it weren't so painful to listen to...

Unknown said...

i can't wait to gorge on splooge at gouge

Unknown said...

Hello Ron:
I thought this was a joke, but then I noticed that October 29th IS a Tuesday, so please sign me up for two splooges.....

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thanks, everyone.

Inspiration for these pieces is always interesting, if only to me. I put them in the common tater section so that, one day, in my senility, I'll be able to look back and read where these strange ideas came from.

I received notice of a winemaker dinner that sounded especially stupid. Most of them are, but this one shone. I hadn't really written much on the winemaker dinner industry, so I decided to do so. It didn't turn out as planned. I got sidetracked into having the dinner at Restaurant Gouge, and featuring Splooge Estate. I couldn't resist using two of my recurring characters. Seaman Samples came from a kid I knew in junior high school--the only kid with pornographic films. Yes, I swear, his name was Seaman.

God, a Michael Bolton opera CD? Great line from the local critic. What next? Placido Domingo does Rap?

Thomas said...

Love the "champignon" comment.

Throughout my reading I kept thinking that this restaurant is a cross between Faulty Towers and the money shot!

The Sommeliere said...

You nailed it again! I have actually gone to a Splooge Estate type dinner.
Whatta mess. Good thing I was comped as media.

People actually pay for these "dinners" which I find really surprising. But then again, in Southern California it's never about the dinner. It's all about posing with the new (pick one or two) facelift, boobs, hair extensions, 10 carat diamonds and for the men, the "wallet enhancement."

Unknown said...

Funny! Sign me up, can't wait to meet the Three Splooges.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I Googled "The Money Shot Bar" and you wouldn't believe how many there are in the country.

I still have a book of matches (remember those?) from a gay bar some friends and I stumbled into on a visit to SF. The White Swallow.

Marlene Darling,
I have nightmares about winemaker dinners. This piece only brought them back with a vengeance. I still need to write a post about my winemaker dinner adventures. I'm just not sure anyone will believe them.

I could use a wallet enhancement. Forward me the email.

Hey, you're getting to be a regular common tater around here. That's cool.

Yes, the Three Splooges! I got some in my Curley once.

Jim said...

You need to have your own NPR show. Wait Wait Don't Hose Me comes to mind. It is hard to imagine all that hilarity crammed into that brain of yours. Keep it coming SploogeMaster.


Thomas said...


Can you say splooge on NPR?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm not much of a performer. Ask my wife. And the only way I can get all that noise out of my head is to commit it to words here on HoseMaster. If it gives folks a laugh now and then, well, I'm glad. For me, it's therapy.

You can if you're Robert Siegel. I heard him say it the other day talking about Nina Totenberg.

Thomas said...


Was that an on-air offer?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Yup. It was All Things Considered, and that day, he was asking Nina to consider his.