Chicken tenders and Selling Wine

The life of Owner/Winemaker is one that sounds glamorous, but with the amount of highway miles I travel, I'm often confronted with food choices that are less than spectacular.

Chicken tenders from a highway gas station are one of those less than spectacular choices.

For every picture on Facebook that gets posted of me eating a incredibly well prepared meal, the balance in the universe is restored by eating one more chicken tender. Perhaps, I should do a chicken tender pairing with my Proprietary White Wine and perhaps my Sangiovese...goals for 2016.

Lucky for me, I have a incredibly well developed palate, seeking out only the best road side chicken tenders in California. A freshly fried chicken tender from Popeye's located at the Travel Center in Livingston is very different from the McDonald's in Lone Pine. I'll take Popeye's chicken any day. 

There are some big upsides to chicken tenders over other highway food . Tenders only require one hand to eat; therefore, one hand is always on the wheel. Tenders do not ooze grease, mustard or ketchup the way an In-N-Out burger would, thus removing accidental stains on clothing and automobile interior. The downside to chicken tenders in the car while driving, no special sauce. If you want BBQ or Honey Mustard, you're best to dip at the pump.

Frequency of Visits for Chicken Tenders

Coffee and the Winemaker Part 2

We've covered the fact that I like and drink a lot of coffee. Not all the coffee I drink has been high quality in 2015, because my coffee choices are often limited and based on expediency rather than quality. The idea of a "perfect pour-over" does not exist outside major metropolitan cities, ski resorts or wine country. 

A good example of the expediency choice is driving at night on Highway 99. I like stopping at well traveled, well lit rest stops with a wide variety of services, Jack Tone Road in Ripon and Winton Parkway in Livingston are the only two places I stop along Highway 99. They are easy on-and-off locations with plenty of choices for gas and food. Both stops have Starbucks and McDonalds, but not street tacos (downside).

Good examples of quality coffee options are Bean Affair and Flying Goat in Healdsburg. True, there is a Starbucks in Healdsburg, but I'm less likely to go there for coffee when I have higher quality choices in the area. The Peet's Coffee in Windsor is gone, of which I was a frequent visitor in 2014, so I've substituted Peet's on Nave Drive in Novato as an all-inclusive food, gas, and coffee stop on my travels up and down highway 101.

Because I'm a statistic driven guy, it's only fair that I highlight where I've been drinking coffee over the last year in a graph. Graphs are cool.

Frequent Coffee Stops in California

The Transporter and I have something in common

The Transporter, a film starring Jason Statham will always be a favorite. The film was cool; Statham was cool. The Frenchman who played the police inspector was cool.

Many people don't know it, but as the winemaker/owner at Mastro Scheidt, I'm very much like the Transporter, except without a cool BMW. I drive a Nissan XTerra.

For instance, when asked about "the Deal", the Transporter would have some simple questions about every package he transported:

1. Weight

2. Dimensions

3. Destination

My recent transportation job involved 3 packages with a combined weight of 280 lbs destined for Fresno, California. Two empty wine barrels and a case of wine to be exact...try transporting those in the trunk of a BMW!

So the job was 3 items with a combined weight of 280 lbs (127 kilos for the Europeans reading this) destined for Fresno with a pickup in Healdsburg. Driving the speed limit for 249 miles with one stop for gas and refreshment (just like the Transporter)

Driving Highway 99 or I-5 isn't quite as glamorous as the highway of coastal France, but, it's a living.