as mentioned previously, all meals and your drinks are included with the APV meeting, but the same is not true at all during AALAS. conveniently, being the one huge industry meeting, there are many vendors appreciative of your business during the preceeding year that would therefore like to take you out someplace nice. between Suz and my respective contacts, we’ve had 3 very nice meals indeed during the conference evenings.
last night, we were out with a handful of texans from various institutions, and the vendor that supplies their caging needs. there were 17 of us at st. elmos in a room looking into their cavernous wine cellar, and someone hands me the wine list (a binder with 20+ pages of bottles to choose from) while pipping up “she’s the big wine expert, let her pick!” with no pressure (ha!) and no guidelines, it was a rather daunting task. the vendor raised an eybrow at the $140 bottle of cakebread’s cabernet (sigh, a girl can dream), and we all had a laugh (ok, and probably another wistful sigh) at the $4000 Methuselah of silver oak, but then the page was turned to zinfandel. there was not one but two bottlings of ridge, and being as how zinfandel in general is my kryptonite, and for me only turley has outshone ridge in specific, i was promptly enthusiastically giddy over the lytton springs. the vendor ended up with 5 bottles of it to go around the tables, and 2 of a shiraz for people who’d rather have that. the waiter pronounced the zin very good indeed, and after polishing off more than my share of it, i quite agreed.