June 18th. Another fun Fandango at the Frannie. St. Francis Winery, located at Highway 12 and Pythian Road, for years has demonstrated their appreciation for their wine club members, and fondness for having a great time. Pouring some of its more mesmerizingly encompassing wines, red and white alike, pairing them with incredible cajun dishes and antagonistically brilliant music with New Orleans/Mardi Gras consistency, St. Francis once again delivered another memorable event for its club members. Frannie employees looked almost as excited as the club members, which contributed heavily to the evening’s positive persistence.
In years past, the weather has been hot, harsh, nearly of a vengeful pace. But on June 18th, no such circumstance set. I interviewed one gentleman, who’d been a club member for more years than he wanted to tell me, saying “…it would be a mistake to ever miss this…Fandango at St. Francis should make anyone want to join their wine club, or at least come with someone in the club, I’m serious…” Just looking around, you could tell many felt the same. Me, not covering an event, but captured by the energy, the flavor profile of the occasion itself.
A winery known for its perfect balance of scenery, elegance, and humility, all guests about the lovely lawn were laughing, engaged with the other’s presence, if not dancing. Even some of the Frannie employees could be seen a-jitter to the band’s electric arrangements. One lady, a local, said that this event has always been like a condensed vacation, as though every year was like being in Sonoma Valley, on that expansive St. Francis green on a maiden visit. The gorgeous Wild Oak Estate Vineyard only feet away, the Mayacamas Mountains grinning down at the jubilant time in motion, all were on holiday.
The cajun dishes, both delicious and uniquely cooked, according to guests. A multi-layered array of offerings paired with arguably the most consistent and formidable reds in Sonoma Valley, maybe even County, could only dazzle club members. And again, with the event’s geographic texture and palate: tangible ideality. Some attending were guests of club members, as was the gentleman I spoke to from Sacramento. He said, impassioned, firm: “I’m joining. That’s it. I’m joining.” So don’t be startled if St. Francis and its hospitably knowledgeable troops execute another trumping Fandango in 2012, and the crowd’s slightly, of maybe even significantly, more populous. Sip, sip …