The big surprise for me after attending the Outside Lands Music festival was not that Radiohead puts on a good show, that Cake still has it or that Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings is the best act going in the US these days. What was most shocking was how thoroughly packed the wine tent was.
All these rockers--young and old--were buying wine. And thanks to Peter Eastlake of Vintage Berkeley wine shop, who organized the whole wine pavilion, they were sipping on some unusually good vino.
Eastlake, who's shop is unique in that it carries little over $20, managed to gather some of the best of the best of small California wineries, including folks like Freeman, Peay, Ethan, Broc, August West, Uvaggio, and Molnar Family and Kazmer & Blaise, Silver Oak, Big Basin and more. I almost spent more time in the wine tent than I did jostling for elbow room in front of the main stage. Even though the festival set prices as high as $20 a glass for some of the finer wines like Peay Pinot Noir, there were definitely people willing to pay that much for good juice. I was shocked, especially since beer was on sale everywhere for $7 a glass.
Eastlake was impressed himself, saying "I think something magical just happened Saturday afternoon. Young people really got into tasting the different wines. It's a Bay Area thing, but it's maybe also an indicator of where
things are going." As someone who makes my living writing about wine, I can only hope Eastlake is right.