Wine Takes “Center Stage” at SHIFT SF’s Summer Outing

By John Cassillo

“Summer” is a loose concept here in San Francisco, with most days marred by fog, and the temperature constantly hovering around 65 degrees. Still, San Francisco’s SHIFTers were able to get away for a day in August to enjoy the elusive sun (and our fair share of wine!) up in Sonoma. Mimosas in hand, we boarded our party bus around 9 a.m. with eccentric driver, Dwayne “The Boulder” Johnston to make our way up to Wine Country. Little did we know though, we’d soon be joined by an uninvited guest…

SHIFT SF Wine Tasting!

“Center Stage,” for those (like me) previously unacquainted, is a movie about ballet dancers trying to make it big. Needless to say, it just doesn’t work out for all of them. You’ll figure that pretty quickly as they battle stage moms, ego and a lack of desire to dance in the first place. No, I did not like this film.

The focus returned to the (sparkling) wine once we got to our first destination, Iron Horse Vineyards. While many were horrified that the other group of people there would actually have the nerve to toss out their drinks after a few sips (blasphemy), the SHIFT crew got to enjoy a great selection of their own – none of which I can remember now, of course. To make up for the aforementioned wasted wine by Group Lame, SHIFT felt it was only right to go back for seconds.

Our next stop was Stryker, where we enjoyed lunch, and (surprise!) more wine. While we lost count of how many glasses were consumed, everyone was keenly aware of their Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies as we made our way back home (I personally had the chocolate ones, which were also pretty awesome). Equipped with snack packs and Tecate, the team was set for a great ending to a great day. Until “Glee,” that is.

(left to right) Cathy Goerz, John Cassillo, Kate Guarente, Matt Nagel, Kris Konietzko


Our second uninvited guest was everything you already knew about it – obnoxious, hokey and well, just plain awful. The next time I’m feeling down about something, I’m going to just start singing an already terrible pop song even more loudly and more terribly. Surely that’ll make everything okay. Unfortunately, most of the bus felt very differently. This happens when you’re one of four guys in an office.

TV bitterness aside, the team got a much deserved break to recharge the batteries and relax in the summer sun we all so desperately needed. We laughed, we drank, we were serenaded in Spanish by “The Boulder” and we drank. And danced. Don’t forget danced. Even if we weren’t good enough to be part of the ballet company.

2 Responses to “Wine Takes “Center Stage” at SHIFT SF’s Summer Outing”

  1. 2 Nellie September 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    We eat an unholy amount of Cheddar Bunnies ’round these parts, too.

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