For those of you who are members of Tobin James' epic wine club, the James Gang, I'm sure you're well versed in the traditions and rituals of Tobin James. But for those, like me, who are not lucky enough to be part of the James Gang, I think it might be time to consider joining. Why? you might ask...are the wines the most delicious on planet Earth? Is Tobin James a tiny producer that's hard to find? Are they trophy wines that will impress all my snobby friends? No. No. And no. The real reason to join the Tobin wine club is the parties. The over-the-top, giant, raging parties.
Since I moved to Paso I've heard legend of the parties Toby throws at the winery but I never really understood until I finally went to one. These parties are unbelievable. I was expecting maybe a couple hundred people to show up...no no, there were 1,500 people! I had imagined wood-fired pizza from the oven they have outside the tasting room...They were certainly using the outdoor pizza to its capacity but on top of that there were at least 4 different caterers serving portions of an array of courses from Kobe beef hot dogs to fresh oysters. Of course I expected there to be wine. I figured they would open the tasting room and then have a few servers walking around to refill glasses...the tasting room was indeed open plus a fleet of pourers that walked around topping off any glass that was less than full. And that was on top of the hundreds of wine bottles that were already open and placed all over the dozens of tables that had been set up beforehand.
So...there were guests, hundreds of them actually. There was food from all over the area. There was beer and wine. On top of that, there was also a reggae band, Resination (http://www.resinationmusic.com/) that got even the least outgoing party-goers grooving in their seats. Tobin James covers every base at their parties and that loud and upbeat feeling that you experience on a normal day in the tasting room is amplified to an extreme...a crazy, over-the-top, and really fun extreme.
If you ever get a chance, definitely go. And take a limo!!
**Images from Tobin James website, http://www.tobinjames.com/. And the band website for Resination, www.resinationmusic.com**