I Tried to Drink All the Wine at Wine Lands. This is What Happened Instead.

Photo by: Jennye Garibaldi
by Stuart Schuffman aka Broke-Ass Stuart | @BrokeAssStuart Thu August 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

My assignment was to drink all 110 wines at Wine Lands, the wine tent at Outside Lands. I mean, not all in one day because that would assuredly kill me, but the idea was to see how many I could get down my throat over the course of three days at the festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It was a genius concept, and one that Peter Eastlake, founder of Wine Lands, thought would be a great way for me to educate people about wine while simultaneously making a damn fool out of myself. I told lots of friends about it beforehand, so people stopped me throughout the course of the festival to see how many I’d made it through so far. 

I drank exactly five glasses of wine during the entirety of the festival. Yeah, that’s it. Sorry to let everybody down, but the logistics and cost of it just didn’t make it feasible. That said, not being a complete and total barf monster, covered in my own tears and urine while drooling from a purple wine-stained mouth allowed me to fully take in the festival and make some pretty interesting observations. Here they are:

  • The main reason I go to Outside Lands every year is to see the girls in skimpy clothing shiver to near death in the frigid San Francisco summer. Listen girls, you have lovely bodies that look incredible in your de rigueur festival gear, but this isn’t Coachella. I’m seriously considering going to every Goodwill and Salvation Army in the Bay Area next year, buying up all their warm stuffs, and selling them from a booth. I will make eleventy-million dollars.
  • Kanye West and whiskey don’t go well together. I found this out the hard way. Or then again, maybe me and whiskey and huge crowds don’t go well together. Regardless, even being drunk didn’t make Kanye’s set good. Which is a shame really.
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  • Speaking of Kanye, he is, without a doubt, an absolute genius. He is also, without a doubt, an absolute crazy person. It’s just unfortunate for him (and us really) that we live in a time where media can project a message to billions of people. Mozart was probably also balls crazy, but that motherfucker didn’t have Twitter to let the whole world know that “Classical music is tight yo.”
  • I saw a goofy looking white guy wearing a really poorly done Native American head dress. I guess he didn’t get the memo that cultural appropriation as fashion is pretty shitty. Either that or he was just reclaiming headdresses for festival goers.
  • If you wanna get a girl to love you, take her to see Big Freedia. Seeing you lose your shit in a moment of pure ecstasy, while trying to shake every bit of your body to the music of a 6’3 transgender bounce artist from New Orleans should be the moment she realizes you’re the one. If not, she’s dead inside. Dump her immediately.
  • Of the five wines I had at Wine Lands, I drank a super rare Charbono, which had notes of woodspice, cinnamon, fresh herbs, and damp forest floor. Okay, to be fair, my palate isn't that refined, this is just what the producers, Calder Wine Co., said about the wine. But I believe them. I also had a really great Gewürztraminer by Navarro. If I had sampled all the wines I was supposed to, I was gonna make a joke like “Gewürztraminer? That sounds like how I feel the morning after I drink 30 wines.” In fact I don’t think there is a wine varietal whose name describes how I felt the morning after I spent all day consuming multiple alcoholic beverages.
Outside Lands 2014 Jennye Garibaldi Brokeass Stuart1
  • If you live in San Francisco, Outside Lands is where you run into all your friends’ ex-girlfriends. It’s also kinda like homecoming for all of SF’s creative folk. Everyone somehow gets in for free and then we just party really hard for a few days.
  • You know the saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”? That pretty much describes the amazingly creative ways people are able to smuggle booze into Outside Lands. Look, these people hid champagne (chilled!) in a hollowed out loaf of bread. Some genius people even buried booze in the park way ahead of time and led people on a social media booze hunt.
Champagne In Bread
Photo credit: David Lytle via Twitter
  • I’m getting too old for this shit.
  • No one will ever watch that video you took of Tom Petty dude. Honestly, you’re never gonna watch it either. Standing at a show, in real life, and watching it through a little screen in front of your face, just so you can hopefully make your Facebook friends jealous, is well…ridiculous at best. At worst, you’re just kind of a dick.
  • Who are the people who spend the entire festival carrying around a stuffed animal or a Bill Murray head on a stick? I mean I commend them for being the flag bearer for their group, but how is that decided? Does someone actually volunteer to be that guy or do you draw straws for it? Regardless, that person is a hero to somebody.
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  • I saw a girl walking completely normally, on flat ground, but for some reason her beer just kept popping out of her cup as if she were going 60 mph over speed bumps. I still have no idea what the hell was going on there.
  • Lykke Li dresses like a character from The Matrix. She puts on a hell of a performance but I’d still like her better if she could do so while bending backwards and dodging stuff. She also has one of those faces that makes me feel like I’ve totally been wasted with her in the Mission at some point. That’s a good thing, I’m pretty sure.
  • After three days and nights of Outside Lands I was in bed by 9:30 on the last night. Thanks for another great year, Outside Lands.

Stuart is the author of the Broke-Ass Stuart travel guide series and was the co-creator and host of the IFC show "Young, Broke & Beautiful." Follow him on, Twitter and Facebook.

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