Wine and deer

Pub date August 13, 2008
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap EatsSectionFood & Drink


CHEAP EATS A man with a penis the size of a wine bottle told me you can shoot a deer out of season if it’s decimating your vineyard. We live in wine country. We’re neighbors. He had set a bar of post-coital dark chocolate and a bowl of cherries on the coffee table for me, and was making us tea. I like the taste of wine, but would rather live in beer country, or, I don’t know, hot sauce country. Wine bottles hurt.

This morning at the kitchen sink, grinding my Sweet Maria’s, I looked out the window and saw a small nuclear family of deer looking in the window at me, like, "What the — ?"

I opened the window.

"It’s a kind of coffee," I said.

I didn’t have to holler. The deer were right there — and, perhaps not surprisingly, completely weirded out. I admit I don’t always look exactly sexy in the morning, let alone easily categorized. If they didn’t bolt — and they didn’t — I attribute it more to their being surrounded by chicken wire than any headlight-like radiance on my part. Like most animals, including human ones, deer have an easier time getting into situations than getting back out of them.

The chocolate and cherries were a nice touch though, I thought. The tea was a nice touch. The talk of deer, and vineyards? Nice touch. Very neighborly. Our neighbor, my neighbor told me, shoots deer in his vineyard and can’t be bothered with the rest of it, the gutting and dripping and butchery, so he digs a hole with his backhoe and buries his deerly departed.

I don’t like dark chocolate.

My neighbor said his neighbor calls him first, sometimes, to see if he wants the deer.

"Do you?" I said.

He said he can’t be bothered.

I was eating the chocolate anyway, so as not to seem unladylike, sipping my tea in a manner most dainty. Then, being essentially a cartoon character, the chocolate bar turned into a strip of venison jerky, and the hot tea into a cold beer. Not sure if this would qualify as ladylike or not, but I gave Wine Bottle Wiener my number and said, yo, if anyone ever calls him again with any large game or anything, have them call me.

I just love venison. Steaks. Sausages. Liver. I love venison. So does Mountain Sam, and he has sharp knives and can help me, I figure. What I need, my dear alternative-weekly PETA-supporting readership, is a rifle.

Hey, I have grapevines to protect. Check that: I have grapevine. One. I don’t make wine, but me and my chickens eat a few handfuls of grapes every fall and enjoy them very much, thank you. Now the deer have been sneaking into the chicken yard in the middle of the night and helping themselves. And then mangling, tearing, eating through and sometimes just bowling over my elaborate fencing system by way of saying goodbye.

A farmer wearies of mending fence.

I slowly closed the kitchen window, tiptoed across my shack to the door, which I opened and closed soundlessly, and, in my bare feet still, and pajamas, I snatched my hatchet from the wood pile, jumped the fence myself, and damn near got me my first deer ever, chicken style.

After fixing the fence, I went back inside and drank my coffee.

The phone rang. It was him. And he didn’t have a deer for me; he had a bottle of wine. His deep voice was all want, with maybe chocolate and cherries in it, for me.

"I like cherries," I said, and then I didn’t say anything else. He waited very patiently, but I can never find my way out as gracefully as I found my way in. The man was going to need a smaller dick, was the thing … or a bigger woman. "I like grapes. I like deer," I said. My big toe was bleeding and Weirdo the cat was sniffing me like I was piss, but I could not hang up. "Coffee," I said. "I love coffee."


My new favorite restaurant is Pho Vietnam, in Santa Rosa. These folks do the biggest bowls of noodles I’ve ever seen. I’m talking about the bun, or vermicelli, but I’ve also had the pho, and it’s great too. The place used to be all soulful and divey and crowded and dirty, like I like, but then it moved next door into what might have been a pancake house, with big, soft booths, a posh counter, and carpeting. Funny. Fun. Great food.


711 Stony Point #8, Santa Rosa

(707) 571-7678

Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–8:45 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.–7:45 p.m.

Beer & wine