Red and White Peeps

Cellar 205’s Holiday Bash

Text & Photos by: Shannon Kelley Gould

In the whirlwind of champagne and pigs-in-a-blanket that is the holiday season, it’s hard for an invitation to any event — no matter how fabulous — to stand out. But, recently, amazingly, one did. I don’t know if it was the name (Red & White Bash: A Holiday Party for the Rest of Us); the offer of free admission with an unwrapped toy or unopened can of beer (generously gathered for the homeless folks who populate the premises after hours); the promise of Styrofoam snowball fights; or the on-the-money sign-off, “It’s Winter Somewhere,” but something compelled me to venture out, the night before The Indy’s holiday soirée, into the heart of the Funk Zone for Cellar 205’s holiday party. Sure, it might have been more responsible of me to conserve my merrymaking-mojo for my own company’s celebration, but I’ve never been accused of being overly responsible, and the holidays are certainly no time to start.

And so, under the light of the low-hanging moon, I made my way to Cellar 205, the winemaking cooperative housed on Anacapa Street in what was once a tire shop that now plays host to the operations of three expert, grape-loving prodigies: Christian Garvin, John Bargiel, and Ryan Carr, guys who know what they’re doing and how to have a good time while doing it (witness the Ms. Pac-Man machine in the barrel room). And the good times were already a-rollin’ when I arrived; hundreds of people packed the sizable space. Decked out in their holiday best, they spilled into the parking lot, where Holden was providing the tunes — a quality soundtrack of covers that included “Suffragette City,” one of my all-time favorites, which made me an even bigger fan than I was already, if for nothing other than their well-documented, er, fondness for older women. Smart kids.

I made my way through the crowd, happily surprised to see the glass of zin that suddenly appeared in my hand, and happier still when I spotted one of my favorite local purveyors of fine cuisine, The DogHouse’s gourmand Vinny, pointing me in the direction of the grub (he knows me well). Blissfully savoring my white-bean bruschetta, I chatted up Garvin and the red-suited Bargiel, who was eager for me to try his latest. Generously, I obliged (who am I to deny a man with such skills?), and enjoyed it so much that I hardly noticed the party foul that landed some unlucky lady’s wine on my shoe. (They were black; she is forgiven.) Instead, I continued to enjoy myself. And though I hated to tear myself away, I took comfort in the knowledge that the holiday party season was just getting underway, and my work was just beginning.

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