Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Art of Art, Wine and Barbecue

Bob Timberlake's Lexington Gallery.
We began our day in Lexington, NC, with a trip to the Bob Timberlake's Lexington Gallery, where the affable artist greeted us with great coffees and amusing stories.
Timberlake was readying for a show in New York's Hammer Gallery, but was more than willing to give us as much time as we had - never enough.

This is what you see as you walk in. Gallery extends way back.
The gallery, conceived by his son, is a treasure trove of sophisticated Americana, from Timberlake's art featuring rural lifestyles, hunting and nature to his home decor and clothing lines. He comes by his style naturally - his family has been in North Carolina for 250 years as has his wife's.

Bob Timberlake.
Timberlake proves that creativity is infinitely flexible. He has done PSAs for Iron Eyes Cody and designs wine labels for his pal Richard Childress's Winery (their Fine Swine Wine, signed by both, sells out all 90 cases during the annual Barbecue Festival). There are 72 new designs of carpets and rugs with Mohawk and Karastan.

Lots of fun, you realize, wandering through the gallery.
"Ideas hit you everywhere," he said. "I have fun with every one I work up."

Naturally, the Good Girls struck a pose with Bob.

BBQ 101
We had fun at our next stop, an early lunch at Lexington BBQ, also known as Lexington #1, Honey Monks and The Monk. You'd better aim for early or very late because lines form around the building during regular lunch and dinner times.

Bub Wright
Keith "Bub" Wright gave us a lesson in Lexington, N.C. style barbecue and Lexington BBQ style cooking. A few stats:

• an 18-pound pork shoulder yields 6 pounds of usable meat; they smoke 6,000 to 7,500 pounds of usable meat on an average day.Christmas week that goes up to 35,000 to 40,000 pounds.
There's an art to turning at just the right time.
• Pit men must train for at least a year; there's $500 worth of meat in those smokers.
• They sell 60 to 65 gallons of hush puppy batter, 500 to 600 pounds of barbecue slaw and 200 to 300 gallons of tea a day.
The finished product.

It's all good as the lines stretching through and outside the building as we left attested.
This line extended outside of the building.

 Time for a bit of liquid refreshment so we headed to Weathervane Winery.

There's a gift shop, too.
What started in the basement has become a business that produces 4,500 cases a year and has three full-time and seven part-time employees.

Sid Proctor.
Retired radio advertising exec Sid Proctor and his wife offer a variety of wine down evenings, special tastings and festivals as well as daily wine tasting for drop-in visitors. Five different varieties, one white and four reds, and seven fruit-style wines are on the shelves.

Situated at the southern end of North Carolina's Yadkin Valley, they make, as Sid says, no frills wine for the market.

The market wants it a bit sweet for our tastes, but expect improvement in anything produced in North Carolina's first federally-approved American Viticultural Area.

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