Sunday, April 13, 2008
Our world-renowned wine country is, like, an hour away from me, yet I'd never been. So this weekend I joined friends for a weekend excursion to vineyard-covered points north. I spent most of Saturday bouncing from winery to winery, where I learned quite a few things:
1. It's easy to get sloshed even when you're having only a mouthful of each wine. The trick is to taste five or six wines at each stop, so that you've imbibed the equivalent of a swimming pool's worth of wine over the course of the day. When we reached our last stop, Unti winery, I was variously described as "glassy-eyed," "quiet," and "done."
2. Wineries are great, even if you care nothing about the product. Consider: mankind has been producing wine by more or less the same process for thousands of years. The vineyards, the grapes, the vats, the barrels...all in service of a beverage. It appeals to both sides of me -- the side that appreciates a complex, structured, militaristic operation, and also the side that appreciates art and its creative variations. Winemaking is both worlds, plus the final product gets you buzzed. It's for me.
3. There is 80-year-old grape jelly. I had some at one of our stops. It tasted like...grape jelly.
4. Fourteen acres of vineyard (planted with chardonnay, merlot, and syrah) with a modular house on the property will run you a smooth $1.9 million. At least that's the asking price from Sotheby's.
Seems like exactly the kind of thing to blow 2 mil on if one has the 2 mil to blow on something.