The title of this entry is a quote from my friend Dave. This was how he described wine tasting in California. We'll start there.
This was my first time out in California since the late 1980s. Much has changed out there since then; the tech industry exploded, the 49ers franchise has collapsed, and the wine industry has taken off. I was most concerned with the changes in the wine industry.
After a couple days of bouncing around the city, my friend Dave, his roommate Jeremy and I headed north to Napa. The drive was totally easy, not what I was expecting from both a traffic prospective and a geography prospective. I had visions of the road from SF to Napa being dominated by small inns, massive grape fields, rolling hills, and singing birds. Nope. A lot of it was marsh lands - something I hadn't known even existed in California before I saw it up close. We of course made our way to the inns, and grape fields, but the journey up was just different.
We began trick-or-treating on the early side - 11am - at Cakebread Family Vineyards. This is one of those wines that started as a big cult wine and has exploded across the country. Bottles now are between $100 - $200 at restaurants. The three of us had a private tasting in a very fun private wine room. Enjoyed some good stuff - picked up a bottle and headed further north.
This process continued for the next 5 hours.
We made friends along the way too. Namely a 55-year old tipsy woman from San Diego. Here's the story. Dave, Jeremy and I stopped at the Silverado Brewing Company for lunch and the opportunity to catch some of the Pats v. Chargers game. It was packed, and we were forced to sit outside (by ourselves) and watch through a glass door. Next thing we knew, this woman from San Diego came out and took it upon herself to find us a place to sit. First, she got us two seats at the bar, then came back over to us and said she'd saved a table for us right in front of the big screen. The three of us were in awe of her dedication. Perhaps earlier in her life she had been a hostess at a restaurant - that was the only explanation we could think of.
Overall, the trip to the Bay Area was fantastic. The weather was great, the food was incredible, and the wine was top-rate. The one disappointing part of the trip was that there wasn't an earthquake. I had been hoping for at least a small one - what's cooler than saying that you've been through a San Francisco earthquake? Not too much.
I'm out in Tuscon, AZ now and will be updating this space more frequently.