Tuesday, December 13, 2011

tricks of the trade

It's no secret that we like to go wine tasting. A lot.  I mean, c'mon, we live near one of the most remarkable wine regions in the world, wouldn't it be a shame if we didn't go?
We go wine tasting for you, people, so that this blog has content. 
We are givers.

And since it's the season of giving, I thought I'd share with you what we bring with us each time we go wine tasting.   Thank you, you kind readers that like to hear me babble. I appreciate it.
Now, let me tell you a story. Once, we were at Kenwood (Sonoma County) tasting their delicious wines and there was a girl in the tasting room that wasn't looking too hot. Her boyfriend, husband, poor soul...whomever he was, was basically carrying her over his shoulder, she had had a bit too much to drink. (Side note: This was our first winery of the day, hardly 11am.) Shortly after we finished up our tasting, we headed to the car to grab a few snacks, and to our left was this girl, and her poor soul of a caretaker, leaning over a rock ledge.  Then, as if the fire hose turned on, vomit started violently coming out of her. Purple vomit. Let this be a lesson to you, purple vomit is never pretty, even if you are just an innocent bystander. 

To avoid vomit like the marionettes from Team America, we bring snacks.  Here's our list of things that come with us every time we go wine tasting:

1. Barkley : no, we don't eat her, she's just so fun, we can't leave her behind...you don't need to have her on your list, but she's on ours and I wanted to be truthful with our list...therefore, I'm sharing. Many wineries are dog friendly, more than you would expect. 

2. Water : I mean a lot of it.  Like toss a case of water bottles in your trunk, I typically am not a proponent of plastic water bottles, but this is my one exception. 

3. Snacks : party mix, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, apples and granola bars are our go-to snacks

4. Pack a picnic : Most wineries will not allow you to picnic on their grounds, however there are some that will either allow you to picnic if you buy a bottle of wine (Rutherford Hill Winery) or others that have a deli where you can buy your sustenance and picnic on their grounds (V. Sattui and Beringer).   I am sure there are more, but those are the few that we've actually eaten at. 
The good news about packing a picnic is that you don't waste time sitting at a restaurant. We are serious about our time management in wine country.  Most wineries are only open from 10 - 4pm or so, which means it's important to maximize your time.  In the course of a day trip to Napa, we typically don't taste at all the wineries we go to (but when we do a tasting, we typically share one so that we don't become like the purple vomit girl), but we like to check out as many as possible, just to see the grounds, take a few pictures... you know, for the blog.

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