I started this post Saturday. I thought about going through and changing what I wrote, but decided not to. So Nyah. :P
Today's Saturday Sky photo was actually taken on September 2nd at the Primus Vineyards. Clickety Biggety!
Ah the Memories.
Recently I had a very wonderful person come for a visit. I've mentioned him several times in the past, though without much detail. He's in the family I choose for myself, and also just happens to be in the whole blood family dealy. Odd how that works out sometimes. heh. For the purposes of referring to him as something other than my brother while maintaining his privacy, he will henceforth be called RenDogg.
We actually hooked up in a city a few thousand miles from here for a few days before making our way back to Reno back on August 21st. He had a lot of work to do the first part of his time in Reno so we mostly just hung out and watched Harry Potter movies while drinking lots of Éphémère in the evenings when he had some free time. During that time I also finished book seven, the final book of the Harry Potter series. *sigh* So sad to see it finished.
Unfortunately Rendogg had to go back early so instead of staying here until next week as planned he went back a few days ago. So sad to see it finished.
No worries though I should be able to see him a few more times this year if I play my cards right. *Happy Otter Dance* :D
Before he left the Honey and I were able to take him to do some extra fun stuff.
Last Sunday the Honey drove us over to Placerville California to explore some of the Vineyards in the area. There are a BUNCH. We managed to hit 6 of them.
Why yes I did do my duty to Resolution # 10. Heh. The whole time Rendogg was visiting as matter of fact.
My liver hurts. o.0
Here is the Barrel room at Primus. Clickety Biggety!
Our trip to the Placervill Winerys started with Primus Vineyards. (Is Winery really a word or am I just making shit up as I go along? o.0 Wiki says it's real. One more sign I'm not going crazy!) Good starting place, but we found may other wonderful wine experiences along the way that dimmed the shine off the taste of the wines here. I did pick up an interesting bottle of a wine they called Duo. It's a blend of Syrah & Zinfandel. Normally I couldn't be arsed to give a damn about a Zinfindal, but this blend was quite lovely. I think I'll have some friends over in the coming weeks for dinner and serve this. :D We also picked up their 2004 Syrah... but Rendogg and I drank that already. Very good. Nice anytime drinkable red. I think we had that one night while playing a game of Goth. Primus was the only tasting room that cost anything to get in. $5 a person, plus you got to keep the glass. They refunded the fee if you purchased, which we did obviously.
Close up of grapes at Primus.
Our next stop was at a little complex called Camino Wine Plaza that housed four different tasting rooms. We went to two of the rooms. The first one we walked past seemed to be big on Zinfindals and Merlot so we didn't even bother to stick our heads in. When in an area boasting so many options you can be as picky as you want. So moving past whatever that place was we went into a place called Illuminare Estates. We picked up a bottle of their 2005 Petite Syrah which may or may not be saved until Rendogg returns on his next visit. The best part about our visit to this tasting room was meeting the owner. He told us his story and offered us a taste of his upcoming 2002 Pinotage... straight from the brarrel! How cool is that. Well it's hella cool. He used a special device to withdraw some of the wine and put a generous taste into our waiting glasses. Fantastic. Love this stuff. I like it way more than his Syrah. I think he said he would be bottling it this November. I'll be calling an order in. *GRIN*
Within the same complex as Illuminare was a very tasty room called Findleton Estate & Vineyard. I really enjoyed this place. Every wine was very good. Seeing as this was only our third stop and I already had a few bottles of wine I only got one bottle. I wish I had gotten a few things here. I believe we got a Pinot Noir. Rendogg and I drank that while watching Sideways Tuesday night. Heh. One of the reasons I think I was so enamored with this tasting room and it's delicious wines was that the guy pouring had such an engaging personality. He knew his stuff and poured just the right amount. Enough to taste, but not so much you felt bad pouring half a glass out. I know we actually poured a lot of wine out that day. o.0 But since we had so many options and we hadn't had much to eat it seemed like the wise thing to do. Not to mention he kinda reminded me of John Hurt and how can you not love that. ;^)
We skipped the last tasting room here to try our luck elsewhere. We ended up at the Crystal Basin Cellars. This was one of my top two tasting rooms of the day. :D I wish I'd picked up more here as well. *sigh* Oh well it was a learning expedition. I can always order more and/or make another trip up that way. Here we grabbed 3 bottles. Rendogg got a super yummy Barbera (best of the Barbera's we tasted that day in my not so humble opinion. I made a startling purchase of a 2005 Zinfandel. I know. o.0 Weird huh. I wasn't even planning on tasting it, but said why not. I really liked it. We also grabbed a bottle of their yummy Muscat which I believe we drank on Wednesday the 5th.
From there we hit the other top two Winery by the name of Jodar Winery. We were lucky enough to stop in during a Food and Wine pairing event. Fantastic. It was really interesting to see just how the taste of a wine is altered by pairing it with the right flavor. It was fortunate that we stopped in here when we did because we were also very hungry by this point. *L* I enjoyed everything about this place, from the wine to the atmosphere & people. It was an all around excellent tasting experience. I wish I'd gotten more here as well. We got four bottles, a very yummy port that was paired with a chocolate raspberry truffle. We also got some of the chocolates to have with the port later as well. I think this was had during a game of Dread Pirate. Rendogg won. Bastard. The other three bottles we got here will be saved for Rendoggs next visit. They are a very yummy 2005 Barbera, a sweet desert wine called Eva and a unique 2004 Chardonnay.
Our sixth and final stop of the day was the Boegar Winery. This was a good solid winery and I always love it when they have part of the Vineyard on site. Though the tasting counter was large in comparison to some of the places we had been the place was packed with people. I think a bus had just dropped off a bunch of people or something. Either way it was still a very tasty experience. Plus the lady who poured for us told us a great place to have lunch/dinner. Though it was closed as it was Sunday. We ended up at a chain pizza place in desperation. And yes we still managed to have a beer with lunch even though we'd been drinking all day. Resolution # 10 was working into overdrive. *L* They had a lot to choose from and we ended up walking away with a Barbera and a Muscat. I'd like to go back sometime and have a tasting when it's not so packed so I can savor each wine more.
Some great stuff came out of this day trip. Besides the obvious spending time with RenDogg and My Honey I learned a bit about wine and Vineyards.
I also learned since I'm this close there is very little point in buying without first tasting it. Of course this only applies to local-ish wines. It was amazing to me how much a year made a difference in the taste of a wine. At the first place the 04 Syrah was dramatically better than the 05. It also amused me how the smell of a wine could be completely different than the taste. At Findleton we tasted a wine that seemed almost musty in scent, but was deliciously light in taste. I would have expected the wine to be strong and dry from the scent. Tasting was great, but having the opportunity to smell so many different wines was an experience in itself. I kept trying to get the honey to smell my wine. His taste for wine isn't as sharp as it is for Scotch so he said he didn't see much difference. Now I love the smell of Scotch, well good Scotch, but I can't handle the taste. Too burny. Rendogg is unique in that he has a taste for both. Which is great because I can enjoy wine with him... and beer and just about anything else. Yet he can also enjoy Scotch with the honey. Next time he's here I'm going to be the Designated Driver and take them out for a scotch tasting somewhere. :D
At each stop on our impromptu wine tasting tour we tasted 5 or 6 wines. I'm not sure how much we actually drank during that time as it became apparent early on that we'd have to take small samples and pour out those wines that weren't as exemplary or when we simply at the end of our palate at that stop. Drinking water and swishing helped us to try as many wines as we did.
It was deffinatly a fun experience doing all those tastings. Something I hope Rendogg and I can do many many more times. There are hundreds of Vineyards up in those hills to try yet. :D
Here are the remaining wines left from our trip up through the El Dorado. Clickety Biggety!
I'd have taken more pictures of our journey if I'd been thinking. Instead of thinking I opted to drink and have fun.
Good Times. Good Times. /Jerry Blank