Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ain't What She Used To Be

A break in the heat and I am doing OK
Carafe Wine Glass
Wine Shopping

Since my daughter has chosen to live in the beautiful surroundings of California wine country, hubby and I have indulged in a little taste of the grape while on our visits.  Not that we don't do it in the less-than-fine wine country of Pennsylvania, but California  does have the edge.

In the past we have visited Sonoma and Napa Valleys, which have some of the most beautiful real estate in the USA. These places are so breath-taking, that you must hold a full glass of wine in each hand in order to keep your balance.

The Santa Cruz mountains is another beautiful
spot known for it's wineries.  The steep terrain can make one queasy, but the scenery is worth it. The majestic  redwoods are throughout  and there are 14,000 acres of of planted vineyards. 

A few years ago we stopped and did a tasting at Bonny Doon.  The personnel were happy (who wouldn't be if you worked at a winery called Bonny Doon) accommodating, and great fun.  We had a few sips that day and I felt I was in a scene from the movie Sideways.  BTW, since that flick, I have never drank Merlot. 

Bonny Doon
This year's wine tasting was a little different and eliminated that nail biting trip up the mountains to visit some of the more than 200 vineyards. In the past few years a group of those wineries have set up stores, restaurants and outdoor cafes in the middle of the town of Santa Cruz.  Although we missed the beautiful scenery along those curving  high-elevation roads, we did get to enjoy the very colorful aspect of the town itself.  Santa Cruz is one cool place!

We started out at Bonny Doon again, and for a small fee, we tasted 5 wines.  For those who have never had the pleasure of this experience, a taste is about 3 to 4 sips.  Everything was fine and festive (although, due to the crowds, it lost some intimacy it had at it's previous location, ) and we chose two different wines to bring home with us.  At our second stop on the tour, I got to try the first wine of the selection and started to feel a little woozy. Between both wineries, I had drank less than a glass, and I was already down for the count.  I took a seat and waited for hubby, but I was not feeling well.  They had to take old grandma home.  Was it my age, had I lost my mojo?  Woe is me.

We have plans in September to go to a wine festival in PA.   Here the wines are not as renowned, nor as good.   I may do better as it could be the degree of sophistication that threw me off.   I might just have been out of my element in California.  I don't speak wine talk, tend to spill when I swirl, mispronounce the pompous words, and really don't smell all those aromas they tell me are in there.   I guess that I am just a cheap date - one of the things that hubby likes about me. 


  1. Some days the wine sits okay, others, not so much. I think as we get older we have less tolerance for alcohol. Dang...we finally have the time to indulge and our systems won't let us.

  2. Hello Arleen:
    Occasionally, we have gone on wine tasting excursions to some of the vineyards of Hungary. It is always great fun although we have also found, like you, that some of the wines, even in small quantities, can be very potent indeed.

  3. I live in a terrific wine producing region (I almost said wine 'growing' region - thank God I checked my sentence). I don't like wine :( Or maybe I just need to stop being cheap and buy a bottle that costs more than a dollar?


  4. Sounds fantastic. That wine country looks really pretty. I've been to a few of the Washington State wineries, and that was a great experience.

  5. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner every now and then, but as my hubby says, I turned in my little red uniform a long time ago. Couldn't tolerate much alcohol when I was young, and can tolerate even less of it now. Doesn't take much of it to make me act the fool. (hush!)

  6. Love the last line about being a cheap date! I guess the list is long for we who no longer tolerate alcohol. Oh, well, we can still remember.

  7. I don't know much about wine tasting either - one glass tends to send me under the table! Sounds like a nice trip!