Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wine Tasting with Aunt Amanda!

Eli's sister Amanda visited for a few days, so what did we do, as we do with all our guests when I'm not pregnant? Wine tasting! It was a gorgeous day on the central coast for some wine tasting.

We started at Zaca Mesa, whose viognier we really love. The wines, and my brief comments on them:

  • 2008 Estage Z Gris. I'm generally not a fan of rosé, but this was the driest I'd ever had. It wouldn't be bad with cheese and crackers on a summer afternoon.
  • 2008 Estate Viognier. Love!
  • 2006 Estate Roussanne. I didn't think I liked this -- it tasted kind of strong to me -- but it had a really nice finish.
  • 2006 Estate Grenache. I was surprised by how much I liked this, since I don't tend to like the light, sweet reds.
  • 2006 Estate Z-Cuvee. Unmemorable.
  • 2005 Estate Syrah. Extremely disappointing. But when an employee overheard us complaining about it, she then poured the 2006 Estate Syrah, which was amazing -- best wine of the day. Crazy! It's only become available in the last few weeks, and that's just in their tasting room -- it won't be available elsewhere for a while yet. What an astounding difference between the two years.
  • 2005 Estate Z Three. Eh. I'm not big on blends.

After lunch in Los Olivos, we headed to the Qupe tasting room, as we are big fans of their syrah. They were also pouring tastings of Verdad and Ethan wines. I didn't like any of the whites, but the three syrahs we tried were all very nice:
  • Qupe Syrah - "Santa Barbara County". Only available in the tasting room. It was my least favorite of the three syrahs, but still good.
  • Ethan Syrah "Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard". This was fantastic. Only 100 cases of it were made, and the guy claimed that only 11 bottles are left.
  • Qupe Syrah "Alisos Vineyard". Nearly as good as the Ethan syrah, but a much higher alcohol content. Whoa. I've never been able to hit more than two wineries or tasting rooms in a trip to wine country, so things always kind of blend together by the end of the day.

We had a lovely, lovely time, and it was no problem taking Sam. We're learning that when going out, we need to budget an extra 45 minutes every 2.5 hours for feeding Sam, etc. But on a lovely day like yesterday, there are far worse things I could be doing than sitting in the sunshine at a winery and nursing Sam. What a wonderful day.

(Picture: Eli, Sam, and Aunt Amanda, on the Zaca Mesa grounds.)

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