Napa Valley!

DAY FIVE

Today my grandma and I drove out to Napa Valley to go winery-hopping. We only hit two, Artesa and Larson Family, but I think that was enough to get a good touristy feel of things.
I’ve never been too big a fan of wine (I only drink grain alcohol and rainwater, remember?) but I think this experience has changed my mind for the better. Unless this tingly feeling of general well being is just a side effect of multiple wine tastings… nah! It was great because the guy serving neither asked me for my age or the nominal wine tasting fee. I guess he knew that in the end I would buy out his nice little shop… No matter! First, we tried a soft white Gerwurztraminer and then a fruity Pinot Noir Rosé (deceitfully tasting of strawberries. Pictured right.) This was followed by a crisp Meritage and their award-winning deep, dark Cabarnet Sauvignon. This is the one I ended up buying- something about the varietal aromas married with the vanilla and spice of the barrels gives it a distinctive Cabernet flavor full of currant and dark cherry fruit that you can’t help but roll around in your mouth. Yeah, so I didn’t really write that myself- it’s on their website. In the end, it was good and I was buzzed. Yay wine!

Now it’s time for THE MOAR YOU KNOW: Wine Edition.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…

  • The name “Meritage” is a sign of quality, caliber, and how much you are willing to pay for the naming license.
  • I found the acidity of the Cabarnet Sauvignon on their website: 0.428 to 0.458 g/100mL, with a pH of 3.69 to 3.81.
  • There are two methods for getting the juice out of the grapes- beating/pummeling them, or pressing them (I bet they still step on them sometimes just for fun…) The beating is usually more for the red grapes and the pressing is more for the white.
  • Red wine is dark because the skin is left on during fermentation. whites, in turn, do not. Rosés are somewhere in the middle. Welcome back to kindergarten kids, that’s how hues work.
  • The juice is first put in the vats to ferment and then the barrels to age. Somehow I managed to get a good shot of both when I took a picture of a cute employee. Imagine that.
  • They leave glass stoppers in the barrels so they can see the when the bubbles of CO2 (produced by the yeast breaking down the sugar) stop and the wine is ready to be set in a barn somewhere to age.
  • Wine is delicious. Yum.

NOW YOU KNOW!

On top of the Cab, I also bought tiny bottles of Rose, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Translation: I can either host a nice wine-tasting in my room when I come back, or revel in the fact that I have the proper ammunition to get myself shit-faced drunk alone on some weeknight. Win-win!

I almost feel bad about enjoying my day so much when duty calls me to go into a seven-month mourning period. Crushingly disappointing as it was, I’m proud of you boys for making it that far. Hope you’re ready for next year, because we’re going to kick some serious ass!Want MOAR wine-day pictures?

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