Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Was A Very Good Year 

Some dash round visiting loads of wineries in a day. I guess if you're a connoisseur then this is Wine Tasting Heaven, but we’re more your undiscriminating slurping types and decided one wine tour would be more than adequate.

We chose Sterling Vineyards, not because of its unique growing conditions, fruity nose and noble pedigree, but because you get to ride in a cable car as part of the admission. That’s two types of fun for one ticket, and that’s the way to my heart.

So we did the tour, which was interesting if a little cheesy, then had a tasting.
A smartly turned out lady pours you a sample and you’re encouraged to look thoughtful then say something sophisticatedly appreciative like “Yup, I like that. Next!”

My tasting notes:
2006 Pinot Gris - OK.
2005 Lake Chardonnay - OK.
2004 Sangiovese - Yeah, alright.
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon - Nicer.
2006 Malvasia Bianca - Alright as well.

It was sensory pleasures all the way today. In the afternoon we went for a spa treatment, or whatever it's called. It's what you do in Calistoga.
It consisted of lying in a bath delicately scented with volcanic ash and lavender for half an hour, while being forced to listen to a CD of crashing waves and wind chimes with cucumbers on your eyes.
Then you have a lie down and a willowy lady rubs stuff into your feet. I was sure I'd kick her, such is my ticklishness, but actually it was alright. I was also a bit worried I might get the erections so spent the whole time focussing very intently on non-erectionly thoughts - the pros and cons of automatic transmission versus manual gears, the downwardly spiralling fortunes of Leeds United, what on earth did people ever see in Dave Lee Travis? - and it seemed to do the trick.

After that we went off to separate rooms and a burly fellow called Oak smeared me in lotions and set about dislocating my shoulders.
I asked if I had a lot of tension and he said yes. I put it down to the wind chime music and the extreme physical pain. But you know, in a perverse way, it was really pleasant physical pain.

It seemed a very Californian thing to do. I'm sure you can get massages back home in the Preston area, but could it ever be the same?

Bar Shot: Hydro Bar and Grill again.

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