Today's my last full day back in California and I've been reflecting a lot lately. A LOT! Did you hear me? I'm getting married THIS Friday! REFLECTION CENTRAL here!
So, anyway, one of the things that I've realized during this time is that I've become sort of a lush...maybe even a bit of a drunk. I think that I've had at least one drink everyday since I finished my CELTA class three weeks ago. For example, this past Saturday I had two margaritas for lunch and then most of a bottle of wine with dinner. That was after going to a five-course dinner and wine pairing on Friday night. Wine...it's been a lot of alcohol but, for the most part, a LOT of wine.
Wine is good. I first started to like wine when I lived and worked down in Mexico and my friend Eduardo and I would hang out at his folks' house and drink from his dad's collection. Over time my tastes have become more developed (I hope) and I owe it to a handful of different people from a few different countries. My preference has tended towards lighter-bodied red wines that are drier. I have a very nice friend named Paco who lives near Madrid who introduced me to some amazing Spanish Tempranillo wine (as well as Baco, the god of wine!) last year that got me hooked on that. It's basically all I drink now when in Spain.
But here in California, I'm definitely addicted to Pinot Noir. I have an old friend from Japan to thank for that one. The one I've been drinking most for the last few years is one called Caretaker that I buy at Trader Joe's for around $10. It's to die for. You can see it on the right in the photo below. I think I've drank probably a half case of the stuff in the last three weeks! The other bottle in the photo is a new addition to my wine-purchasing list. it's a Trader-Joe's-branded Pinot called Carneros that also costs about $10. In my completely unscientific and untrained opinion, I'd give both of these California Pinots an eight or nine out of a possible ten.
Pinot Noir seems to be all over the board as far as texture, flavor, and relative sweetness. I like both of these because they are light-bodied (watery?) and fairly dry. The cards at Trader Joe's and their bottles say something about red cherries, wood barrels, and other stuff that I'm sure if I understood might make me seem somewhat intelligent if I could string enough of them together. In other words, I really don't know much but I do know that I like 'em dry. My ultimate goal is to be more thirsty when I'm done drinking a wine than when I started!
One other thing that I found out when I was taking the photo for this story was that the label on the bottle of Caretaker uses the wording "freshly laid road tar" to partially describe the flavor! My pallet isn't that trained yet but I have eaten shit more than once back in my bicycle days. I can remember getting road tar pulled out of my face for sure. Maybe that's where my love of this stuff comes from??? Whoda' known?
Like I said, tonight's my last night in town before I head back to Barcelona tomorrow. Wish me (and Diana) luck with the next chapter of my (our) journey. In the mean time, I'm going to go uncork my last bottle of Caretaker. Salud!