With just 4 days to go until californiawinehikes.com becomes public, I’m pretty excited. So excited, in fact, that only one cup of espresso in the morning is all I need lately. So excited that I can’t seem to sit still long enough to post another blog. Or, is that “blog another post?”
But it occurred to me that those of you who have read my previous post could be anxiously awaiting the outcome of my recent day tour to Bonny Doon Vineyards. Sooner or later, I’ll be fully engaged in more regular blogging, I promise! Certainly I should tell you, after hiking 8 miles that morning at Fall Creek with two other good souls, Pam and Paul, and enjoying Pam’s hearty homemade lunch at Bonny Doon’s quaint picnic grounds, that we were more than ready, on a rare and warm blue day in December, to sip some wines — screwcap or otherwise.
Bonny Doon has a lot of wines at their tasting bar, ready to pour. If you’re not a member of their wine club, no matter — you still get to taste quite a few of the good ones, including their burly flagship wine, Le Cigare Volant, of which their 2002 vintage is an interesting blend of 39% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, 28% Syrah, and 1% Viognier. ‘Twas mm-mm-good, and redolent of cherries and peppered smoked meats, if you can imagine that in a wine. And, it had a screwcap, too, though the 2001 vintage did not! But that was mainly due to the 2002 vintages being the first crops to end up in screwcapped bottles.
Tasters at Bonny Doon also get to enjoy another consummate amalgam, their 2003 Big House Red, a blend of syrah, petite syrah, and carignane. Never before had I tasted this particular combination of grapes, molded, as they say in their literature, as “a breakout hit for the recidivist partisans of the eclectic pan-Mediterranean blend.” In other words, methinks the French could like it, too. But I could be wrong. Though it tasted so right!
I walked out of the Little B.D. House with a bottle of Big House, having tasted perhaps 8 different screwcapped wines, all very fresh, all very delightful, all worth trying again. And already, sipping and comparing the Big House here at home, my palate is noting the distinct absence of tree bark. I’m beginning to think there’s something tangible to this screwy screwcap stuff. I’m beginning to think that screwcapped wines aren’t just for bottom-shelf winos any more.
(Incidentally, guys, for a real romantic treat, here’s a heads-up: open a bottle of B.D.’s Framboise “Infusion of Raspberry” for your lady. It’s easy! You don’t need to embarrass yourself with any cork-pulling appliances! Now see if the fireworks don’t begin. And, if you happen to be the kind of guy who is into presentation, serve it in thimble-sized chocolate cups like they do at Bonny Doon.)
Folks, I’m gonna be a convert someday. But I’ll be performing future comparisons, just to be sure.