That's right, I went to Napa Valley. Of course during my budget travels I've slept on couches, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for three meals a day, and gone days without showering, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the finer things in life too. Wine and cheese is taste I picked up in France, and I've enjoyed it ever since. Granted it's a rare treat for me, but a spectacular treat none-the-less. So I wasn't going to just pass through America's wine region because I didn't have nice enough clothes to wear, I was going to treat myself just like everyone else...well, kinda like everyone else.
The region is really pretty, that goes without saying. It is one of those places that looks exactly like how you picture it in your mind. Vast fields of grapes growing on their vines dispersed amongst a landscape of green rolling hills under a blue sky. Just driving around there you feel like you should be drinking wine, probably not the most ethical feeling, but still a good feeling when your body senses what it's purpose is in a place. Drink wine. It's that simple. Drink, taste, swirl, smell or spit. It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you are connecting with the spirit of the valley.
Wine is life there, socially and spiritually. I would never have believed how many different adjectives they can use to describe some wines, but still give you no clue as to how it's going to taste; mellow but still complex, a bit chewy, astringent, balanced, big, closed, connected, dry, fat, firm, flabby, hollow, lean, round, and toasty...what the hell does that mean?
I didn't know, but didn't care. I wasn't putting up a front. They saw my Penn State hoodie and new that I was there to taste the wine and describe them in my own terms of drinkable, too girlie, out of my price range, or perfect (under $5 a bottle). I still give them credit for trying to express the importance of the aging process, the temperature of the vines, and precious soil needed to create such a tasty beverage, but my mouth lacks the skill to notice those minute factors. Some might say that's too bad, but I also think sometimes...ignorance is bliss.
Thanks for the wine Napa! Next stop...Yosemite National Park, where I'll fit in a little better.
See more pictures here.