Friday, August 24, 2007

More from Napa...

Highlights from our past couple of days in Wine Country...
- More Peet's Coffee... and hopefully more to come
- Wine tastings at Peju Province and V. Sattui. Corbin still gags when tasting a Merlot, which no one around here seems to understand (at least he's discreet)
- Lunch yesterday - solo(!) - at a little bistro by our hotel
- Tour and wine tasting at the Robert Mondavi winery. What an empire. Incredibly educational and overwhelming how much effort goes into each bottle of vino
- Learned that the mixing of the wine with air (by swirling the glass) is sometimes referred to as "volatizing the esters..." I almost fell out of my chair. We'll most certainly be using that term in our family. I can hear it now... "Branson, quit volatizing the Esther!"
- Dinner at a tapas restaurant in downtown Napa last night. Corbin was overwhelmed - he got to order SIX different dishes. All these gourmet dishes in small portions, I had more fun watching him than eating my food.
- I've learned that my favorite wine is a cabernet, which also happens to be Napa's specialty. Of all the whites I've tasted, they just don't do much for me.
- I've also learned that wine makes me terribly sleepy. After a couple of tastings at different vineyards, I'm sleepy girl. Corbin is pumping me with coffee and diet coke to keep me awake.

We head home tomorrow, back to the reality of all things crazy. Esther's happy screeches, Hudson starting Kindergarten Monday (!), Branson adjusting to his braces (yes, I did say braces, he got them last week! Another post for another time... can't believe I'm an orthodontist mom, yikes), and Basden's happy demands for costume changes on the hour. I wouldn't trade it, but whew, this vacation is restful!
Again, a HUGE cheer for Charles & Jamie for letting us flee town kid-less. How many times have they enabled us to do this kind of thing?! We are profoundly grateful.

Parting deep thought... on the Mondavi tour, someone asked about the drip irrigation system they use. The tour guide (who loves his job, by the way) explained that they try not to water much, that they want the grapevines to struggle. If they water them too well, the roots get lazy and quit digging deeper. He explained that they want the vines to struggle for deep roots rather than staying shallow, as deeper roots produce more fruit and a fuller-bodied grape. Hmmnnn...
I've seen this modeled in my home my entire life... something about that "letting your kids struggle" thing. Thoughts??