Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wine Not? Tre Uve

Chris and I spent last Christmas vacation in California. We began in San Diego and drove our way up to San Francisco. We took a few days off from spending time with the family to do some wine tasting in the Central Coast region. Unbeknownst to us both, we reserved a room in a hotel in the same town where part of the movie Sideways was filmed. We discovered this bit of information from our fabulous guide Rhonda on our wine tasting tour of the Santa Ynez Valley.

The tour began at 11:00 am and ended at 4:30 pm. It consisted of visiting four boutique wineries. I was worried that I would get tipsy (alright, hammered, as anyone that knows me knows that I am a lightweight when it comes to drinking) too early but Chris reminded me that we were only going to be "tasting" wine and that the protocol for supposed "tastings" was to smell, sip, and spit. Having seen Sideways and remembering Paul Giamatti's character harass the staff at a tasting room for a heavier pour of wine - and then chugging the spit bucket because he felt that he needed more - I thought I was going to be safe.  "Nothing to worry about. I just smell, sip, spit, or pour out the wine. No one will ever know that I'm a wine-tasting novice, " I naively thought to myself.

Well....that ended up not being the case. Here's a picture of me upon returning to our hotel room after the wine tour. Make sure you look at the clock on the bedside table.
Yes, it says 6:20 PM. The sun had not yet set. Although, after looking at this picture again, I'm quite proud of myself for having had the wherewithal to remove my jewelry before nestling under the covers.

So, for those of you unfortunate enough to have never gone on a wine-tasting tour, allow me to point out some facts:

  1. You are not encouraged to spit out or pour out your taste of wine after having a sip. 
  2. Most people do not spit out or pour out their wine sample after having a sip.
  3. A typical "taste" of wine is about one fourth of the wine glass - at least four decent-sized sips. 
  4. A typical wine-tasting at a winery can range from five to ten samples of wine. 
  5. Wine Math: If Ana visits the Santa Ynez Valley and goes to four different tasting rooms in which she is given about seven glasses filled one-fourth full of wine each, how much wine will Ana have drunk?Well, you can do the math or just look at the above picture of me again. 
Needless to say, I loved it. But, I also don't remember the names of the wineries we visited or the wines that I liked. Thankfully we bought several bottles of wine which, upon looking at them when I woke up, jogged my memory of where we had been and of what I had drank.  Of the four tasting rooms that we visited, the one that I remember best is Artiste Winery. Artiste stands out because their bottles are beautiful. Each label is designed by a different artist and all bottles are sealed by being hand-dipped in wax, giving them a vintage flair. 

I can't remember how many wines we tasted there, but we bought a bottle called Tre Uve, a blend of Nebbiolo, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The label was designed by Christina LoCascio and is painted with wine on watercolor paper.

 We loved the originality of the artwork, and of the entire winery, so we had to buy a bottle to show our support. It didn't hurt that the wine was delicious, too. I've always been a fan of blends and Tre Uve did not disappoint. Here is what the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Club says about this wine on their Facebook page:
'Bella terra' means beautiful land in Italian, something that this wine seems to reflect.   Imagine walking through a Tuscan courtyard, intertwined with trellises of wild raspberries, bright and bursting with acidity.  Go deeper and get lost in the briar patches and far of rustic essence of clove spice and leather as it rolls over your tongue.  As it opens up, it softens up and suddenly it is quite comforting, like grandmother's strawberry rhubarb pie inviting you home.  A beautiful land indeed.  

So, the next time you're in the Central Coastal area of California, head to Artiste Winery in Los Olivos and do some wine tasting. Buy a bottle, too, because you won't find them anywhere else!


Anonymous said...

The 'Surf' mag under the wine display table gives an added flair.

Chris said...

I really enjoyed yet another stellar picture of mine capturing you taking a nap. The surf mag was good too.

Central California is awesome too; of course, I am biased.

Kallmen said...

Love the snoozing picture of Ana! The wine and surf magazine is sort of a theme for you all as a couple...the blend is classic.