Anyway. (Y'all don't really want to hear about my breasts anyway, right?)
I never did give you the Napa tour, and though you've heard the gist from Columbine already (what, you don't read our journals in sequence? :-), I did want to detail it a bit for those who might be thinking of doing some wine-tasting of their own:
- Robert Mondavi: We started here, with a pre-scheduled 11:00 tour
(which necessitated leaving Oakland at roughly 9:40 a.m., for those
scheduling trips). This is a production tour, and we got to see the vines
and the containers and the barrels and all that good stuff. It wasn't as
good a tour as the last time I went on it -- the tour guide seemed not
quite as knowledgable as the last, and tended to fill in gaps with rah rah
Robert Mondavi! which was a bit annoying. But the last one had been
really good, so it may just be luck of the draw. You end up in a tasting
room, where they do teach you a little about tasting wines (so it's a good
place to start touring), and we had some wine. The group consensus seemed
to be that it was all right wine, but overpriced at $30ish/bottle.
- V. Sattui: This is about ten minutes north of Mondavi, and a
marvelous place to have lunch. They have a truly excellent deli, and with
some picnic supplies and a bottle of wine (we recommend the '97
Johannisberg Riesling Dry), you can have a truly civilized (or decadent,
depending on your point of view) lunch under the trees and sunshine. They
also have pretty funny guys pouring in the tasting room, so it's fun to
taste with them. They don't sell their wines in stores, only at the
winery and by mail-order (and web-order), which is a shame, 'cause they're
really quite good and reasonably priced. I picked up a $12 bottle of
Muscat for the May party (sweet, elegant, light dessert wine), and was
sorely tempted by the Rieslings. Debby picked up a mixed case of Off-Dry
Riesling (slightly sweeter than the Dry), Merlot, and something else I'm
forgetting. Todd and Par both bought a bottle of their yummy $23 Madeira
(a little out of my price range). Worth stopping at, without a doubt.
- Beringer. We finished here, because we were all starting to droop a bit (at 3:30). Beringer has perhaps the most beautiful grounds...really gorgeous landscaping and houses. They're also pretty darn old as California wineries go, and we took their historical tour (45 minutes), which takes you down into the clay cellars in the side of the mountain where they store their wine. The tour guide was less annoying than the Mondavi one -- more relaxed and open. It was really pleasant. We ended in a tasting room; the wines there were fine, and I rather liked their Chardonnay, but nothing impressed us as much as the ones at V. Sattui had.
I have a story idea, so I'm off to poke at it now. Will talk to you munchkins later...hope you're having a good week!
10:20. Well, the story I was thinking about writing focused on Chaya's (from "Bodies in Motion") mother. So I thought I'd reread that piece before I started working on the new one. And I ended up making drastic changes to it, which may or may not affect the new piece. I've sent it off to my trusted comrades in fiction, with the hope that they can tell me if I've done good or damaged the poor story beyond repair. I don't trust my instincts on revisions. I know they are sometimes necessary, but the story ends up feeling all patchy to me. And I positively hate throwing out good lines. I had to get rid of several paragraphs I really liked to change this ending to the one that I think makes more sense, and I got cranky and crabby as a result and I think stinted the new ending on good lines out of some sense of misplaced blame. My poor story.
I'm going out flower shopping with Ellie for a bit. Hopefully that will give me time to let the ideas for the new story percolate a bit more -- they're still somewhat vague. I have the core event, the central hinge on which the story will turn, but I'm not sure what events happen before, or after. Also not sure how much time to cover -- do I take it up to the present, to the time of Chaya's story, or do I end it much earlier? Do I start it right after Chaya's mom's wedding, or much later? Decisions decisions...