So your friends at YIFY are now in Napa Valley. We're about a day and a half and ten wineries into our wine country experience, so Kate is asleep for the night. I don't really know what to write about tonight, so I guess I'll just write about wineries and some other things that are going on here. First for the other things:
Virgin America - The best airline in the history of the world. Ever. Yes, this includes Pan Am back in the day when Leo from Catch Me if You Can was flying for free. I'm telling you, there is no better travel experience than Virgin America. The flight attendants actually have fun. Not just acting like they're having fun (Southwest). I think it has something to do with everyone on the plane being incredibly happy. Probably because they're on a Virgin America flight - equipped with fancy technology console, seat that reclines all the way back, and sort of techno dance music. I encourage all friends of YIFY to go to one of the five or so cities that have Virgin America flights, and book a flight to one of their other destinations - just to enjoy the flight.
Okay. Enough for the Virgin America sales pitch. Now, my insights about Wine Country and Wine People.
1. Everyone who has ever been to Napa Valley has recommendations. For those of you who haven't been there, you may not know that there are like 200 wineries in about a 20-mile area. You basically can't go down the highway without running into a winery every quarter mile (or less). So it can be a little overwhelming to a first timer. This isn't my first time here, but I wasn't really in a note-taking mood the last time I came here. And by that I mean that I went golfing before wine tasting and was overserved before setting foot in a winery. I'm classy like that. Anyway, whenever I'd tell someone that I was coming out here, they'd get super excited (if they have been here) and then say something like, "You HAVE to go to [winery 1], [winery 2], and maybe [winery 3] if you have time. I have to admit that I did ask a bunch of friends for recommendations, basically to see if there was any overlap.
2. These Recommendations are Sometimes Good. So Kate and I went to about 6 or 7 wineries today and a few others last night. Most of these were ones that one of our friends had recommended. Now's the part of the post where I thank my friends for their help:
Ami - nice work on Rubicon (although I probably should've remembered going there previously).
Annette - good call on St. Supery.
Natalie - good call on Sterling.
If you gave me recommendations and don't see your name listed above, you should really think about what you did. Just kidding. I'm sure whatever you recommended was great and I loved it. Yeah, we'll go with that.
3. These recommendations rarely have anything to do with wine. Since there are a couple hundred wineries in the area, and most people are only here for a couple of days, I don't think anyone has actually been to every winery here. Even the guy who was pouring my wine said he had been here for twenty years but still hasn't been to every winery. So for most people, they are recommending some subset of what they have been to. Probably about the top 40-60% of the wineries that they went to when they visited. So if someone went to five wineries when they were here, they'll probably list their favorite two or three wineries as 'must see.' Well that's great, but their sample size isn't quite large enough for them to be considered an expert. Oh well.
4. It doesn't tell how much wine I drink, I still don't know anything about it. So the guy pouring the wine always says really obscure things to me and I don't know what he's talking about. Something like "this chardonnay spent 16 months in oak barrels, and then four months in stainless barrels." How the hell am I supposed to respond to that? "Oh, I can tell" or, "man that sucks for the wine, I bet it didn't like being in the barrel for all that time."
Oh, and then they come up with a bunch of flavors that I'm supposed to be able to taste. Like 'think dark chocolate and raspberry when it's on the front of your tongue, and then prime rib when it's on the back of your tongue.' What the hell does that mean? It tastes like wine to me. Not chocolate or steak. Although I like those too. Anyway, all I really know about wine is whether or not I like it (based on taste). I don't know why I like something, or whether or not I'll like it before I try it, but I can tell after a drink. Years of wine drinking, and that's all I've got.
5. Wine makes Kate sleepy. Come to think of it, it sort of makes me sleepy too. So we're done here. Have a good night, and thanks for those recommendations. You know who you are.