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post #324
bio: jen
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8/13/2008
14:37

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Sideways Country


This past weekend, I went on a family weekend up to Santa Barbara county to do some wine tasting up in Sideways Country (it’s where they filmed the wino movie, Sideways).

Because we were a large group that was better at drinking than moving, we visited only three wineries on Saturday. We visited Beckman, Brander, and Cambria.

I didn’t taste at Beckman, but I know their yummy reds only too well and mellowed out in their shady picnic area. The sun was definitely hot last weekend.

When we got to Brander, I was onboard for some tasting and hustled up to the bar with the rest of the team. Mark was pouring and telling stories of his travels around the world.

the tastingWines at Brander

I really liked the whites at Brander, but I thought the reds were a little too young. They tasted like a young Robert De Niro---lots of talent and promise, but he hasn’t played Jake La Motta yet. Still their cool Sauvignon Blancs rocked my palate.

As we tasted on a shady stone patio, I thought, yes, this is good, this is wine. I get why people become winos.

We eventually got ourselves organized and moved onto the next winery. We were going to go to Byron, but it was closed, so we went to Cambria. Their tasting room was empty, so I just took pics of the oak casks, flowers, and metal tanks. I am digging the new camera by the way.

Casks 2Flowers

A group of us ended up around a nice picnic table outside. We were chilling out when suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a bottle of Syrah and wine glasses appeared in front of us. Actually, it wasn’t magic. It was courtesy of Miles, my significant other. 

SyrahSyrah and Glasses

While half of our group tasted inside, we sat outside and just enjoyed the syrah. It was kind of earthy. It made me think of Hobbits. When the wine was done, I ran to the car and got a bottle of San Pellegrino. It was most appreciated by the wine drinkers.

That evening, we went into Los Olivos and had dinner at Patrick’s Side Street Café. Patrick the chef set us up at two tables in the back yard and immediately fell in love with my cousin’s Labrador puppy (named Ditka, but she’s a girl). He had ribs going on a Santa Maria barbecue, and most of us ended up ordering the ribs. They were delish. The barbecue was wood burning, so I also had girl scout flashbacks.

By the way, while we were waiting to go to dinner, we popped into a wine bar/café, and I found some interesting T-shirts and more importantly, Sideways glasses.

Souvenier T-shirtsSideways Glasses

That night, we tent camped at an RV park. Things were going well until the two families showed up at 11:30 at night and decided to camp right next to us. The next morning, as I walked among the giant gas guzzlers some people call home, I realized that I could never be an RV person. RV people weird me out.

After a breakfast/lunch (dare I call it brunch?) at Ellen’s Danish Pancake House, Miles and I decided to head back down to Los Angeles. Along the way, we stopped at the Santa Barbara Mission and the Camarillo Outlet Stores. I was tired when I got home, but I had eaten and drunk well.

And in other major developments, my tracker hit the hundred thousand mile mark. I love my tracker.

A hundred thousand miles


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