Could it be?!?

Can you believe it?  FINALLY!!  I {finally} made it wine tasting!  Woot Woot!  I popped my cork.

Ok, I got that out of the way.  But, seriously.  I started this blog {two months ago or so} to write about my journey, making my way through {all} the amazing wineries…and I just {last week} made it wine tasting.  I have lived near wine country for nine months…That.Is.Pathetic. 

I gotta tell you, it was {pretty} cool.  As I was leaving the winery…after {said} wine tasting was over…I felt as if I had made it through some ‘adult right-of-passage’.   It was an {exhilarating} feeling walking out of there having accomplished my goal…conquered an item on my bucket list. 

My hubby and I headed up to the winery last Thursday morning. {yes, before noon, I know}  He had an hour to squeeze in an early lunch, I had an hour before picking up {my son} from kindergarten. We saw the opportunity and ran…sometimes you just gotta go with it.

hillside_vineyard

Where did we go?  Monte de Oro Winery.  It is a rather lovely winery nestled amongst the vineyards and situated atop a hillside.  The architecture of the building is a nod to {modern} Italy…sort of Italian palazzo meets farmhouse… but built a few years ago.  Palladian{esque} windows, mini colonnades, stucco, stonework, and tile roofing. 

Monte_de_oro

When you first enter the building, you are immediately greeted by a quaint gift shop…and a {friendly} employee who let us know that wine tasting was on the {other} side of the wall when we were ready.  We meandered through the gift shop and headed into the tasting room.  As we were walking to the bar, we noticed something below our feet.  I totally did a {double} take.  We were walking on a glass floor!  {yowza…glad I wasn’t wearing a skirt}  As I looked closer, I noticed that the barrel room, complete with table and chairs, was below our feet.  Immediately, I started thinking about finding that room and getting the flip view.  That {could be} fun. 

wine_bottles

The bar was empty when we got to it. {shock, right?}  This was great because we had the server to ourselves, and could pick her brain about all sorts of wine related questions.  We decided to {share} a flight of red wine to taste.  {see…I did not pick up my son from kindergarten hammered} 

The server {immediately} started pouring two glasses – one merlot and one cabernet sauvignon.  She also started spouting all these percentages…apparently one was a blend…and I truly had a hard time keeping up!  I had to ask her if I could look at the bottles {to read the labels} then compare them to the menu, so I could keep my {little} brain on track.  I think the whole {sharing} of the wine tasting made it difficult too, because she was pouring two wines at a time, instead of just one.  We also had to remember which glass was which.  {Oy vey}  On the up side, we had a little card with the wines listed, and I made all sorts of notes on there.  Which one I liked, what it tasted like, etc.  My card has some really {expert} descriptions on it, such as, “fruity”, “peppery”, “dry”, “sweet”, and “I don’t like it”. 

wine_tasting

Remember I said the bar was empty when we got there?  Well, by the time I had figured {everything} out and was ready to ask questions, I was {suddenly} fighting for our server’s attention!  There were two more groups of tasters – both had five{ish} people in them.  My hubby and I wanted to order a fruit and cheese plate to munch on while tasting, but she was the only employee behind the bar, and we weren’t sure we’d get it with enough time before we had to jet out of there.  {Maybe next time…right?}

We made our way through the rest of the wine, ate our crackers, made our notes, and decided to buy a bottle {that we both liked} and a couple of wine glasses to grow our collection. 

With ten minutes to spare, we decided to walk around the winery and see if we could find the barrel room.  We did stumble upon a nice {Wine Club Members Only} back bar and tasting area, with a private covered patio complete with fireplace…and stairs down to the barrel room.  All of this was roped off.  Nope…we weren’t allowed.  {bummer}  Apparently they only allow {non wine club} people down during their scheduled tours on the weekends.  {That kinda stinks}  Nonetheless, we kept wandering {where it wasn’t roped off} and saw a large patio adorned with a modern fountain, and an area where they have live music spring through fall.  Also, just so the non wine club peeps aren’t left out, another side covered patio with a fireplace.  Ahh…Love!

covered_patio

All in all, it was a really great morning at the winery.  I learned a bit, saw and tried something new and exciting.  I even had a wonderful morning date with my handsome hubby.  Life is good.

So there you have it.  My first {real} wine tasting experience.  What do you think?  Have you been tasting before?  Do you have any tips, tricks, advice for me?  Here is to reaching our goals, conquering our bucket list, and embracing unexpected moments in life.  Cheers!

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