Today was our free afternoon for the conference, so I decided to head to a winery. What better way to get a souvenir, I thought, than to taste some wine at a winery, and then bring a bottle of my favorite back home?
I selected the Fess Parker Winery on the basis that it was relatively close to my hotel, and I had heard of it. Granted, I had heard of it mostly through the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort, which I couldn't afford to stay in, but I had definitely heard of it. I try to avoid "celebrity" wines, but I gave this one pass on the basis that I was a little bit unsure who Fess Parker was. (It turns out he's most famous for playing Davy Crockett.)
I tasted the wines, and they were OK. In particular, the Sauvingon Blanc managed to overcome my usual distaste for whites. But I figured I should do better than OK, so I left with my only souvenir as a glass with a coonskin cap logo on it. It was tempting to get an actual coonskin cap to replace the one I had as a boy, but I restrained myself.
Still in search of my California wine to bring home, I headed down the road to Firestone Vineyard. Again, the wine was OK, and I left with another souvenir glass. I also left with an admonition to try the wine at Curtis Winery. My souvenir Firestone winery would get me a free tasting at Curtis. I tried the reds there (to avoid getting too wine-d up to drive, I poured out a lot of the stuff I didn't like), but was unimpressed.
There was a recurring taste that put me off, and I wish I could name it, so I could find out how to avoid it in the future. Maybe it's a component of Santa Barbara county wines inherent in the soil? I don't know whether to call it licorice, plastic, chemical or what. I taste it in a number of wines at Corridor Wine, our local wine mega-store, where I go to weekly tastings.
Well, at least I have my two glasses.