Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Planes, Trains and Stagecoaches

We're off on our summer tour and it's very likely the next few blogs will just have a tiny bit more to do with travel than wine.

Friday we flew out on Southwest from San Jose to Baltimore. Now I actually like Southwest. I know some people hate it, but to me it's an airline that doesn't pretend it's going to treat you nice, it's honest about the service it offers. A bag of peanuts and a seat that's what you get.

The other airlines pretend like they are going to give you more, but in the end, you get a bag of peanuts and a seat. Plus the latest I've ever been on Southwest is 35 minutes. On Northwest I've only had delays of less than four hours about 25% of the time. SO they get me there, it's on time, and they are honest. Good enough for me.

On this last trip though, wedged in the tiny seat, I started to think of all the transportation I've ever taken and where an airplane ranks. I've never been on a camel, or an elephant, but I have been on a horse and a stagecoach. So a plane is definitely less comfortable than a bus or a train. Then I tried to rank it????

It came in at the stagecoach level. Well kind of. Riding on top of a stage coach is not bad, you can see the bumps coming. Inside a stagecoach though is hot, stuffy, small and bumpy. So that's it. A plane is definitely better than taking a stagecoach. At leas if you have to ride inside the stagecoach.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Beta Testing

Last night we went out to dinner at Sent Sovi in Saratoga. The idea was to try all our wines with some good food before we go out visiting people next week. A 'Beta Test'. I wanted to know how everything was doing before I opened it for other people.

The dinner at Sent Sovi was actually very good and service was wonderful. There was a wild mushroom course in particular that was very good.

We opened four wines. I checked in on the 2005 Syrah since it had been over a month since we'd had it. Doing fine and hitting a good spot now. I also opened the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. It needs 30 minutes in a decanter right now. Not yet ready for release, but I think we knew it would be like that. We're not planning on sending out for a few months still. With the decanter time it showed really well and I think everyone will really enjoy this wine next week as we open it for the first time for people.

We also opened two mystery wines to try out. More news on those two wines coming soon, but we were pretty excited by how they tasted.

The staff at Sent Sovi tasted along with us and were very impressed. They asked us to come back and taste through with the owner and see about scheduling a winemakers dinner for us there sometime soon.

We ended up taking almost 4 hours to work through the wines and the courses and our small test group had a great time. I'm feeling really good about showing the wines next week.