Sunday (I was going to use the verb "dawn" but then I wasn't conscious at any time near dawn, was I?) was overcast and threatening rain, which from our perspective was a good thing; we've had hardly a drop of rain in August and all the thunderstorms (nearly every day) would roll up to the yard and hang a hard left and scoot to our north, leaving us high and dry. Or they would tease us by sliding just to the south.
But I get really antsy about rain this time of year. I have way too many friends in the wine industry to be excited about rain during harvest season. I will cringe reflexively each time that it rains between now and mid-October. Still, I must admit that the prospect of a rainy, sleepy Sunday was just what I wanted: no agenda, no pressure, no deadlines, no place to be at no time in particular.
And while I was sitting in my chair (yes, I have appropriated a chair in the sunroom as my own) Ann came over and said, "Hey, let's go to Glen Manor today, just you and me, and sit and drink a bottle of wine and talk!" She was just so damned enthusiastic and beaming from ear to ear, so how could I deny her? And the prospect of sitting at the winery watching the rain stream down with a glass in hand? How bad could that be?
And so I went to retrieve Carter from a friend's house where he spent the night and stopped in at the restaurant for a few picnic supplies and some fixings for dinner. Then we hit the road for Front Royal and points south with me riding shotgun in a semi-comotose state. The rain started pretty gently as we were heading down 522, but I could see a line of squalls in the distance and could see where the road was obscured about a half a mile away by the teeming rain.
Getting through the very narrow but violent squall line, we drove through a few more sprinkles down to Glen Manor. On the way, I was thinking that there would be a very good chance that we could catch Jeff at the winery on a rainy day when being out in the vineyard was not an option, or at least, not a good option. And sure enough, his truck was parked outside the winery when we arrived.
|Bird Netting: White on Original Vineyard; Black on the New Vineyard|
|Hmm. The '11 Franc is not yet Released. Go Figure.|
|Olli Calabrese and Ubriaco del Piave|
|2012: Banner Year for Virginia Figs!|
|Good to See Kelly Laugh!|
|Telling Dumb Jokes!|
|The (rightly) Notorious Ghost Chiles, the Naga or Bhut Jolokia|
|Two Great Wines|
With the pasta we had a most delicious Easton Zinfandel from the old Rinaldi Vineyard in Amador County. Zin would not be your first guess if you tasted this blind. Yes, it has big plummy dark fruit, but it is a very transparent ruby wine with excellent acidity and firm, but very supple tannins. This wine is the finest expression of Zinfandel that I have ever had and is miles away from the bulk of the Lodi crap that saturates the market. Bill Easton, bravo!
|Pasta, It's What's for Dinner|
PS. I just love the so-called black tomatoes. They are none of them black, but rather a greenish to purplish red. The endearing quality in them for me is that they are all high acid tomatoes and that acidity is the key to a great tomato.