Monday, December 22, 2008

Johnny Rumble:
Winter Wonderland

I got to go wine tasting this past weekend, among many other things. By, "I got to go wine tasting," I mean, "I got to play Designated Driver for my father and our vintner friend." I still had a good time though. Many interesting people, lots and lots of laughs, a loveable and cuddly 150 pound mutt of a dog with a missing toe, and one particular winery that impressed me enough to mention it.

Pushed back, and by pushed back, I mean pushed waaaaay back, in the woods between Grass Valley and Colfax on CA 174 is a relatively new winery called Solune. It had been snowing this past week at this altitude, and while I did later learn that winemaker Jacques Mercier had put sand on the paved driveway, it was of absolutley no help. I was driving a mini-van, front wheel drive, with summer performance tires on it. We never got stuck, but we had to make a charge up hill about six times before we got anywhere close to parking spot. And I'm glad that the people I carting around didn't let me give up.

The tasting room at Solune is wonderful. They choose not to hide thier machines and thier presses and all the hardware assosiated with wine making, but rather have it on functional display six feet away, damn near polished too. It wasn't a showroom, it was a workroom, and it was charming. It was like they had nothing to hide. The afore mentioned Mr. Jacques Mercier greeted us with a smile, and for me a complimentary bottle of water. Normally, when I walk into a tasting room, I feel a bit apprhencive and get that notion that I MUST buy something there. Not so at Solune. I felt like I WANTED to buy something here.

Mr. Mercier was even willing to have friendly banter with us, and told his back story. He had been doing amatuer winemaking and judging for 20 years before starting Solune with his partner Andrea. Sadly, that's all I remember because my senses were bugging out about the surrounding enviroment.

As for the wines themselves, I sadly cannot tell you anything about the taste, and nor I am I really qualified too, but the smells were fanstatic, and I can only imagine what the tastes were. But I do know they were wonderful, and I will know in the future because my father bought six bottles from Mr. Mercier personally, and has stated that he will continue to by more from him. All I know is, if one of those bottles gets cracked before I get a chance to go up there myself and get my own bottles, I will be downstairs with my Oliver Twist routine and a wine glass.

Honestly, how many people do you know with my diserning tastes and culinary background will tell you that I will be buying bottles of wine that I have only sniffed and not tasted?

Honestly, how many people will tell you go buy wine that they have only sniffed and not tasted?

Honestly, at least one has. Because I am telling you know.

Visit Solune. You will not regret it. Unless your one of those idiots that things Bud Light is the tasty drink out there.

Snow Drifted and Foward Stuck,

Johnny Rumble

1 comment:

  1. it's not always that you drive people and actually like the destination... and how's the taste?