Didn’t watch Kurt Russell’s continuation of his movie ‘Escape from New York’ but took an impromptu trip to Santa Barbara County to tour some wineries with a fantastic friend and equally talented photographer.
Little did we both know that many of the wineries we visited were the filming locales of the film Sideways and there is an entire tour that can be taken. But we were only visiting for the wine: my friend, a knowledgeable amateur and me, just an amateur.
Lots and lots of wine was tasted and lots of things learned:
There are two ways to get to Santa Barbara from Solvang, a self-proclaimed Danish city: the scenic way through Santa Ynez followed by a national park or through Buellton.
Don’t eat at the first place found regardless how much your stomach is grumbling. The sausage platter can be questionable, unfilling and unsatisfying. Most importantly that sauerkraut is unappealing.
At wine tastings: areate the wine, smell, areate again, sip, contemplate the residual flavors, sip. Repeat with next wine.
Pack food to consume between wine tastings. Preferably cheese, crackers and plenty of water to prevent public drunkeness.
A barrel produces 60 gallons of wine. European oak produces a smoother taste while American oak is more bitter.
Grapes used to make wine are not necessarily good for consuming. Grapes used to produce red wine are harvested by hand while white wine grapes are harvested mechanically. (At least at the Firestone Wineries.)
And Danish bakeries don’t necessarily mean good cheese danishes but the danish cookies aren’t so bad.